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Old 10-03-2006, 03:04 AM   #1
Gerald Rhoades
Location: Memphis TN
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 12
Stix&Stones break bones but Aikido??

I have an Intervertbral disc hernia at L4-L5 in my lower back, im gonna need a few months to be fully recovered and start my aikido training. I just wanted to ask for advice from Aikidoka who also have back problems (especially if its also a "slipped disc"). Is there anything you stay away from in training?? Do you use a lumbar support belt or anything else?
Whatever info or personal expriences you can post up will be much appreciated..thanks
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:09 AM   #2
Avery Jenkins
Avery Jenkins's Avatar
Dojo: Litchfield Hills Aikikai
Location: Litchfield, CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 158
Re: Stix&Stones break bones but Aikido??

As with anything else, core strength will be key to inhibiting future injury, start doing your crunches religiously as soon as your chiropractor okays it. Improperly performed koshi nage could be detrimental, but if you do it right, the risk is lessened. Depending on the location of your disc herniation, some of the stretching exercises might give you grief -- or might not. As I said, it all depends on the location (lateral vs. central, size, etc.) the herniation is on the disc.

Frankly, unless it is frankly sequestered, disc herniations as a cause of low back pain without nerve pain going down the leg are overrated. The key problem tends to reside in how the back moves, and dysfunctional back movement tends to produce herniated discs as a byproduct of their dysfunction.

I'm not a big fan of lumbar belts for my patients except for symptomatic relief in the early, acute phase of care. Otherwise, my patients are told to do without -- they just weaken the abdominal muscles further, complicating recovery. And certainly they would hinder your movement in aikido to a fairly extreme degree, so wearing one on the mat is just a bad idea.

Anyway, take this all with a grain of salt because you aren't my patient and I'm not your doctor. The best thing to do is to run it by your chiropractic physician and work up a game plan with him.

Avery L. Jenkins, DC, DACBN, FIAMA
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