Martial Art with Herniated Disc

Does anyone on here with back problems train in any of the martial arts? I’m getting physical therapy but I still have a limited range of motion. If I stand straight up and bend to reach my toes I with legs stiff I get down to about my knee before pain sets in. I’ve been receiving treatment since March.

I pretty know that grappling and jiu jitsu are out of the question but I was thinking more along the lines of muay thai (theres a gym where I live) or some type of kickboxing. One legged motions such as any kick do not give me problems.

Anyone have any thoughts or experiences on this matter?

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
Does anyone on here with back problems train in any of the martial arts? I’m getting physical therapy but I still have a limited range of motion. If I stand straight up and bend to reach my toes I with legs stiff I get down to about my knee before pain sets in. I’ve been receiving treatment since March.

I pretty know that grappling and jiu jitsu are out of the question but I was thinking more along the lines of muay thai (theres a gym where I live) or some type of kickboxing. One legged motions such as any kick do not give me problems.

Anyone have any thoughts or experiences on this matter? [/quote]

I am probably not a good person to talk to but I have experience with back problems and training, fell 25 ft in a warehouse in college with a refirgerator ,lost curve in lumbar spine, herniated and bulging discs in neck and back.

I had to take some time off recently, the discs in my neck had started to calcifie and when I was getting an updated catscan was told they wouldn’t clear me because of a shifted atlas. A friend reccommended this chiropractor, he doesn’t crack you he does table pressure manipulations helped alot.

Honestly I think BJJ would be good as long as remember you are injured and work on the techniques, flexibility, mobility and fluidity. It will also help develop postural muscles in different joint angles, offer greater stability to your back in the long run, I think many martial arts offer this.

I am now cleared to fight again and plan on getting ready for something in March or April. So I don’t know if I am the best person to take advice from. Depends on how you live your life and what you want to do.

[quote]apbt55 wrote:

I am probably not a good person to talk to but I have experience with back problems and training, fell 25 ft in a warehouse in college with a refirgerator ,lost curve in lumbar spine, herniated and bulging discs in neck and back.

I had to take some time off recently, the discs in my neck had started to calcifie and when I was getting an updated catscan was told they wouldn’t clear me because of a shifted atlas. A friend reccommended this chiropractor, he doesn’t crack you he does table pressure manipulations helped alot.

Honestly I think BJJ would be good as long as remember you are injured and work on the techniques, flexibility, mobility and fluidity. It will also help develop postural muscles in different joint angles, offer greater stability to your back in the long run, I think many martial arts offer this.

I am now cleared to fight again and plan on getting ready for something in March or April. So I don’t know if I am the best person to take advice from. Depends on how you live your life and what you want to do.[/quote]

Thanks for the input. I always had an interest in martial arts. I’ve always liked competing in 1-on-1 events. Whether it be basketball or a game of darts. Also, I figured it would help with my flexibility. Stretching by myself is so damn boring and alot of times I miss the stretches because of it.

My concern with BJJ is getting taken down the wrong and being put in a position which may cause a back spasm. I know my physical therapist would recommend against do martial arts but I’ve already given up backpacking and a few other activities I used to enjoy and its driving me nuts. I figured an art which is mostly striking and kicking would be a safer bet.

Best of luck in your return to fighting this Spring.

I wrestled my junior year with a ruptured disc (l-5) and it was horrible call, but my team was already really small so if I had to stop we didn’t have a chance. I iced/heated it every night before bed, was very diligent in my stretching but still it hurt like hell. I wouldn’t recommend grappling on it, but if you can do it without getting it more hurt, then why not? Best of luck to you man. Hope it heals well

Just so you know, I’m in the same boat as you. I’m going to start training in an mma school and I have no idea how my back is going to hold up. I only have 1 herniated disc and a bulging disc, but that’s more than enough to cause pretty bad pain - compared to you though, I can’t complain.

I guess we’ll both find out won’t we?

I would say the BJJ can help it is differnt from wrestling, you just need to explain to your instuctor that you want to take it slow, drill technique, positions, and transitioning. As you work on your flexibility and mobility. As you get the muscle memory and start to feel more comfortable then you can increase intensity. It is like everything you have to be in control of what you do.

Alot of the guys I know that train BJJ or MMA have some problems and injuries, you need to find a school where it isn’t a bunch fight club wanna be meat heads. Guys who are into learning and the techniques and it will help you.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do. One reason I say BJJ over pure MMA is because of the takedowns. In most BJJ shools especially a gracie school they usually start from the ground so the worry about takedowns is removed.

I would say the BJJ can help it is differnt from wrestling, you just need to explain to your instuctor that you want to take it slow, drill technique, positions, and transitioning. As you work on your flexibility and mobility. As you get the muscle memory and start to feel more comfortable then you can increase intensity. It is like everything you have to be in control of what you do.

Alot of the guys I know that train BJJ or MMA have some problems and injuries, you need to find a school where it isn’t a bunch fight club wanna be meat heads. Guys who are into learning and the techniques and it will help you.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do. One reason I say BJJ over pure MMA is because of the takedowns. In most BJJ shools especially a gracie school they usually start from the ground so the worry about takedowns is removed.

Exactly which discs are we talking about?

Cappy

[quote]Capacity wrote:
Exactly which discs are we talking about?

Cappy[/quote]

One bulging (not sure exactly which disc) and I believe the herniated L5. The bulging is lower than the herniated. Both Lower back. I think thats why bending straight forward hurts more. A half way through therapy I could almost touch my toes than it fuckin spasmed again. Which essentially brings you back to day 1.

Tried playing B-Ball a few times, was lucky to be at 50% ability because I couldn’t bend forward. So it’s kind of restrictive for the time being.

How can you expect to engage in this kind of physical activity, when bending forward hurts?
I would not do it.

rest up, heal up, and see what your doctors say.

attempting stuff like this is how injuries last.

kmc

[quote]kmcnyc wrote:
How can you expect to engage in this kind of physical activity, when bending forward hurts?
I would not do it.

rest up, heal up, and see what your doctors say.

attempting stuff like this is how injuries last.

kmc[/quote]

I’ve had this pain since January. Its driving me me nuts! Will it ever heal or is my active life going to just come to a halt at 32?

I know your right. But not being to participate in the other activities kind of fucks with me. So no backpacking, no rock climbing, no b-ball, no martial arts? Surely theres someting I can do besides chess for an outlet?

If I can be honest, I hoped somoene would say they were a muay thai champ who did it all with 2 bad discs but thats just me day dreaming again.

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
kmcnyc wrote:
How can you expect to engage in this kind of physical activity, when bending forward hurts?
I would not do it.

rest up, heal up, and see what your doctors say.

attempting stuff like this is how injuries last.

kmc

I’ve had this pain since January. Its driving me me nuts! Will it ever heal or is my active life going to just come to a halt at 32?

I know your right. But not being to participate in the other activities kind of fucks with me. So no backpacking, no rock climbing, no b-ball, no martial arts? Surely theres someting I can do besides chess for an outlet?

If I can be honest, I hoped somoene would say they were a muay thai champ who did it all with 2 bad discs but thats just me day dreaming again. [/quote]

Not a champ but I do fight professionally both Muay thai and mma, Nate Quarry had major back surgery and has returned to fighting,

Like I said before look to yourself, When I first hurt my back and neck the sports med guy I saw said I should never run again. I looked at him and said that I don’t care about, can I get back to deadlift over 500, squatting over 500. Boxing, rolling sparring.

The thing that helped me at that point more than anything was a book suggested by one of my BJJ buds, it is called Light on Yoga. 'Used it for about 2 months to get back to a point where I wasn’t in pain then started hitting the weight room and mat.

People will tell you many things, you have to decide for yourself, a herniated disc is not going to heal with rest. it is not a strain, do things to help with the inflammation, Flameout is a good supplement.

Again I am by no means anyone special. but I have similar problems, I had to take the past year off from serious training for consecutive injuries and it was killing me but I am back training again.

I had the problems from my back and neck from when I fell like 6-7yrs ago. The chiropractor I was seeing actually did more damage and was probably the cause of the calicification of the dics in my neck. But i woked through all of that to fight for 3 yrs, I had a bicep cut from bone by an elbow alittle over a year ago, had it reattached the following thursday and was back in the gym training (protecting that arm of course the next week) that fully healed within 2 months and in an updated catscan they found my atleas was shifted and would not clear me for the YAMMA Pitfighting event in NJ, I was supposed fight in the undercard tourney. I went to a different chiro to have that aligned and he helped alot, the disc problems still there, while down for that I decided to get a problem knee scoped kill 2 birds at once. during the scope there wwas some extra work done. MCL replaced (I know not common but the doctor felt with my activities it would be best to replace it since it was fully torn), LCL and PCL repaired both meniscus removed and a quarter size hole in the bone had formed where part of the mensucs tore needed to be drilled with micro holes to draw blood to the area. which added alittle time to the recovery, was cleared Nov 17th to start training at max and for my meds in NJ.

So it is all up to you what do you value, what do you want from your life. Don’t make the decisions others want, make the wants you want.

sit down, set a goal and the best way to get there, let your body tell you what is too much and what is good pain. You know better than anyone else.

Enjoy your life, in whatever way you decide.

[quote]apbt55 wrote:

Not a champ but I do fight professionally both Muay thai and mma, Nate Quarry had major back surgery and has returned to fighting,

Like I said before look to yourself, When I first hurt my back and neck the sports med guy I saw said I should never run again. I looked at him and said that I don’t care about, can I get back to deadlift over 500, squatting over 500. Boxing, rolling sparring.

The thing that helped me at that point more than anything was a book suggested by one of my BJJ buds, it is called Light on Yoga. 'Used it for about 2 months to get back to a point where I wasn’t in pain then started hitting the weight room and mat.

People will tell you many things, you have to decide for yourself, a herniated disc is not going to heal with rest. it is not a strain, do things to help with the inflammation, Flameout is a good supplement.

Again I am by no means anyone special. but I have similar problems, I had to take the past year off from serious training for consecutive injuries and it was killing me but I am back training again.

I had the problems from my back and neck from when I fell like 6-7yrs ago. The chiropractor I was seeing actually did more damage and was probably the cause of the calicification of the dics in my neck. But i woked through all of that to fight for 3 yrs, I had a bicep cut from bone by an elbow alittle over a year ago, had it reattached the following thursday and was back in the gym training (protecting that arm of course the next week) that fully healed within 2 months and in an updated catscan they found my atleas was shifted and would not clear me for the YAMMA Pitfighting event in NJ, I was supposed fight in the undercard tourney. I went to a different chiro to have that aligned and he helped alot, the disc problems still there, while down for that I decided to get a problem knee scoped kill 2 birds at once. during the scope there wwas some extra work done. MCL replaced (I know not common but the doctor felt with my activities it would be best to replace it since it was fully torn), LCL and PCL repaired both meniscus removed and a quarter size hole in the bone had formed where part of the mensucs tore needed to be drilled with micro holes to draw blood to the area. which added alittle time to the recovery, was cleared Nov 17th to start training at max and for my meds in NJ.

So it is all up to you what do you value, what do you want from your life. Don’t make the decisions others want, make the wants you want.

sit down, set a goal and the best way to get there, let your body tell you what is too much and what is good pain. You know better than anyone else.

Enjoy your life, in whatever way you decide.
[/quote]

Thanks for the response. I helps to hear from other people that got past similar injuries and you’ve definitely had to overcome more than what I’m dealing with. I respect that. I’m going to check that book out as well.

I’m going to give it a couple months and continue lifting. If it doesn’t feel any better I might just go for the classes and see what happens.

try epideral steroid injections they did wonders for me! im fine nd can do all the thigns i love to do now

[quote]swurvenm wrote:
try epideral steroid injections they did wonders for me! im fine nd can do all the thigns i love to do now[/quote]

What exactly do they consist of, and what exactly do they do? What symptoms did you have before you tried them? Where exactly is your back injury and what type is it?

I’ve made a commitment to go to my chiro 2-3x a week for the next few weeks to help prepare me for starting to lift again and to start doing MMA or just bjj for now.

The reason I’m asking for specifics is that if I still have a lot of pain, I’ll try anything to solve it.

[quote]swurvenm wrote:
try epideral steroid injections they did wonders for me! im fine nd can do all the thigns i love to do now[/quote]

What exactly do they consist of, and what exactly do they do? What symptoms did you have before you tried them? Where exactly is your back injury and what type is it?

I’ve made a commitment to go to my chiro 2-3x a week for the next few weeks to help prepare me for starting to lift again and to start doing MMA or just bjj for now.

The reason I’m asking for specifics is that if I still have a lot of pain, I’ll try anything to solve it.

its a steroid injection into your spine… its an alternative to bak surgery. It strengthens the spinal cord and some small muscles around the herniated disc and helps to prevent sciatica (sp??? effect of herniated disc pinching nerve/spinal cord… symptoms: loss of strength in legs, pain shooting down legs, pain in back, pain to one side specifically…)
I had herniated L5/S1 and had severe sciatica (sp)

Chances are if you have herniation at age 32, there are some underlying muscular imbalances as well. Look into self- myofascial release. I only have a bulging disk (L5-S1), chiropractic didn’t do shit for me, PT didn’t do shit (I’ve been doing MA since I was 5 - no postural muscles weakness to correct), Acupuncture helped at first but no lasting relief. Deep muscle massag just hurt - the only thing that worked was A.R.T type stuff - you should atleast look into it.

[quote]3rdegreebyrne wrote:
Chances are if you have herniation at age 32, there are some underlying muscular imbalances as well. Look into self- myofascial release. I only have a bulging disk (L5-S1), chiropractic didn’t do shit for me, PT didn’t do shit (I’ve been doing MA since I was 5 - no postural muscles weakness to correct), Acupuncture helped at first but no lasting relief. Deep muscle massag just hurt - the only thing that worked was A.R.T type stuff - you should atleast look into it. [/quote]

Well I just re injured it by doing…Well, I have no idea what re injured it. It was sore during the week and I woke up Friday with a spasm. It could’ve been either the leg preses or light deadlifts I did on Sunday. But would it take a whole 5 days to spasm?

It’s a chore just putting my socks on right now. So no chance of martial arts anytime soon. Chiropractic isn’t helping, PT isn’t helping. So what is A.R.T. ?

[quote]Sonny S wrote:
swurvenm wrote:
try epideral steroid injections they did wonders for me! im fine nd can do all the thigns i love to do now

What exactly do they consist of, and what exactly do they do? What symptoms did you have before you tried them? Where exactly is your back injury and what type is it?

I’ve made a commitment to go to my chiro 2-3x a week for the next few weeks to help prepare me for starting to lift again and to start doing MMA or just bjj for now.

The reason I’m asking for specifics is that if I still have a lot of pain, I’ll try anything to solve it.

its a steroid injection into your spine… its an alternative to bak surgery. It strengthens the spinal cord and some small muscles around the herniated disc and helps to prevent sciatica (sp??? effect of herniated disc pinching nerve/spinal cord… symptoms: loss of strength in legs, pain shooting down legs, pain in back, pain to one side specifically…)
I had herniated L5/S1 and had severe sciatica (sp)

[/quote]

Ok not trying to mean, just clearing something up, an epidural is a corticosteroid injection, it is injected into epidural space (epidural space isthe space in the canal between the vertebrae and the dura mater three layers of the protective sheath of the spinal cord collectively called the dura). This is a corticosteroid in most cases a steroidal anti inflammatory medicine. It strengthens nothing in fact corticosteroids tend to cause a break down of soft tissue.

The objective of this kind of injection is to target the nerve rootes and dura near the herniation, bulge or impingement. To bring down inflammation and hopefully relieve and irritation or neural deficit caused by such physiological impairment.

Hope that helps a little bit. Had it done did, didn’t help as much as stretching and exercise. Also if you are going to have it doen make sure it is done fluoroscopically, that way they can really see where they are putting the medicine and you can too.