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  1. #1
    Registered User kmatt42's Avatar
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    Pinched nerver and atrophy

    Looking for comments or similar story(with happy ending i hope).
    On December 22, 2003 while doing my final set of flat bench ane then there was a click in my back and my right arm went numb (I was on a BowFlex so no bar to fall on my head). Sever pain shooting down my right arm, shoulder and pec. Went to my Chiro, pinched nerve (F%#K). I have seen him 3 days a week ever since. I am 90% pain free but I still have limited coordination and strength, and worst of all yesturday I finnaly noticed atrophy in my shoulder, tri and a lot in my chest. There is acually a dent in my right pec. I have called my GP (need him for any referals) and made an appointment, for what I am not yet sure.
    It has been 5 weeks and 2 days. Should there be that much atrophy? Anyone ever have this?
    I will be seeing my Chiro tonight and talk with him, but right now I am freaking out.

    Thanks
    Ken
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  2. #2
    Utah...but I'm taller batteryrequired's Avatar
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    Dont panic until you know what all is going on. Hopefully all will be ok soon...hang in there.
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  3. #3
    Registered User kmatt42's Avatar
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    This whole thing sucks. I was in so much pain to start I lost my appitite and when I did force myself to eat I felt sick to my stomac. I lost 10lbs the first 2 weeks. I was looking to see if atrophy is normal in pinched nervers or what. 6 weeks ago i felt 38 years YOUNG, today it's 38 years OLD. I have learned so much from all you guys and gals over my time lurking it is very disapionting with a couple of month setback and tissue loss.....
    And the Red Wings are in a slump........

    Ken
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    Utah...but I'm taller batteryrequired's Avatar
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    Originally posted by kmatt42

    And the Red Wings are in a slump........
    Oh man...this is serious now....lol
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  5. #5
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    Pinched nerve

    Took me a year and a half to recover from mine. If the doc starts talking surgery...RUN! That is a last resort.

    Get an MRI ASAP and see to what extent the damage is.

    A nerve is "Pinched" when a disk bulges out and applies pressure to nerve. It nor really Pinched per say.

    Yes atrophy is common. But muscle has memory and it will rebound quickly.

    Lighter weight and more reps when you get back to the gym for a good while. Focus on forum and contracting the muscles rather than the weight. DO NOT PUSH IT!! I did and reinjured my neck.

    It will take time, how much who knows. Depending on how bad it is. But it can be over come..Trust me...I KNOW!

    Oh... And start taking Glucosamine/Chondrotian ASAP!
    Psalm 121
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  6. #6
    Registered User kmatt42's Avatar
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    Thanks fitnessman.
    Not happy to hear a year and a half but happy to hear there is hope.
    I will take it slow. This is the worst thing that I have ever had. I have broken my arm and leg and nose 4 time, many stiches (42 stiches in my cheek from a hockey incident), but I know I would get over it. This is just sooooo debilitating.
    so you recommend Glucosamine/Chondrotian, this is for joints? I do the 2 Tbs of flax every night, would that do the same? or is Glucosamine/Chondrotian to rebuild cartalage? I will research and possible start tonight.

    Thanks again for the reply, always soothing to here your not alone and there is hope.

    Ken

    ps my wife thinks I am crazy for asking, what is you thought on light weight now, as long as there is no sharp pain?
    Ken
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  7. #7
    StlBarbies b*tch fitnessman's Avatar
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    More info

    The first step is to get an MRI and see the level of the injury. I would wait with the weights at least until then. That way you can judge for yourself when to ease back into it.

    It would be best to start back after pain is 90%ish gone..Again EASE back into it. I did not and reinjured myself again.

    Again, A nerve just dont "pinch". A disk is pushing against it.

    Stay away from the meds the doc will give you. All those anti inflamatory meds are crap. Some pain meds might be in order.

    I swear by Glucosamine/chondrotian. Give it 30 days. It takes that long to build up in the system. Great for overall joint health and really inexpensive. I pay 14 bucks for a 45 day supply.

    I am back now from my injury. By the end of the year I am in hopes of being 225 @ 12% BF.
    Psalm 121
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  8. #8
    StlBarbies b*tch fitnessman's Avatar
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    Oh!

    The the reason it took me a year and a half is because of my own stupidity!

    When you think you are better...Lighten on on weights again and work on form.
    Psalm 121
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  9. #9
    Registered User Veinpopper's Avatar
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    Ken, I'm not an expert on rehab but if I were you I wouldn't go near a weight until an expert OK'd it. I would stick to moderate cardio for a while. Get the circulation going so repair could take place. Maybe even a jacuzzi if thats good for it. But I'm no doc.

    I take a powder that I found at Costco that goes into a shake or even mixed with water and some flavored protein powder. It is called Joint Free Plus by Schiff. It has Collagen, Glucoamine, Chondroitin and MSM. I also take two fish oil caps per day. When I started lifting, I had much trouble and injuries with my knees but thanks to this supplement, they are much better now with less creaks and pops.

    You could read more about this supplement here .
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  10. #10
    Registered User kmatt42's Avatar
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    Thanks guys

    I have my appointment with my primary care PH (need his referal).
    I will continue to see the chiro (he is also a power lifter - makes you think twice when he is about to crack ya...)
    I will get some Glucosamine/Chondrotian tonight.
    I have been doing the treadmill since it happened.
    I will wait until I get an OK to start LIGHT weights and go slow.
    I DO NOT WANT THIS TO REOCCUR.
    I hope to stick to this, I can hear the bench calling me from the basement.....

    I appreciate the support.
    Ken
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  11. #11
    Registered User Veinpopper's Avatar
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    Sounds good. Let us know how it goes.
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  12. #12
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    IMO, you should consider getting rid of the bowflex. I think the bench, shoulder press, puts you in an awkward position. (weight being pulled DOWN and to the BACK above the shoulder)
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  13. #13
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    Mataz

    Good point on the bow flex.
    Psalm 121
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  14. #14
    Registered User kmatt42's Avatar
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    I am torn between the 2 (bowflex vs free weights). I have tried a few times the last 10 years or so to stay consistant with a gym but family needs get in the way. I have a nice bench (with leg ext/curl, Hi/Low pully, square steal not tubeular), that is in storage. I bought the BowFlex when I was in my much smaller house - big space issue. I have always felt (until now) much safer on the bow flex. It has worked great for GVT. But now that I do have space in my newer house I have thought alot about getting back the free weights. I quess I could always use both.
    Well I do have some time to re-think my new training phase. But for the (hopefully) soon to come rehab phase I think the Bowflex might be the best and then phase back into free weights.

    Again thanks for you thoughts and concerns, I do feel much better today about getting through this.

    ps. Hey fitnessman, I thought I read somewhere you play Ice Hockey? Are you still mixing it up? Not quite the same but I play roller hockey on a 18 and over competative league, always fun to show the kids a thing or two.....
    Ken
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    Talking kmatt

    Nope, no ice hockey for me....Those guys are NUTS>>LOL!
    Psalm 121
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  16. #16
    Registered User kmatt42's Avatar
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    I am torn between the 2 (bowflex vs free weights). I have tried a few times the last 10 years or so to stay consistant with a gym but family needs get in the way. I have a nice bench (with leg ext/curl, Hi/Low pully, square steal not tubeular), that is in storage. I bought the BowFlex when I was in my much smaller house - big space issue. I have always felt (until now) much safer on the bow flex. It has worked great for GVT. But now that I do have space in my newer house I have thought alot about getting back the free weights. I quess I could always use both.
    Well I do have some time to re-think my new training phase. But for the (hopefully) soon to come rehab phase I think the Bowflex might be the best and then phase back into free weights.

    Again thanks for you thoughts and concerns, I do feel much better today about getting through this.
    Ken
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  17. #17
    Boomer Sooner goatscrot's Avatar
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    You should see a neurologist and likely get an MRI (maybe even a nerve conduction study). The typical "pinched nerve" doesn't cause significant muscle atrophy, unless you've just been in too much pain to workout. Even if that's the case, it would be extremely odd to have asymmetric atrophy unless you're just lifting the hell out of your good side and doing nothing with the other.

    Regarding the below statement:
    Stay away from the meds the doc will give you. All those anti inflamatory meds are crap. Some pain meds might be in order.
    I would respectfully disagree. I herniated a disk a few years back due to my own bad form at the time on the incline bench. I took lortab, etc. like candy and got nothing but drowsy. Good old over-the-counter ibuprofen 800 mg 3x/day got me through it. Best of luck to you.
    I'll mess with Texas.
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    Humm

    I didnt say stay away from OTC. The meds they give you by perscription are liver killers!!!
    Psalm 121
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    Not to mention

    http://www.mercola.com/2002/may/1/celebrex_vioxx.htm

    Vioxx was one they put me on as well.
    Psalm 121
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  20. #20
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    Thanks goatscrot

    I have an appointment with my primary care physician on 2/14. need his referal for a neurologist. I have been taking 400mg 3xday and it has helped. For some reason I feel better today then I have in 5 weeks.....
    I have not worked out since it happened, just tredmill 4 times a week. There is visable difference between my right and left pec and shoulder caps. THe entire right pec is smaller and it is now concave. When I flex my right pec the upper and lower pec would flex, not the middle. it is very weird. If I still feel good tomorrow I will try a very light circuit and see how it goes.
    It is a B*tch getting old.
    Ken
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    Boomer Sooner goatscrot's Avatar
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    The meds they give you by perscription are liver killers!!!
    Actually the far majority of true anti-inflammatories (prescription or otherwise) are metabolized through the kidney, not the liver.

    But anyway kmatt, glad you're feeling better. keep us updated and don't rush back into anything until you get this thing figured out.
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  22. #22
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    Just get a cage with spotter bars and a lat/row attachment.
    They take up about the same space as a Bowflex with all the attachments.

    I picked up a Natiulus cage/lat/row for 500 bucks.

    http://www.nautilusfitnessproducts.c...ges/NT1200.jpg


    http://www.nautilusfitnessproducts.c...=fwb&subcat=cg

    Also get a nice bench with thigh press and hamstring attachment - which adds to the versatility.


    Check to make sure your bowflex isn't one of the many being recalled either....
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  23. #23
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    Originally posted by goatscrot
    You should see a neurologist and likely get an MRI (maybe even a nerve conduction study). The typical "pinched nerve" doesn't cause significant muscle atrophy, unless you've just been in too much pain to workout. Even if that's the case, it would be extremely odd to have asymmetric atrophy unless you're just lifting the hell out of your good side and doing nothing with the other.

    Regarding the below statement:

    I would respectfully disagree. I herniated a disk a few years back due to my own bad form at the time on the incline bench. I took lortab, etc. like candy and got nothing but drowsy. Good old over-the-counter ibuprofen 800 mg 3x/day got me through it. Best of luck to you.
    I beg to differ... a pinched nerve can indeed cause atrophy if the nerve is pinched enough that it does not send signals to the muscle to "work". Without working the muscle turns to mush and shrinks... trust me, I know from experience.

    Another thing is that anti-inflamatory meds stop inflamation... but inflamation is your body's way of healing. I had a cortisone shot to relieve the pain in my neck from a pinched nerve and while it relieved the pain it also stopped the healing process considerably.

    I finally had neck surgery last November after suffering through several relapses of the injury... hopefully I am now on the way back and hoping that my tricep and left pec will recover from the injury and grow again... that is if the nerve will grow back... no gaurantee on that happenig but a lot better odds then before.
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  24. #24
    Boomer Sooner goatscrot's Avatar
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    a pinched nerve can indeed cause atrophy if the nerve is pinched enough that it does not send signals to the muscle to "work". Without working the muscle turns to mush and shrinks...
    Actually, I agree with you. It's just a matter of semantics. What I meant (and probably didn't clearly say) is that the "routine" pinched nerve doesn't typically cause atrophy, with typically being the key word. When significant muscle atrophy is occuring, you're almost certainly farther down the injury spectrum into a herniated disk with the possibility of permanent nerve damage.....and this shouldn't be dismissed as a minor problem.
    inflamation is your body's way of healing. I had a cortisone shot to relieve the pain in my neck from a pinched nerve and while it relieved the pain it also stopped the healing process considerably
    This is true to the extent that local administration of anti-inflammatories (specifically corticosteroid injections) can provide pain relief, but decrease healing time because they're administered directly into the affected tissue. However, routine oral anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs or COX-2 inhibitors like celebrex/bextra) don't have much effect at all to overall healing time. That's why NSAIDs continue to be first line of therapy to people with disk hernations with pain being the only associated complaint.
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    The last time I took a cycle of NSAID, I noticed allergic reactions - inflamation in gums, throat and sinus. Someone told me to stick with Naprosen.
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    Naprosyn/Naproxen is actually a medicine in the NSAID family. Without question, you can have allergic reactions to some of these, just like any other medication. Fortunately, a reaction to one doesn't necessarily mean you'll be allergic to all in the class.
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    Thats good because the ibuprofen gives me hives attacks, located in the throat. no picnic.
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    getting better.....

    OK, here is an update.
    Last wend night I bought Glucosamine/Chondrotian and started with 3/day. Made sure to take my 2TBS Flax at night. Still seeing Chiro 3xweek.
    Compaired to where I was I felt great this weekend. No sharp pain, just dull aches in my shoulder, tri, elbow and forearm and minor timgling in the fingers. I did a very light full body on Sunday ( when I hurt myself I was benching 200lb x10, sunday was 60lb 2x15) I will do this for a couple more weeks and then switch back to a 3 day split. I will not increase the weight until I feel totally comfortable with it and evolve to a GVT style for awhile. I feel like I am finnaly moving forward and will take it slow so not to fall back. I still have my Primary care Physicial on 2/14 and will see if he will refer a neurologist. Don't want to take any chance it might be worse then I think.
    Thanks to all you guys for support while I freaked out.

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    Trying to take it slow

    I am still seeing an improvement. I need to be carefull to take it slow. DO NOT want to go backward. Did another full body workout today. Bench was again 60LB 2x15 but felt light and very stable (stabillity is the primary goal these days) Thinking of 70lb on saturday. Tri strength still low but again seeing improvments. Last night was the first time I could sleep on my left side with no pain.

    Note to myself.... stay the course, don't rush it, slow and steady, A little forward progress is a hell of alot better then backward.....

    ken
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    Registered User kmatt42's Avatar
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    Trying to take it slow

    I am still seeing an improvement. I need to be carefull to take it slow. DO NOT want to go backward. Did another full body workout today. Bench was again 60LB 2x15 but felt light and very stable (stabillity is the primary goal these days) Thinking of 70lb on saturday. Tri strength still low but again seeing improvments. Last night was the first time I could sleep on my left side with no pain.

    Note to myself.... stay the course, don't rush it, slow and steady, A little forward progress is a hell of alot better then backward.....

    ken
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