The Pinched C5-C6 Nerve Club

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The Pinched C5-C6 Nerve Club

Postby seehad » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:52 pm

I know you're out there! Maybe working a desk job? There's a number of factors that contribute to pinching the nerve but it's a huge deal for a disc golfer. I got into disc golf when I was younger but didn't play much for 12 yrs since high school. In that time I got married, had a kid, and worked in desk jobs for many many years. Once I picked it back up a few years ago I started developing muscle spasms in the trapezius and rhomboid muscles in the right side. The left traps would also lock up and all of this would happen for 1-3 days every 3 weeks. I tried a chiropractor, ART (active release technique) and went to a naturopath who did deep tissue massage, accupuncture and cupping. Looking back on the days I didn't understand my condition, the naturopath was definitely the most effective. When I realized a lot of the problems I had were related to my constantly dehydrated muscles, the issue stopped for 6 months and I was happy.

About 18 months ago, I moved to Denver and found a new doctor when I had a spasm. He did one simple test to tell me that my c5-c6 nerve was pinched which causes deferred pain. I looked up this nerve to see a diagram and it all made sense. He sent me to a physical therapist who did dry needling, gave me some simple stretches for 6 sessions and I haven't had a spasm since. I did have an MRI and nothing was out of order so my prescription seems to be plenty of maintenance.

That's the back story.. I'd like to start a thread and share any things people with these sort of issues and what you do to manage the problem. I just played my first tournament and started playing tags and I've met many with the same issue.

**Disclaimer** I am not a doctor. Please consult a physician for real medical advice.

Water - Turns out this stuff is pretty vital to life. If you muscles are dried up, they tighten and make the problem so much worse. I lived in Phoenix and was constantly dehydrated.

Extra Magnesium/Calcium - To minimize spasms

Alternating hot and cold packs - Does amazing things for your muscles and minimizing pain

Castor Oil Pack - If you are to spasm I believe this cuts down on the days with a locked neck in half. Rub a liberal amount on the muscles and place a hot pack on there for 30 minutes. Once you get some sleep you should wake up in much better shape.

Exercises -

In the morning I do 10 of each
- Neck stretches: Simply move your head back keeping your shoulders stationary. Go from relaxed backwards but do not go forward as it's rough on the very nerve that is having issues.
- Stretch both shoulders back to make your chest stick out
- roll shoulders forward.

Foam roller - Not the way that feels really good, but long ways. Keep your head supported and lie on it with the roller running down the length of your spine. This really stretches the muscles around the spine and keep things relaxed.
While on the foam roller I do put my hands together like I'm praying moving them upwards.. When they can no further, separate the hands with your palms facing forward as you bring your hands down and eventually coming back to the prayer hands.

Accupuncture/Dry Needling+Deep Tissue Massage - This is like lightning speed deep tissue massage with out the pain. Sticking a needle in the muscle would give me an instant improvement in the range of motion in my neck when it spasms. This did not seem to last as long as deep tissue though. I now just get massage monthly and get some dry needling done before a tourney. I've honestly gone straight from either to the course and almost always play really well.

Yoga - There's plenty of exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back and neck. If I would actually do it on a regular basis I would probably do even better. The plank downward and upward facing dogs are really good.

So any tricks you use to keep this annoying ailment from taking away from your game?
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Re: The Pinched C5-C6 Nerve Club

Postby JR » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:58 pm

I don't suffer from this but having a spinal injury i got a lot of relief from using a matress that changes shape according to your body and supports you more than a regular matress does. I use Tempur and they make matresses, beds, pillows and integrated pillow/beds. I wouldn't wonder if people with neck problems got help from pillows that support the neck and relieve stress on the surrounding muscles to stop them from tightening up/swelling thus pinching the nerves harder. I have had surgery in the arm that still left scar tissue to pinch a nerve so i know this stuff from experience. A relaxed muscle pinches the nerves less. I studied a while with a guy with a pinched nerve in the neck and he didn't get much sleep at all and was in constant pain. The same as my arm before the surgery and i can tell it's no joke. That guy had several doctors tell him that his injury can't be operated. Until a better hospital used by many athletes for example said that sure we can operate him. If the problems affect your life and those self help exercises aren't enough you should shop around for doctors and search for good places where they are more proficient and can do trickier operations, Neck area is apparently a difficult area to operate on because everything is so tight and there are massively important pieces in there close to each other and impossible/difficult to move out of the way. So many docs don't have the knowledge or the skills to perform some operations. That does not mean that some other docs can't perform the necessary operation.
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