TalkShowOnMute — 20 May 2010
May 20, 2010

I haven’t posted in a while.  I realize that this statement is ultimately very obvious, but at the same time, indicative of my current state of being.  I have stalled. I have ranted about training, and how nothing will stop me.  Well, not unless something breaks or is seriously injured.

So flash back a almost two months ago,  I am in side control of  a seriously heavy brown belt.  He switches to the most awesome knee-on-belly, it was truly a sight to behold.  I admired it woefully through the searing pain in my ribs.  However,  I have never been intelligent enough to know when to quit. Don’t get me wrong, if someone has a tight submission I will tap like no other.  I can no longer allow senseless injuries, but I cannot seem to bring myself to tap to positional stress.

Knee-on-belly is one of those insane control positions that can exert a severe amount of stress onto your sternum, ribs, or wherever your opponent decides to place the knee-of-death.

So there I am, gasping for breath, I can feel my ribcage bending around me, almost like I am slowly melting into the mat.  Then time is called.  Thank god that is over.  I continue to roll with no issues, until the next day.  I am getting out of bed and I am almost floored by the amount of pain surging through my ribs all the way around back to where they connect to my spine.  I can barely breathe in a full breath without crying out in pain.

Flash forward two months, my ribs are still a little tender.  I have not set foot in the school since then, because I cannot bare to watch people train if I cannot participate.   So itching to get back, I schedule a doctor’s appointment, then another, then some X-rays, and then an MRI.  And now I am being passed off to an Orthopedic Surgeon.  However, I have yet to schedule the appointment.

The bad news.  I have Bilateral Spondolysis in my L5 vertebrae.  It is basically a degenerative condition causing my spine to be unstable where it connects to the tailbone.

Looks something like this.

It is that nice looking drawing on the left there.  Good news is that it can turn into that little fellow on the right side there.  It is possible that your spine will slowly continue to slip forward until you are crippled. :)

The actual good news, I have more tests and a surgeon to see.  But from what I have been reading, it is likely I could resume training.  However, I would have to alter the way I train in some ways, I will obviously have to know when to stop, take less risks know what range of motion is best for me.  This unstable area of the spine can be stabilized by building a strong core.  Unfortunately, it also comes with chronically shortened hamstrings that need constant stretching, and a tight lower back.  I’ve always wondered why it has been so hard to bend down when I get up in the morning.

I have likely had this for years, and only now have I found out about it, and it wasn’t even what was being looked for.  I guess on one hand I am thankful it was found, at the same time, I have been fearing that I would never train again.  Although this is a possibility, and many people with Spondylolysis can never resume their sports.  I have faith that I will be able to train, only in a smarter fashion.

I was told many athletes have this condition and never know it.  So if you experience lower back pain, have tight hamstrings, or get occasional sciatic pain/tingle down your leg.  You should go and atleast have an X-ray done.  You never know what you will find out about yourself if you never look.

As it appears now, I will be resting my back for another month or maybe two, just to be really sure.  First step, I am going to visit this Orthopedic Surgeon to get a yay or nay on the training, and maybe while I am out, see if he can fix my shoulder or knees. :)

A big thanks to everyone who has  been kind enough to actually read my pointless blogs,  I love hearing from you and all of your experiences.

Happy Training and stay safe.

~Kyle

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