View Full Version : Slipped-disc newbie seeks advice!

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Anastasia I. D. Brown
01-05-2006, 03:50 PM
Hello, all...

It's great to be here; I can't wait to read through as many posts as I'm able! I should have known I'd find a place like this sooner or later! :)

I hope someone can help me with a particular issue. I've been interested in Aikido for a few years, but have been reluctant to pursue any kind of practice because I have four slipped discs in my neck due to an injury I sustained during a basketball game 3 years ago when I turned 40. I'm not in acute pain at this time, and haven't been for a long time; as a matter of fact, any neck pain I ever have is minimal and infrequent. In addition, I haven't had the arm nerve pain commonly associated with slipped neck discs since the injury occurred.

Of course, you'll all know where this is leading: given these physical issues, should I not practice Aikido and, therefore, must I remain an armchair Aikido enthusiast all my life? Please help, and thank you all in advance for your input!


01-05-2006, 04:37 PM
I would recomend a visit to your doctor. Show him some books with pictures about aikido technique and rolls.

01-05-2006, 05:59 PM
Better yet, show him some video...

Even better, find a doctor who IS an aikidoka...

If you get the medical go-ahead, it is equally important that you find an instructor who can put your limitations in the proper perspective, and tailor your training to be minimally hazardous.

Best of luck...

01-05-2006, 11:22 PM
IMHO, get a thorough examination and evaluation by doctors with a sports expertise.
Do physical therapy rehabilitation exercises.
Talk to your Sensei.
Train wisely.

PS: I train with 3 disc bulges in my lombar area, but few people notice.

01-06-2006, 02:23 AM
If you show video (which I think is a good idea) try to show something that is actually representative of what you might train in your area. I know that the aikido we do is quite different from the stuff on the other side of town which is different from the stuff in the next town over etc. etc. If you went to the different schools (assuming you don't have one picked out already) and told them you needed to show some aikido to your doctor for the ok they may let you tape a class (I would anyway). Unfortunately for a lot of people outside of martial arts everything is tae kwon do and as soon as you tell them you want to do a martial art this is what they think of (my girlfriend is running into this with her physical therapist who thinks kendo is just like karate or tae kwon do)

I've heard people reccomend sports medicine doctors over general practitioners as the gp's advice is often to quit the activity while the smd works to get you back into the acitivity (luckily my gp isn't like this).


Anastasia I. D. Brown
01-09-2006, 08:24 AM
Thank you all so very much for your suggestions; each of you have wonderful ideas I will use! I particularly like the concept of finding a sports medicine doctor, and will do so immediately.


Mark Freeman
01-09-2006, 09:27 AM
My suggestion is to find the classes in your area, watch them and perhaps talk to the teacher/students. Some styles are 'softer' than others, they may appeal to you more. I slipped a disc in my lower back about 6 months before starting Aikido ( about 14 years ago ) and although I have had re-occuring pain, it has not stopped me practicing. I feel that Aikido practice can enhance posture as well as co-ordination, and some physical problems can be completely eliminated over time. I had 'bad' knees when I started and could only kneel for a minute or two, now despite being that much older, have no pain even after kneeling for quite long periods.
I have students start with physical limitations, it is up to me to take care of thais fact, it is also an opportunity for the other students to respect their partner and their limitations, increasing their level of sensitivity.
Good luck, and I hope you go for it, as being an armchair aikido enthusiast sounds really frustrating to me.

Larry Feldman
01-09-2006, 11:06 AM
After clearance from a Dr. Find a softer style, stay away from breakfalls, find a school with 'forgiving' mats.