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Spooky26x

herniated discs in neck/lower back

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Hello everyone, I'm extremely new to the sport, as in I started jumping this week! I've got four AFF jumps down. I've been wanting to skydive for years, but for a long time was unable to due to location. I'm very thrilled to finally be able start.
After my jumps, I noticed neck and back pain, as well as associated tingling and numbness. An MRI last year showed that I have two herniated discs in the neck and two more in the lower back. The MRI listed the herniations as either mild, slight, or small. The MRI was over a year ago, and I was told that discs naturally get worse over time. Plus, MRIs arnt 100% accurate, so I think maybe the status of the discs is worse than what was shown due to the significant symptoms at the time.
Light physical therapy and exercise over the last year has made things better. I currently work out regularly and kickbox with no symptoms.
I've read the existing posts about herniated discs, but Im trying to get as much information as I can on what I can do to safely skydive without worsening things. Any information on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

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You should talk to your doctor. Any information you get on here will likely be very general, or even wrong, and may not apply to your situation.
"I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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One thing you (like the rest of us) will need to consider is; can my skydiving cause any long term health risk that I'm not willing to accept in the near future. Everyone will answer that differently, but what's important is that you answer that question (to yourself) honestly. It may be that skydiving is not for you? :o

Take the advice above, and see a good doctor. Preferably a sports/medicine specialist. Infact, see several. :)
Birdshit & Fools Productions

"Son, only two things fall from the sky."

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Take the advice above, and see a good doctor. Preferably a sports/medicine specialist. Infact, see several.



+1 from a skydiver with a 1976 broken sacral plate; a 1992 removal of L4 and L5, S1 and a double laminectomy; later bulges of L1, L2, and L3; a 2009 C5-C7 fusion with a hip implant and titanium plate; and a rear-end car collision in 2011, which tore my spinal cord at C8, leaving my hands partially paralyzed. With all of that, my neurosurgeon is still okay with me jumping.

Speak with qualified sports-medicine specialists. Every situation is different.

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Welcome to the club. I have what my surgeon calls "lifestyle-accelerated spinal syndrome". A thousand video jumps on an Excalibur in the days of big gear have stricken my neck with arthritis and a few thousand jumps total have done the same thing to my lumbar. So far I have no herniated discs so I feel lucky.

I can't address you specific issue but I can say you will do yourself a favor by taking it easy concerning things that will aggravate your condition. Stay away from canopies with a tendency to whack you on opening, require fighting out of line twists, or fail to flare well in less than optimum conditions. Leave the video work to others, use weights if needed to avoid the need to hyper-arch, and learn to land without thumping in on your feet or butt.

Or as my Orthowizard says "if it makes it hurt, don't do it".

Oh yeah, cryptonite strength anti-inflammatories help too.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Hmm... Jumping is making your symptoms worse. I am not sure what sort of reassurance you are seeking here, but this is the wrong place to get guidance on a condition that can result in permanent disability and chronic pain.

I can say this much with certainty: If I were your instructor, and you told me that story, I would refuse to jump with you!

I hope that you get good medical care, get your problem fixed, and join us in the sky!
The choices we make have consequences, for us & for others!

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Welcome to the "bad back" club.
Back in 1986, I herniated a disc on my lumbar spine. I blame hard landings - under PD 360 tandem mains.
I popped pills and lay around and moaned for the first winter.
The second winter I swam three times a week: huge improvement in mental health!
The third winter I did aerobics three times a week and was able to resume regular skydiving.
Then I did tandems - full time - for 18 years.

Three years ago, I herniated a second laumbar disc - during a plane crash. I worked hard at all the exercises recommended by my physiotherapist and was able to resume solo jumping 5 months after the crash and resumed tandems 8 months after the crash, but it was full year before I could walk without pain.

The bottom line is that you need to exercise - on a regular basis - to keep your spine in correct alignment. I recommend the "Back Pain" book.

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Good advice. As a guy who broke his back in a landing accident, I can tell you, talk to the Doc. He'll be conservative, to be sure, but he'll give you info you need to know to make decisions that could affect the rest of your life. Unless you get an answer here from a spinal doc who has looked at your spinal MRI, i'd ignore it. See a Doc!
Charlie Gittins, 540-327-2208
AFF-I, Sigma TI, IAD-I
MEI, CFI-I, Senior Rigger
Former DZO, Blue Ridge Skydiving Adventures

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Best advice as was stated near the OP adn throughout is to see your doctor

Last thing you need to to pinch any nerve bundles running through your spine as a result of the added force on the herniation you have. What your experiencing is already a result of the pressure the disc is placing on the spinal cord

One hard openings all it takes to cause a lot longer recovery. Kick boxing is physical no doubt but doesn't have the shock our canopies create on every opening soft or hard

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Kick boxing is physical no doubt but doesn't have the shock our canopies create on every opening soft or hard



I would disagree on that. It can cause quite a lot of stress to one's neck, and the impact is horizontal which I would think would be worse than vertical stress.

Unless you'r really good at it ;)

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After my jumps, I noticed neck and back pain, as well as associated tingling and numbness.


Tingling and numbness are symptoms you must not ignore, so it's necessary to see a specialist (better: several) who at least is open to get some insight into what skydiving (and canopy riding) really means. Have your spine MRI'ed of course.
Building up muscles is a good idea. I underwent surgery due to a herniated disc at L5/S1 but got cleared for jumping after 6 months. (Winter season came handy, huhu.) The orthopaedist is also a specialist in sports medicine and cares for 2 teams here so he is open-minded and knows what it's about. I did a lot of physiotherapy and exercise; have done 1000+ jumps since and never had any more problems apart from the occasional small back pain due to muscle soreness etc. But everyone is a unique person, so have it examined by specialists.
The sky is not the limit. The ground is.

The Society of Skydiving Ducks

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diagnosed with a severe herniation of my l5 s1 disk, did physical therapy etc, didnt work, started jumping which felt ok, got surgery march of 2011 jumped after i had healed. pain returned after i rode my bike again (used to actively compete in bmx) symptoms returned. got another MRI and it appears that i have reherniated. jumping doesnt bother it, but biking really does so i have stopped riding and started exercising a lot. the docs have talked about "spinal fusion" etc. but im not gonna have me any of that ;) ive looked into artificial disc replacements and in the next few years those might be a viable option for me. as for now ill deal with the pain and ive been put gabapentin which seems to have made my pain pretty much vanish. id recommend a LOT of core exercises (with the idea of making the muscles support your weight instead of your spine) and stretching a lot. so as of now im living with a herniation that according to my doctor "you shouldnt be able to walk" and my pain tolerance is "off the charts" haha but the point is get a few opinions, stay in shape and METAL UP! B|
"its just a normal day at the dropzone until its not"

1653

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"
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... Kick boxing is physical no doubt but doesn't have the shock our canopies create on every opening soft or hard

"

........................................................................

Maybe, but the vertical compression - suffered by your spine - when you get knocked back on your ass feels as painful as PLFing backwards, under any canopy.
Either blow will inflame previously-injured spinal disks.

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Hello all! I went to the docs, and he said that I shouldnt have any limitation. I did three skydives this weekend and all were smooth as butter! No pain or tingling. Im very very pleased by this and I should have my A license in no time! Thank you all once again for your help and advice!

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Hello all! I went to the docs, and he said that I shouldnt have any limitation. I did three skydives this weekend and all were smooth as butter! No pain or tingling. Im very very pleased by this and I should have my A license in no time! Thank you all once again for your help and advice!



That's one doctor!!! You get any more tingling, pain, etc, you go find another doctor. Chronic back pain is no fun. Make sure you stay on top of this... Welcome to the sport!B|
Birdshit & Fools Productions

"Son, only two things fall from the sky."

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Spook,

Sometimes the pain/tingling can be caused by inflammation. I hope they did and MRI of your injury!! I caution you for this reason, what ever caused the initial symptoms may have caused a bulged disc. Said disc also may have been inflamed causing the pain and tingling. Just because the symptoms are gone does not mean you were not injured. The need for caution is because should you repeat the event that caused the original injury you may blow the disc apart.

I had a disc blow in my neck (didn't know it was blown and was having similar symptoms as yours). Doc told me go about life and do your normal activities. I made one skydive, no hard opening no crash landing, nothing!! Just the fact I was lifting my head up further inflamed the area around the disc. I was in such severe pain I had to have a friend drive me home with another to take him back to the DZ, I took a SIGNIFICANT amount of pain meds that did not even touch the pain, first ER visit = 6 Mg of dilauded and I was sent home still in pain. Six hours later I returned to the ER as the extreme pain had returned.

To make a long story short, I got an MRI, had a blown disc, had my neck fused, and now I back to jumping. it sucked to have to go through pain to get a diagnosis, live and learn.


Fire Safety Tip: Don't fry bacon while naked

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I did have an MRI done about a year ago on it. It stated that the degeneration/herniations are mild. The ortho/PT guy said that I shouldnt be having the tingling with the mild MRI report. He said I shouldnt have limitations, but to stay on top of things. I decided to do a few jumps and see how it went. I did some good stretching before and after each jump, and had nothing but some mild muscle soreness (Im not used to arching and all that yet) I did four jumps in two days with no tingling or abmormal pain/soreness. If it does return, I'll surely go back to the docs. The degenerations/herniations were not caused by a single event, but a result for 8 years of military service. We had to wear a lot of unergonomic extra weight, and it just wore down on me. I do a lot of core excersizes and I have been getting serious with the stretching. Im certainly not going to push my limits, but so far, so good. Im gonna try to rack up a few more jumps this weekend, and I'll continue to see how that goes.

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Oh, I see the new account humangenomeplus has bumped this thread from 4 years ago so he can spam the forum with links to his spammy youtube videos.

Business must be slow.

Lol, a little poking and I find these guys are pushing an "elixir of life" or "elixir of youth" citing bluebeard's alchemy, Gilgamesh and Soviet era medical claims.

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Hee!
Hee!
I don't mind people bumping old threads. Some of us old farts prefer all related posts to be on the same thread.
However, I am openly suspicious of any "elixir."

The Egoscue (sp?) thread made more sense as it actually relates to some of the exercises I regularly do to keep my spine in correct alignment.

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