Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Snatch Force question (related to back injury)

 


NorrinRadd  (Student)

Jun 12, 2013, 12:59 PM
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Snatch Force question (related to back injury) Can't Post

Hello! My first post here. Woo! I am planning a date for a second tandem jump, and the initiation of my PFF (AFF) training. I am also recovering from a bulged disc injury in my lower back. I received the injury several months ago, and with careful treatment through physio, nutrition, being nice to it, etc, I am doing quite well with it! But I would like to know if anyone can help me with advice on this.
Firstly, how is the snatch force distributed through the harness? The first time I went up, I was far too excited to make detailed notes about that. If most of it is under the arms, then that becomes traction, and my back is fine. If, however, most of it is distributed to the leg slings, then that becomes compression, which could make my injury worse, depending on how much force there is.
Secondly, has anyone else dealt with this sort of injury... lumbar disc bulge... and has experience to relate it to the skydiving sport?
I appreciate any help you can offer...thanks!


JackC1

Jun 12, 2013, 1:25 PM
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The force is distributed mainly through the leg straps. You can expect 2-4G for a second or two. Very, very occasionally you might get more, possibly up to 10G for a fraction of a second but that is comparatively rare.

If you have back problems, explain the situation to your doctor and get their advice before jumping. A skydiving forum is no place to get medical advice.


Glitch  (D 10834)

Jun 12, 2013, 2:01 PM
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I deal w/moderate L1/L2, L2/L3, L3/L4 and severe L5/S1 buldged discs.... For me, I have more of a problem bending over for packing and sitting on my arse for the ride to altitude than I do opening shock. I actually had velcro/foam pads made to put in my suits so that I sit on the pads (thus taking pressure off the spinal column) during the ride up. A 1/4" thick or so, 2"x3" pad on each side of my tail bone does the trick!

In freefall, you're ideally in a belly to earth position at pull time. As you deploy, your chute decelerates and you can think of yourself as falling away from it. As it decelerates, your body position is changed from 'belly to earth' to 'standing or feet to earth' attitude. The opening shock is distributed thru your harness this way... with your crotch feeling the brunt of it. How fast your chute opens and how well your harness/container fits your body type are prolly the biggest variables to how much you feel the opening, but there are others.... If you can manage those two, you'll be ahead of the game.

And finally, take everything you read/hear off the innerwebby and run it by your instructors. And then take their advice.

YMMV. The sky will always be there... listen to your body... Smile


NorrinRadd  (Student)

Jun 12, 2013, 2:02 PM
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Re: [JackC1] Snatch Force question (related to back injury) [In reply to] Can't Post

I quite agree! I am working very closely with my doctor and physiotherapist on this issue, and while I am not seeking medical opinions on this forum, neither my pt nor my md are skydivers. So any information I can get from experienced skydivers about skydiving that can help my.pt and md make their medical assesments helps out greatly! Thanks for the info :)


(This post was edited by NorrinRadd on Jun 12, 2013, 2:04 PM)


billeisele  (A 5643)

Jun 12, 2013, 5:04 PM
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Re: [JackC1] Snatch Force question (related to back injury) [In reply to] Can't Post

JackC1 wrote:
If you have back problems, explain the situation to your doctor and get their advice before jumping. A skydiving forum is no place to get medical advice.

Yep, skydivers aren't MDs. The standard "ask your instructor" doesn't apply. You might have a tandem instructor that cranks down on the harness trying to get everything tight, now your back is compressed. Or you could have a hard opening, or a bad landing, or a malfunction and reserve shock, or whatever. A lot of this depends on your weight, the weight of the instructor, and canopy size and type.

I'm no MD but one thing you want to have when you're older is good health. A messed up back is a bad life to live. Think hard about this one, is it worth the risk?


sundevil777  (D License)

Jun 12, 2013, 9:07 PM
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If traction makes your back feel good, have you tried inversion tables?

Regular traction might make occasional compression more tolerable than it would be normally.


NorrinRadd  (Student)

Jun 13, 2013, 5:52 AM
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I wish I had access to an inversion table. For now, I have taken up swimming as my primary form of exercise. After I have done all my laps, I hang out in a corner of the pool and let my legs hang in the water in the deep end. It is a nice, relaxing way to let my spine elongate and decompress.


obatzda

Jun 13, 2013, 6:52 AM
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Re: [NorrinRadd] Snatch Force question (related to back injury) [In reply to] Can't Post

never did a tandemjump but i got a lowerback vertabrae missing/crushed and replaced by a titanbridge and all i can say is i got more backpain when packing or sitting in the tinyporter then from jumping - also a tandemchute should open pretty soft.

if you can jump of 3 stairsteps without instantpain i would say it works ;)


(This post was edited by obatzda on Jun 13, 2013, 6:53 AM)


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jun 14, 2013, 8:18 PM
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Stick with physiotherapy.
Back in 1987, I herniated a disc in my lower spine, but was too stubborn to visit the doctor until sciatica seized my left leg solid.
The first winter, I lay around and felt sorry for myself.
The second winter, I swam three or four times per week and felt much better.
The third winter I took up aerobics and passed a freefall instructor's course that summer.
Since then I have done more than 4,000 tandem jumps.
In 2008, I herniated another spinal disc in an airplane crash. But vigorous exercise got me back in the air in a mere five months and I resumed tandems seven months after the accident. I have done another 400 tandems since the plane crash.
However, today I felt some sciatica cramps in my left leg, so I did a bunch of abdominal exercises and stretches to pull my spine back into alignment.

Moral of the story, after herniating a spinal disc, you have two options: you can chose to exercise, or you can lay around in pain.
I recommend that you ask your physio-therapist to teach you the correct exercises.


NorrinRadd  (Student)

Jun 18, 2013, 5:56 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] Snatch Force question (related to back injury) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks! I totally agree. Since going to my PT, I have seen the most improvement. My PT actually knows more about my condition than my GP! And I have a pretty good physiotherapist. Definitely sticking with her, doing the exercises and stretches she assigns me. I am very happy with her. I also stand now more than I sit... sitting puts MORE stress on the spine than standing. Makes the legs stronger, too. Humans were not evolved to be sitting all day, every day, like most North Americans do (myself included, though not anymore).


erdnarob  (D 364)

Jun 24, 2013, 10:54 AM
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I suggest you to reinforce your abdominal muscles like doing sit up or similar exercices. Those belly muscles are helping your back muscles all the time, walking, swimming, bending, lifting weight...etc. This is the advice I got years ago from a doctor. Now, there are specialized doctors named physiatrists. They are expert in the mechanic of human body.Smile


NorrinRadd  (Student)

Jul 1, 2013, 11:36 AM
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Thanks :)


ChrisD  (No License)

Jul 2, 2013, 9:53 AM
Post #13 of 17 (3470 views)
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NorrinRadd wrote:
Thanks :)

Whatever you do you want to avoid the botched slide in, by this I mean you don't want to land on your tail bone!

My other point is that some of the excellent observations and reccomondations above don't indicate the time commitment required to get your back in the best possible shape.

For me every other day at the club, min. of 3 hours and then one full hour of stretching/ yoga is required on an ongoing basis. This is the tough part!

It is not a light commitment, nor is this an easy task to keep up!

I can't stess enough: Good packing, proper body position on opening, plan your openinings so that you never open out of position down low! I actually grab my risers each and every time to lessen the opening shock, I'm pulling like some kind of nut and using my arms as shock absorbers...seems to help! And most times I am tucking my knees, but not on a regular basis...

Can't speak for those that like the Dracula approach, (hanging upside down,) but I have been warned not to do this by so many MD's that I had to look at their advice very seriously. Many of them pointed out that the time spent hanging was of dubious value at best and at worst it takes away from more productive PT. and many pointed out that the bone benders and hanging upside down was downright wrong and led to a continuing worsenning downward spiral. With irreversable consequenses. I say those devices illustrate the power of advertising over the power of common sense!

Canopy size?

I found that some larger canopies, student, rentals, etc. to have a large opening force, so I downsized, but within reason. I was jumping a 170 because for me, and I don't fully understand why, the opening was lighter! But with the 170 I was concerned about what would happen if I botched a flare! Any flare, at any time! So I upsized to a 190, botched a few flares on purpose to actually see how bad a botched landing would be and have stuck with the 190, but I do wish it opened more like my old stilletto 160, or my 170. The point being is that canopies with loong snivils (Spectre, proper nose bending Sabre 2, etc...) can help and size seems to matter as well! You have some control over this and I suggest you find out as soon a possible which size works best.

Beware the "hard opening." Many consider the hard opening to be an act of fate, I belive that the hard opening is a botched pack job. (Period.)

Good luck, skydivers are not known for their physical phitness, so yo have to buck the trend if your going to be sucessfull at this!

C


NorrinRadd  (Student)

Jul 15, 2013, 6:34 AM
Post #14 of 17 (2931 views)
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Did my jump yesterday (so happy to be back), with zero issues or pain. Woot! I had my physio therapist and doctor give me the go ahead. So now it is full steam ahead!
Thanks again for all your advice!


Elisha  (D 31656)

Jul 19, 2013, 9:58 AM
Post #15 of 17 (2696 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Snatch Force question (related to back injury) [In reply to] Can't Post

sundevil777 wrote:
If traction makes your back feel good, have you tried inversion tables?

Regular traction might make occasional compression more tolerable than it would be normally.

Totally NOT a fan of inversion tables - doesn't feel good on knees and ankles. What works much better IMO are yoga slings. You hang by your pelvis.


DrDom  (Student)

Aug 4, 2013, 8:59 AM
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Re: [NorrinRadd] Snatch Force question (related to back injury) [In reply to] Can't Post

NorrinRadd wrote:
I wish I had access to an inversion table. For now, I have taken up swimming as my primary form of exercise. After I have done all my laps, I hang out in a corner of the pool and let my legs hang in the water in the deep end. It is a nice, relaxing way to let my spine elongate and decompress.

If you look at the research (I'm an MD, not quite yet able to identify myself as a skydiver but getting there) the reality is the ONLY thing that EVER has been shown in the literature to improve back pain and various back issues is physical therapy. Inversion tables are mixed at best and there is some risk (Stretching and then compressing the discs is not really great for them).

The trick would be physical therapy specific to the spine followed by core strengthening, followed by general conditioning.

The "jump test" someone explained is decent (jump a few steps or feet to the ground and land with your feet planted). But no test is perfect. As an MD I'd have a very hard time clearing someone with known issues back to jumping with known disc disease without seeing a successful completion of physical therapy and strengthening.

With that in mind, I also live in the US where you can and will be sued for everything as a doctor so clearing anyone for extreme sports is pretty dicey ;)


NorrinRadd  (Student)

Aug 5, 2013, 7:50 AM
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Re: [DrDom] Snatch Force question (related to back injury) [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate the advice. After doing some reading, I have been hearing some mixed results about inversion tables, too. My PT does some light traction for me, and I get a little swimming, too.
Getting a PT and following her advice was the best decision I could have made, I think. My recovery has been amazing.

Welcome to the sport! :)



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