Spinal Stenosis

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Dharmaboy, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    So been dealing with bad back pain and spasms for the past 6-7 months. Decided to go see a Therapists once the crunches, stretching and deep tissue massage did nothing. The therapist determined spinal stenosis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinal_stenosis

    Seems my arch on serve and too much knee bend (some local coach observed) has been causing the excessive twisting in my back where one of my vertebrae is touching a nerve causing the discomfort.

    Its to the point where after an hour, I can barely walk and have to crawl out of my car after I am done.

    So lots of physio and core strengthening. I figured my core was ok as I play goalie in ice hockey 2 time a week and play tennis quite a bit in the summer.

    I will put a vid of my serve for you guys to view soon.

    Thanks
     
    #1
  2. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    This thread unfortunately is indicative of how people try to treat medical problems with generic therapy approaches, even if they're more likely to do harm than good. Spinal stenosis is a very serious condition that puts people in wheelchairs if it progresses too far. It has nothing to do with your "core" and is not affected by deep tissue or any other massage. I hope you feel better but the things you're doing are apt to make the problem worse. There are different types of stenosis, and some are not apt to be treatable. My former mother in law is a very wealthy woman who lives half an hour from NYC (i.e. there is no medical treatment that is beyond her means) and she has to walk with a walker because of stenosis that could not be treated. You need to lay off sports. This isn't likely going to disappear.
     
    #2
  3. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    "I can barely walk and have to crawl out of my car after I'm done".......WHY do people not listen to what their bodies are telling them??
     
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  4. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    Well it started getting bad just recently to the point where I was in alot of pain. so I am getting the MRI and Xray to determine what could be going on.

    See how it goes.
     
    #4
  5. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    it only hurts when I play tennis. I have no issues playing hockey.
     
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  6. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Doesn't sound too bad to me Dharmaboy. I'd keep playing....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3lshY4PwI4&feature=fvwrel
     
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  7. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    Let's see what the doc says. I have kept activities down to a null recently.

    So basically is this all sarcasm from the posters or what? I am confused cuz people are pretty obtuse on this forum.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
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  8. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Ollinger is serious and knows what he's talking about.

    I'm just messing around.
     
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  9. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    You're doing the right thing resting from tennis until after the MRI and X-ray.

    Hopefully this will be a problem best treated with some physical therapy and you will be back to tennis before too long. (I would think that the fact you can play hockey without discomfort is a good sign.)

    It sounds like groundstrokes were not a problem - just your serve.

    It may be that even when you do come back, hitting sessions without serving may be the way to get back to the sport.

    Time will tell whether you can do a classic service motion, or whether you will have to make some concessions in your back bending.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    So Played for a light hit and a set with a friend yesterday. I was very mindful of my serve and how much arch I had in my back. I was able to walk off the court like never before and wasnt in much pain. Just a little sore.

    So looks so far that my inefficient back arching during serve is causing the creak in my back. I will try to put up a vid sometime to see what I mean.

    I am seeing a sports doc in October who will assess my situation better.
     
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  11. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    #11
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Why are you relying on a therapist's opinion? Shouldn't you go a doctor first and then get referred to a neurosurgeon or someone like that?
     
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  13. North

    North Professional

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    The MRI is what will actually confirm a diagnosis of spinal stenosis. An exam alone may be suggestive but some of the findings in spinal stenosis also occur due to other causes of back pain.

    Hopefully, you do NOT have spinal stenosis because it is not always amenable to treatment and can be progressively debilitating. If there is a genuine concern you have spinal stenosis, stop playing sports until you confirm otherwise and let your return to activity be guided by a knowledgeable sports doc.
     
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  14. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    Yes I am seeing a sports Doc in October. They have a huge waiting list because I am in the epicenter of a hockey town.
     
    #14
  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Here is some info on the underlying causes of spinal stenosis and treatment options:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001477/

    A sports orthopedist is a good place to start. Depending on the underlying cause of the stenosis, there are specific exercise therapies that may be the best course of action for now. I don't know about now, but, the University of Miami School of Medicine had a department called the Comprehinsive Pain Center, run by a renowned neurosurgeon (now deceased), which specialized in non-surgical back pain rehabilitation. However, a neurosurgeon is probably the appropriate specialist if you ultimately need surgery.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
    #15
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Why do you have to wait for a "sports doctor?" Any general physician should do for a start, and then a specialist if necessary.
     
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  17. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    No!

    10no's
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    So general physicians are regarded as useless now? No wonder health care costs are out of control.
     
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  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Another strawman. What a bunch of pea brains on this board.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
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  20. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Lot's of wonky body clock engines.
     
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  21. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Hey, wouldn't Federer's body clock be Swiss made? Hmmm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
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  22. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    You pea brain simpleton.

    His mother is South African :)
     
    #22
  23. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    But, he was born in Swizerland where his body clock was installed. Anyway, even a hybrid Rolex body clock is better than a Timex.
     
    #23
  24. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    Actually same a GP who set up the MRI and she also setup the meeting with sports Doc. Again I have a bit if a waiting game.
     
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  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah go the GP first
     
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  26. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    Yup already did. She got me MRI and sport Dr. Appmt.
     
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  27. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah don't listen to Limp
     
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  28. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    Not sure about Canada but in the US, unless you have a specific type of plan, you generally can't just make an appointment with a specialist without a referral from your GP/PCP.
     
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  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Depends on the plan. I have had both kinds of plans.
     
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  30. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    It's good to have a plan
     
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  31. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    It wasn't until your post yesterday that I realized you had not had an MRI yet.

    So the diagnosis of spinal stenosis is still in doubt.

    It sounds like you are are on the right track with your specialist visit.

    Hopefully the problem will turn out to be a "non-specific" back pain issue, that will respond to physical therapy and exercising (and even most cases of spinal stenosis do as well ).

    "In 95% of the cases of low back pain no specific physical abnormalities are found by additional diagnostic investigations that may explain the low back pain; this is why it is called “non-specific”. This includes muscle strains and back sprains. Specific low back pain is low back pain caused by structural abnormalities such as a herniated disc, a fracture, [spinal stenosis] or a tumour." - http://www.itftennis.com/scienceandmedicine/injury-clinic/tennis-injuries/lower-back.aspx

    Clicking on the URL above leads you to the ITF tennis site on low back pain. It sounds like you may already be in physical therapy, but reading the page may give you some more ideas in your rehab, and strategy for your subsequent return to tennis.



    Right now it is getting way ahead of things, but after seeing your tennis serve videos it seems like you overall have good technique. But you have a powerful frame - you will never look like Murray. But is there a chance of losing a few pounds to take some strain off your back?

    Also, with your powerful frame and hard serving, I think you really would benefit from really strengthening your back muscles - ONLY IF AND WHEN YOU GET MEDICAL APPROVAL.
    That is beyond the physical therapy that will get you back to doing activities of daily living, and even in good enough shape to start hitting, you likely will need REALLY strong back muscles to prevent you from having a recurrence once you start serving.
    That means doing squats and deadlifts. No, it does not mean you have to be lifting twice your body weight or more - but a long, slow program to even get you up to lifting "just" your body weight may give you the back muscle strength you will need to continue bashing serves.
    And after a period of strengthening, a power program of throwing a medicine ball may be a better preparation for the rotational forces involved in serving, rather than relying on just serving alone as your plyometric exercise:
    Great Tennis Specific Medicine Ball Exercises http://superfittennis.com/great-tennis-specific-medicine-ball-exercises/

    Best wishes that all goes well!
     
    #31
  32. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    After 15 years of back pain due to L4/5 extrusion x 2 (confirmed by MRI/neurology), eliminating sit ups in exhange for a nice program of planks has (knock on wood) done wonders for me. I also traded heavy weights for bodyweight exercises and really focused on ergonomics, particularly at work (proper chair positioning, sitting, getting up frequently). No 'flares' for 2 years (again, knock on wood!!). My game was predicated on big kick serves and I've modified my motion to limit back arching. Good luck!
     
    #32
  33. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    My wife has longstanding lower back problems and dragged me a few years ago to a weekend course at the Omega Center in Rhinebeck, NY ("are you enjoying your lunch?"...."yes, this mashed burdock root is quite unusual.") The course was an application of the Alexander Technique for tennis players. Alexander is well known for his techniques of how people with back problems should move, walk, sit down, etc. She found it quite helpful.
     
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  34. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    Familiar with this method and I also believe the Mckenzie exercises I used (naughty me, not so strict lately) were very beneficial.
     
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  35. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    Thanks again for the good advice. I went complete vegetarian and trying to lose some pounds. Thing is I was using sports to keep the weight off and not working out and being hampered with the injury kinda didnt help.

    but gotta stay focused and get this fixed.

    Thanks
     
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  36. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ McKenzie method helped me with a herniated disk 15 years ago, mostly involves an exaggerated "cobra position" from yoga, done repeatedly. I still do it before and after exercising.
     
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  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Bhujangasana
     
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  38. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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  39. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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  40. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    Technique looks OK to me, too (too bad, it'd be easier to fix if the technique could be blamed). I also agree wrt losing weight -- it's very important if you're going to bend your knees and arch your back.

    However, strong abdominals are probably more important than strong back muscles. And I second the other poster who recommended planks rather than exercises involving bending -- that's what has helped me.

    In the video, your back seems to me to be flatter than average; that may be a factor. (I have the opposite problem; my back's S-curve is a bit exaggerated.)

    On the other hand, I have found NOTHING that will let me hit a two-handed backhand. For me, that's a sure recipe for back trouble. Let's hope you don't have that problem with the serve. If you do, you might want to swallow your pride and develop a more old-fashioned slice serve that doesn't require any back arch or knee bend. It could still be a weapon, at lower levels of play, if you make up for the lack of power with consistency, placement and disguise.
     
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