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Old 04-16-2005, 01:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 39
United Kingdom
Freaky! Prolapsed Discs & practising


Fairly new to Aikido (6 months) and suffer with two prolapsed discs in the lower back. I was wondering if anyone out there has the same problems as me and if they could give me any information on any tips or problems they have encountered along their training.

At present I tend to take it pretty easy, with training because i do not want to aggrevate my condition. Although i have noticed that my middle back seems to be more stiffer than usual, i think that taking it easy with training seems to work.

One problem that i am slightly worried about, and i do not know if this is due to my back complaint or just training stress is that both the fingers on my hands next to each index finger seems to ache at the joints at the base of each finger.

I tend to jokingly refer to this as Aikido finger, thinking that it has developed from gripping arms, jo's and kens. It started off in one hand and now both hands seem to have developed this problem.

Has anyone come across anything like this?


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Old 04-16-2005, 02:11 PM   #2
Adam Alexander
Dojo: none currently
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 499
Re: Prolapsed Discs & practising

I've heard of that happening before. The advice that person got was to "see a neurologist."
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Old 04-16-2005, 02:56 PM   #3
Adrian Price
Adrian Price's Avatar
Dojo: None
Location: Daventry
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 9
United Kingdom
Re: Prolapsed Discs & practising

With regards to training with severe back problems such as prolapsed disks, not a problem, personally I have a collapsed disk at L4/5, and have good days and bad days.

On a bad day I struggle to walk, on a good day I get thrown all over the mat, but a good training session is always followed by a bad day, so now a days I have to take it easy and avoid hard sessions, which is extremely frustrating.

As for your fingers it might be worth visiting your GP.
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Old 04-16-2005, 04:15 PM   #4
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 265
Re: Prolapsed Discs & practising

I suffered a disc rupture at L5/S1. This happened almost 4 years ago. I didn't have surgery to correct the rupture, so it took me over a year to recover from it to the point where I could do ukemi again. I had sciatic complications and permanently lost the ankle reflex in my right foot. My right leg became so weak that I couldn't walk more than 100 yards or so before I had to sit down to rest it. The surface of the skin down the back of my right leg was quite numb for nearly 4 months. BUt, in spite of all this, I tested for sandan last year and passed.

I've had to leave off doing any koshinage entirely. I also have to be really careful about really fast tobu ukemi. And I can't have people hanging off me in randori (which shouldn't happen anyway, should it?). The pressure of their weight on my spine leaves me sore for days afterwards. Other than these things, I can practice Aikido as I always have.

Apparently, walking for at least 40 minutes causes the discs in your spine to inflate somewhat with fluid. This fluid nourishes your discs, helping them to remain strong and supple. As well, the walking motion engages the lower spinae erector muscles, strengthening them, which, in turn, provides greater support to the lower part of the spinal column.

Abdominal exercises are also important in producing stabilizing strength for the torso. I do about 100 crunches, front and sides, every other day with about 25 lbs.

I also do alot of stretching of the lower torso, back and legs (particularly the glutes and hamstrings). About a half hour or so every day. I hold each stretch for at least 3 minutes.

One last thing: Drink copious amounts of water. When I get dehydrated my back immediately begins to complain.

Hope this helps!

Keep practicing!

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:46 AM   #5
Kevin Leavitt
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: Prolapsed Discs & practising

It sucks, but doable, you doctor is probably the best bet for advice...that and your own pain. I avoid somethings on some days because of my L4/L5 problems. Rolls suck as well as breakfalls.

Tai Chi is looking better everyday!
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Old 04-17-2005, 10:45 AM   #6
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,886
Re: Prolapsed Discs & practising

IMHO, first get a thorough evaluation.

I have four disc bulges in the lumbar region. Have gotten good management throuhg physical therapy lumbar stabilization exercise available on the internet.

Learn to stay relaxed and train wisely.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-18-2005, 12:07 AM   #7
Anat Amitay
Dojo: Nes- Ziona, "the red house"
Location: Israel
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 137
Re: Prolapsed Discs & practising

Hi there,
There is a difference between a prolapsed disc and a raptured disc and so one should keep in mind that you need different therapies for them. Also both problems have different stages of damage.
I would advice seeing a sports doctor because they usually tend to really help when you do want to participate in a certain sport, truely telling you the good and bad and the dangers with your condition.
I don't know how it is in your country, but I would have gone to a sports physiotherapist and have a few meetings so they can teach you how to strenghten muscles around your injured area, and how to warm up and cool down before and after practice.
With no offence, I would not do exercises from the internet since you don't know who wrote them, you have no idea if your specific problem doesn't have conta- indications to it etc. Better talk with someone who is an expert, and can also check you up.
As for all the different exercises you got from people, I'd say check them first. No one mentioned working on your Transverse Abdominis which is a very important muscle in cases of back problems, So with all due respect- See a specialist.
My sister has 4 prolapsed discs in her lower back and she is still doing Tae- Kwon- Doe. She got the help she needed, she learned how to keep herself safe, and for the last 4 years there was no problems from her back.
Good luck, take care, and enjoy training
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