Spinal Decompression/Injured Disc in Neck
Hi Im a 19 year old heavyweight boxer and i need a big strong neck to help absorb better punches. Now I currently have a 16-16 1/2 inch neck and my goal is a 19 inch neck. Ive been doing neck bridges for about a month and just recently i hurt my neck because of lack of warm-up and my head kept slipping when i was doing it. Now im sure i injured a disc in my neck and im afraid to bridge now. Its not extreme or anything. Just when i put any strain or put my neck at certain angles i feel a sharp pinch around that disc.
So my question to you is how should i go about training my neck to reach my goal and when should i start to bridge again without making my injury worse?
As I'm sure you've realized too late proper warm-up and proper form means everything to an athlete at any level of training. Any minutes saved today costs weeks in rehabilitation and sets your training goals back. A healthy disc can often heal without intervention whereas a degenerated disc seldom will. It is doubtful that a 19 year old with a clear history of trauma has a degenerated disc so at this time I would recommend no neck bridges for two weeks and heat to the neck for 15 minutes, three times a day. During this two weeks any "certain angles" that result in the pinch pain from your other training exercises are to be avoided# Following the 2 week healing period gradually re-introduce the neck bridges and other exercises that resulted in the pinch# The idea would be to stop before the pinch occurs which allows the muscles to strengthen without aggravating the injury# So if the pinch were to occur on repetition 7 you would stop at 6# Of course this is impossible to know in advance so the way to do it is to do 5 reps for a few days without incident, then 6, then 7, etc# all the while the muscles and supporting ligamentous structures are getting stronger and the disc has more and more time to heal#
I am not an advocate of the "no pain / no gain" school of training# The pain is there because of tissue damage, you'll know when it is healed and strong enough to do what you ask of it because it doesn't hurt#
If this incident is not all but forgotten in 30 days by all means be examined by a chiropractor or physical therapist who can advise you from there#
Dr. Michael L. Hall, D.C.
practices at Triangle Disc Care in Raleigh, North Carolina specializing in Spinal Decompression for the treatment of acute and chronic neck pain and back pain due to herniated, degenerated discs. This is a conservative procedure for patients suffering with bulging or herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, posterior facet syndrome, sciatica, failed back surgery syndrome, and non-specified mechanical low back or neck pain.
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