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moosicman
10-17-2007, 20:53
hi there

i am a new comer to diving and plan to get my cert. in late oct/early nov. but i have a hesitation... i have a bit (not overwhelming) of deginerative disk deterioration in my lower back. i also have a bit of a neck problem from time to time....
neither of these give me problems but about once or twice a year & can occur picking up concrete blocks or picking up a pencil. its not instantly debilitating (i could still swim upon initial irritation) but i'm wondering if should consider NOT getting certed....i'm pretty sure i want to because i don't want this small issue to dictate my lifestyle...if it were something much more serious then ok...but not this...or should i think again....any thoughts????

DivingsInMyBlood
10-17-2007, 20:55
You could always have a chat with DAN (divers alert network) or your doctor about this, im no expert on any of this.

moosicman
10-17-2007, 21:06
how or where do i access this DAN??? and thanks for your reply !!!!!:smiley32:

Kokomo
10-17-2007, 21:08
I have low back issues that sound very similar to yours. I've been diving over a year and have not had any problems whatsoever.

DivingsInMyBlood
10-17-2007, 21:21
http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/

Give this a shot and read through the medical questions on there in the menu. :smiley20:

CaptainRon
10-17-2007, 22:00
I just had back surgery in July of this year for a herniated disk. I would not worry about diving. Just be careful carrying equipment while on the surface. Once you're in the water, the stresses on your back are greatly decreased. If your problems are like mine were, when an episode came on, I would have plenty of time to conclude the dive. For me it was not until after I had sat down that the debilitating pain would start. As long as I was actively moving, I was OK. The only problem would be the inability to continue with a dive vacation once an episode started. That would be a bummer if you were somewhere like the Caribbean. As a matter of fact, that is one of the reasons I went ahead with the surgery. Didn't want anything to spoil a dive trip. By the way, I wish I had not waited so long to get the surgery done. Had it done on a Tuesday and by Sunday I was sitting on the beach recovering, although I was still a little sore for a few weeks after.

I say go for it!

WaScubaDude
10-17-2007, 22:22
hi there

i am a new comer to diving and plan to get my cert. in late oct/early nov. but i have a hesitation... i have a bit (not overwhelming) of deginerative disk deterioration in my lower back. i also have a bit of a neck problem from time to time....
neither of these give me problems but about once or twice a year & can occur picking up concrete blocks or picking up a pencil. its not instantly debilitating (i could still swim upon initial irritation) but i'm wondering if should consider NOT getting certed....i'm pretty sure i want to because i don't want this small issue to dictate my lifestyle...if it were something much more serious then ok...but not this...or should i think again....any thoughts????

I deal with similar issues. Herniated disk at c-5 ( neck) as well as lower back pain. I got good drugs from my doc that I take from time to time when it flares up. On shore dives I keep the weights seperate from the rig and carry each right to the shore. I also inflate the bc and float it in the water and slide into it as needed. It's funny because I am strong as an ox, but sometimes my back or neck bother me. Like me, don't be afraid to ask your db for help. Think smart and dive on!

JCAT
10-18-2007, 06:02
2 herniated disks operated on, 1 broken leg and ripped tendons operated on, small neck fracture not operated on, internal bleeding from old injuries, numerous other stays in the hospital....(good thing I'm married to an RN)

Heck, the only time I feel good is WHEN I am diving!!

Find a doctor who dives to check you out and get in the water.

TxScubaBear
10-18-2007, 08:27
2 herniated disks operated on, 1 broken leg and ripped tendons operated on, small neck fracture not operated on, internal bleeding from old injuries, numerous other stays in the hospital....(good thing I'm married to an RN)

Heck, the only time I feel good is WHEN I am diving!!

Find a doctor who dives to check you out and get in the water.

OUCH :smiley29:
Thought I was bad with (total of) 5 knee surgeries, back fusion, left rotator cuff....and YES- when diving it's awesome! Seems actually kind of healing in a way

Doghouse
10-18-2007, 09:44
One option if you beach dive is to get one of those lawn wagons they have at lowes and Home Depot. Nice wide wheels to get down the beach. I load my gear and tank into that, then pull it to the shore. assemble your stuff at the edge, and float it out of the wagon. Makes life much easier!

CompuDude
10-18-2007, 12:11
I wish there was an easy answer but there's not. Be sure to find a local doctor who signs off on you pursuing diving... preferably one who dives and is therefore familiar with the issues divers face. Depending on how bad your back is (or gets), you may need assistance getting your gear to the water, but once you're there you should be fine... weightless is good. :-) Just doff/don your gear in the water when possible, and/or minimize the amount of time you are wearing it. Boat diving may be better for you than shore diving unless you can get help getting to the water's edge.

My wife has had several surgeries on her back, and extensive physical therapy. We hope she'll be able to dive someday, but there are no guarantees at this point.

hychang
10-18-2007, 12:32
I'll have to remember that one. My wife's aunt uses those to go claming on the Eastern Shore of Va. Sure made life easy. It's another one of those: "Now why didn't I think of that?" Thanks for the great idea.

meesier42
10-18-2007, 20:48
really sounds like an issue that you NEED to talk with YOUR doctor about, prefereably one that knows your specific back/neck issues.

mm2002
10-20-2007, 10:14
I had back surgery about 20 years ago, and have learned to live with chronic back pain ever since. Mine also feels a lot better when diving, but lugging around the gear is the part I have to be careful with.

dludwig
10-20-2007, 19:38
I obviously have a strong back (and weak mind) but I can feel it in my lower back after a weekend of diving. I have often wondered if it has anything to do w/ dolphin kick ? :smiley29:

ScubaCat
10-20-2007, 22:26
Sounds like lots of us have issues w/the back. Myself. 2 herniated disc's at C5-C7. 4 screws & 1 plate. Of course the disc fusion, would have preferred to have the ADR, but that's still not available in the US for necks. Anyway, back to the point. I'm still diving like a mad woman, have just modified the way I dive. I follow doc's order's by not lifting anything over 25 pds. That means someone has to carry my tank (usually hubby, but if he's not around other's have done it for me). Shore diving, I do like someone else mentioned earlier. Pump up the BC, drag it out into the water & get dressed there. On the boat, no more giant leaps. I sit on the edge of the boat, DM brings me my gear, I gear up & do a front roll off of the boat. Btw, I do hate the fact that I have to have so much help so I'm buying a new mask that should help me have a broader downward view. Hopefully, this will solve the struggle of getting dressed in the water & can just have the DM's throw the gear in there. There's always a way of getting around those nasty issues of getting old when it's time to dive!

DZorn00
10-24-2007, 13:11
Only small back issues but lots of Knee issues. Carriying the gear is a pain. I us a rolling back pack to get it to the boat and then have my db load it in the boat. From there it goes in the water after me. Always consult a doctor though.

JCAT
10-24-2007, 17:01
Only small back issues but lots of Knee issues. Carriying the gear is a pain. I us a rolling back pack to get it to the boat and then have my db load it in the boat. From there it goes in the water after me. Always consult a doctor though.

Ugh!, the doc's wanted to scope one of mine once, but I told them to bugger off. It swells every now and then. The rolling backpack is a good idea. I might need to look into that. Thanks.

Disneymom
10-24-2007, 17:46
Count me in as a back problem diver! Ahhh.... getting old sucks. I have chronic mild pain due to a ruptured L4 or L5 (I can't remember). Every now and then I wake up and can't move, usually from sleeping wrong. I've found that exercise helps my daily soreness, and I've not had a problem diving yet, including shore diving. I'm just cautious when I load up my gear. My neurosurgeon signed off on my paperwork stating I was able to dive. So far, so good! Good luck!

Silverlode
11-19-2007, 05:43
And I was worried about diving with a bad back and bad knees! My problems do not seem as severe as some listed here.

headonkey
11-19-2007, 06:13
I have some input for you guys as a fitness professional. 5-7x a week do core strengthening exercises and stretch (especially the hamstrings). As we get older these two areas seem to really become deficient and unless we work to combat these problems.... I think you get my drift.

As far as those of you who have degenerative discs, I'm definitely no expert in those categories. My best advice would be to have a sports physical-type assessment and see where you need to go from there.

ian
11-19-2007, 09:22
Three years ago, while stood on the side of the road at a Bench Mark (I'm a Land Surveyor), I got hit by a semi making a left turn. I have a crushed L1. I live with a certain amount of pain that no amount of exercise or stretching will alleviate.

Diving is one of the few times I am pain free. For me, returning to the surface and gravity literally hurts sometimes!

Check with your doctor. Do what's necessary to get in the water and go!

Ian

moosicman
11-19-2007, 11:21
i am happy to report that so far during certification i have had absolutely NO problems whatsoever. at the time i posed this original question i'd never put on scuba gear, but now i've found out it isn't bad at all and i don't anticipate ANY problems at all. i'm very happy i didn't decide NOT to scuba dive.

quasimoto
11-19-2007, 20:20
Glad to hear that you had no problems. Also your question brought up a lot of information that might help others.
I have a dive buddy that has a back problem and as most have said...diving is about the only thing that doesn't hurt.

scubajane
11-29-2007, 17:09
strengthening abdominal muscles is very good for a failing back If you have a gut, get rid of it, go easy and dive safely. glad to hear you had no issues with diving. the 3rd or 4th day of a live-aboard may cause some discomfort

nrobinson
11-30-2007, 16:44
Okay so alot of you out there might think im crazy and that yoga is for sissy's, but when it comes to lower back issues its the best thing in the world. There is a position called the child's pose that is very simple, but very effective. Below are the directions as to how to perform the pose correctly.

THE POSE-
Sit on your knees with the top of your feet flat against the ground, your butt should be resting on your heels. With your knees being approximately 6 inches apart lean foreward until your forehead is as close to the ground as possible it is very common for your butt to raise off of your heels (that is perfectly normal). Place your arms to your side with the palms facing the sky.

IMPORTANT-
Try to keep your shoulders opened up. if you allow your shoulders to hunch you will decrease oxygen intake which will greatly hamper the stretching.

INCREASING THE FLEXIBILITY-
Unlike most stretching you probably won't feel the stretch at all, but this doesn't mean its not working. With time you will be able to keep your butt intact with your heels while your forehead is flat against the ground. Do everything you can to relax while doing this stretch if you stay tense it does you no good.

COMPLICATIONS-
If it hurts to do this stretch at first, take a towel and roll it up then place it between your quadriceps and stomach. This will alleviate any discomfort you may be experiencing in your back.

FOOT PAIN-
Many people ask me why it hurts the tops of their feet and lower shins to do this stretch. There are two things that can cause this. First if you never stretch your shins this position will stretch them hence causing discomfort (after the first couple of times this will go away as the muscles in the front of your lower leg stretch very easily). The second reason people suffer foot pain is because they try to hard to keep their butt against there heels causing unneeded pressure. Keep your weight towards the front of your body and over time your butt will drop naturally.

So I know this may sound long and drawn out but it really isn't and I promise if you give it a shot you will be rewarded. If something doesn't make since just let me know and I will see if i can get some pictures. I do this stretch 3-5 times a week and stay in the postion 2-5 minutes then rest a couple of minutes and do it again. I hope this will help.