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  #1  
Old 07-14-2009
ayesr ayesr is offline
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Default Cervical Spondylolysis

Sometime in 2001 I was diagnosed with cervical spondylolysis. Clinically, they found irregular bone formation in C5 & C6 and impingement on the spinal nerve between C3 & C4.

This caused a nagging pain between my right arm and right shoulder, stiff neck virtually all the hours of the day, constant tingling sensation at the tips of my right hand.

Lack of sleep, lack of focus, irritability, clumsiness...these were the signs of my days.

The neurologist prescribed celebrex, surmontil, xanor, among others. The last two meds are highly regulated drugs. These helped a lot. But like some drugs, prolonged use of these meds had negative effects on the kidney, and some other vital organs.

God be praised, there was swimming. I found that if I increased the number of times I went swimming, the resulting relief was quite significant. My swimming became my pain reliever. Eventually, I gradually reduced my meds intake until finally, the improvement was such that I no longer take these. Swimming greatly improved the quality of my life -slept better, pain-free days, better relations all around.

For a short-time, my son, who was operated on his knee, (ACL tearing I believe it was), reverted to swimming as a therapheutic drill. It provided stress-free movement of his knees and greatly improved and hastened his recovery.

End.
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Originally Posted by ayesr View Post
Sometime in 2001 I was diagnosed with cervical spondylolysis. Clinically, they found irregular bone formation in C5 & C6 and impingement on the spinal nerve between C3 & C4.
I knew a guy with a bone growth like that. It affected his hand/forearm and seemed to bother his vision a bit. In his case, an operation was done to remove the bone pressing on the nerves. He improved.
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2009
ayesr ayesr is offline
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Default Spondylolysis..operation

With further deterioration due to ageing (and if I did not take the necessary therapeutic measures), the neurologist's prognosis was that eventually, I might be scheduled for one, too...

Exercise (mild weights, to strengthen the abs, to strengthen the back), proper diet, better posture, taking certain precautionary measures (proper lifting of things - but avoid heavy objects) all help.

But swimming is the primary mode of theraphy.

End.
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  #4  
Old 07-15-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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I wish I could convince my better half to try swimming. He is always complaining of lower back pain. He's a cyclist, so it goes with the sport if there aren't other activities to balance it out.
I used to get both upper and lower back pain at the end of every work week. Definitely work related. I haven't had it in years, thanks to swimming.
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  #5  
Old 07-16-2009
ayesr ayesr is offline
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Default Cyclist Husby

Rhoda, is your husband taking pain killers for his pain. Pls caution him against continues, prolonged usage of pain killers. The side effects - renal mostly - could do more harm than good.

Swimming is the best alternative to a life of meds dependency.

End.
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Old 07-16-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Originally Posted by ayesr View Post
With further deterioration due to ageing (and if I did not take the necessary therapeutic measures), the neurologist's prognosis was that eventually, I might be scheduled for one, too...
This makes me wonder. If you might need surgery when you are older, might it be better to do it while you're younger and possibly stronger?
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  #7  
Old 07-16-2009
sasquatch sasquatch is offline
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Default my own relief

Not that this is as serious I have been dealing with lower back pain/sciatica since I was 16; herniated the L4/L5 and L5/S1 discs were putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. Of course I kept on with football, basketball, rugby and whatever else until I finally decided (mostly doctor recommended and my wife strongly "suggested") that my competitive athletic career come to an end at ~26. For several years after that it got worse. Flare-ups were more frequent and more painful. I spent several nights "sleeping" on my knees with my head on the couch because it was the only way I could. Surgery was recommended because nothing else seemed to help, but after looking at my MRI my brother (a doctor) said I shouldn't. The discs weren't a total loss, they just needed a rest. I had spent a year on the swim team in high school, but even though I'd enjoyed it I wasn't that good and had given it up. Finally I picked swimming back up to get some spinal decompression and get some low impact exercise. About a year ago discovered TI and started to really learn how to swim. There's almost nothing more I'd rather do with my time. 1.5-2 hours in the pool seems to short. I'd love to say the year has passed without back pain; not entirely, but at least the episodes I have had were less severe and of shorter duration. I'm pretty sure that will continue to get better. Now I only loose sleep because I can't lay in bed when I know the pool is open and I could be in it (or when my kids have a bad dream).
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Old 07-16-2009
freshegg freshegg is offline
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Yes, I agree with you all, swimming is the ultimate non-drug therapy (although perhaps the endorphins that swimming releases in themselves constitute drug therapy?).

I have had chronic neck and left shoulder pain since I was a teenager because of compressed discs in my upper spine, and a tendency for my upper ribs to become misaligned. There were times back then when I literally could not breathe because I was in so much pain. But I refuse to take pharmaceuticals of any kind - I won't even take acetaminophen. A physical therapist whom I saw when I was in my 20's (I'm now 51) showed me how to use appropriate exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the damaged areas. Then I took up swimming when I turned 30 as a way to complement the exercises that my physical therapist had shown me. I have not had any truly debilitating pain ever since. I still have low-grade, nagging aches in my problem areas, but those will always be there, and I can live with them.

I was mildly concerned that the repetitive motion of freestyle stroking might actually be exacerbating my shoulder pain, but my doctor told me that the benefit of the increased blood flow to the area which the exercise provides outweighs any possible detriment caused by the repetitive motion. And of course, with Total Immersion (if done properly), there is so little stress on the shoulders as to be inconsequential.

I am convinced that swimming is mostly responsible for keeping my pain under control for all these years. On a daily basis, I always feel better after my swim.
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2009
ayesr ayesr is offline
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Default Now or Later...Shu

Considering it's been several years now, and the situation seems stable, unless something drastic happens (God forbid), I don't think one is in the horizon...a back operation I mean.

But one key benefit to all these is of course, the drug-free sleep. But as Freshegg said, the endorphins maybe providing the drugs that we need.

So onward you TI druggies...Have a nice lap!

End.
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2009
ayesr ayesr is offline
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Default Chicken Soup for Fresshegg

Chicken soup, this old remedy - as per a homeopathic practitioner - is really good for joints & osteo problems.

Also soup stock from beef bones, marrow seems to work for some as well.

It has been found that the bones - used in the chicken & beef soups stock - have high concentrations of chondroitin/glucosamin which seems to help problems related to the osteo/joints.

You might want to try a regular bowl every so often.

End.
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