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  • #16
    One of the reasons I surf boards that are higher volume than others with similar stats to mine is to be able to paddle with minimal arching of my back. When I ride sub 6' and/or boards with too lower volume and length the excessive arching off my back brings on pain in behind my scapula and my neck and upper verterbrae need re-aligning through either chiropractic or massage. When its really bad I've ended up with tingling all the way down my arm on one side and barely able to paddle with that arm. When I'm feeling good I'll be a sucker for wanting to ride shorter boards/lower volumed boards again. Bought and sold quite a few over recent years because of that. Just have to slap myself before throwing the money down. It's one of the reasons why I ended up on the potatonator odyssey. Have you tried riding/paddling a mid length as a rehab board to see if it helps?

    Comment


    • Goanna
      Goanna commented
      Editing a comment
      I hear what you're saying Cuttlefish. In fact I'm trying to sell the 5'8" Potatonator at the moment for this reason but I won't buy another one until I get the results. The MRI is with the Neurosurgeon now - I'm just waiting for him to call me. I'm sick of waiting but when you see the poor souls in his waiting room - oh boy, I have nothing to worry about yet. The plan at this stage is to get into some cross training and surf shorter times. I've been surfing 3 hours minimum for 20 odd years but now I'll just hit it for 1 hr. at a time or so. Waiting, waiting, waiting

      Thanks for your comments!

  • #17
    Hope it all goes well. Ridden a few DVS boards that I've had Dick use his concave deck on and they feel great to paddle btw. Any design features that allow you to keep your chest down and avoid craning of your neck is going to help.

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    • #18
      Goanna, I never knew it was quite this serious, but as everyone is saying, get 2nd and 3rd opinions. Doctors that say stop are often only thinking in a very clinical and unrealistic way.

      When I was just 34 I had a pretty serious cycling accident coming down Waterfall Hill early one Thursday morning (02/09/93) in the predawn light (darkness!) I ran over a large branch that had fallen. I lost a bit of bark at the time and got a few bruises but I didn't think too much more of it. I remember getting up and just feeling pain everywhere I went over the bars and body slammed into the road, slid along on my back and slammed into the armco fence on the bend.

      To cut a long story short I ended up with osteoathritis (worn cartilage) in my right hip joint. I went to the first surgeon and he said stop doing triathlons and wait 10 years and have a hip replacement. I remember asking and then do triathlons again? He said no. What?? No way. I went to 2 more and the end result was that if I was going to continue the only chance would be to have a high femoral osteotomy (what? You know, where they sever the femur and re-attach it in a new position). I was on crutches for 6 months and it was over 12 months before I surfed or trained again. I went on to do 4 ironman triathlons and a host of other distances, even represented Australia twice in Maui for offroad tri... blah blah blah. It was never easy and pain was a constant companion. There were good days and bad days as far as pain was concerned and I just learned to manage it. I found (legal) substances that would help...most of the time glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate did the job and kept inflammation at bay, occasionally I had to take ibuprofen/nurofen. You will find ways of coping, managing and even accepting the pain. Depending on how much you love what you are doing you will be prepared to accept a certain level of pain and say to yourself it is worth it.

      In 2005 I had the high femoral osteotomy reversed to remove range of movement restrictions and because the joint realignment after 10 years was deteriorating and had reached then end of its life. It was now time to try and get my femur roughly back into its original form in preparation for a resurfacing down the track, which I had done in 2011. By the end of 2004 surfing was becoming quite painful. I remember one day at Era, the right hand beach break was going off. It was a freight train and I took off on 7 perfect waves in a row and blew them. As I got up there was this one spot in the movement that was excruciating. It caused me to jerk as I winced in pain which threw my balance off a bit, that instant I needed to recover, was enough to blow the wave and it just barreled away without me. After 7 times the joint was numb enough, it wasn't hurting so much and I started making some waves! Thankfully after the resurfacing procedure I've been the most pain free I can remember. So I have some unused harden up spray that I don't need anymore. Goanna, happy to hand it over to you :-) There is a Chinese saying on the can "fall down 7 times, get up 8".

      I remember I also made equipment changes that helped me continue doing the things I loved, even had to wear wedges in my right shoe. Anyway sounds like you're sorting out your equipment too with regard to your paddle position. Maybe you can wear a neck brace out of the water, just as a stupid example, to really avoid aggravating it for as long as possible just to get a bit more time in the water. You'll find ways to alleviate and manage the problem. But shit, aging isn't that much fun, is it!
      Last edited by Slowman; 10-13-2013, 03:27 PM.

      Comment


      • Goanna
        Goanna commented
        Editing a comment
        Geez Slowman you've had a rough time! I had a surf down at your local today and the conditions were perfect 3ft maybe the odd 4ft NE swell with NW winds. It was a bit fast and sucky so I was worried. I went over the falls or wiped out on every wave but one. I had a ball and my brain was writing cheques my body couldn't cash! but it was great to be out there and having ago once again. I didn't have much pain which was good but it was still there. Without speaking to the Neuro yet I feel I'll need to do more cross training and keep the surf's to 1hr at a time. I see what you're saying about joint pain but I'm a little worried about blocking nerve pain because of the damage I might be doing to myself in the process.
        You're around 50 right? if I can keep surfing and stay as agile like you I'll be stoked!

      • Slowman
        Slowman commented
        Editing a comment
        Goanna, yep today was good. Surprised I didn't bump into you somewhere. I was there from 6am until 2pm and had 3 surfs! Barrels aplenty today! I turn 55 on Thursday.

        What is the specific problem? Degeneration of the cartilage and spongy discs or something else? I've heard of a couple of triathletes having a couple of vertebrae fused and they seemed to think it didn't hurt their flexibility too much and stopped their misery, but as I recall this was in the lower back. I guess it depends on how many and where. Any idea of what caused it? That may also provide some clues as to what you need to avoid.
        Last edited by Slowman; 10-13-2013, 04:06 PM.

    • #19
      Hey Slowman I thought I saw you up on the left at the Northern end around 8.30am?? the sun was in my eyes. I surfed the middle with the crowd and yes there was plenty of good barrels. If you saw me I was the guy paddling into the biggest sets, taking off super late and becoming one with the barrel - by that I mean getting pitched in the lip! My paddling fitness was atrocious!!!
      I had many failures but like I said earlier, it was great to be out there at least having a dig.
      Slowman you're 55 years old and still ripping on a 6ft HPSB!! - that's pretty impressive for an "old" bloke
      As for the injury I should get a diagnosis this week - Doc has the results so I'm guessing it isn't as bad as his first diagnosis because he doesn't seem in a hurry to call me about it!
      Last edited by Goanna; 10-13-2013, 05:36 PM.

      Comment


      • Slowman
        Slowman commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah I was probably up there somewhere around that time. Started off at the point and worked my way down towards the middle. Saw the inside of many but getting out was tricky but there was this one...

        Fingers crossed on the diagnosis.

    • #20
      Well the Doc finally called me this afternoon. Good news is there is no narrowing of the spinal canal. Bad news is I have 3 disks bulging and calcification of the bone around them which clamps down on the nerves. He told me not to surf or do anything that will aggravate this condition which is his job. If I never went to the Doctor I would probably surfing my brains out but at least now I know I need to think twice about it.
      I'm not giving it up. I can't
      Thanks to all the good advice on here (and others with more qualifications!) I'm going to cross train and keep the surfs down to an hour or less and see how it goes.
      I said to my mate recently that maybe I should stop thinking like a twenty year old when surfing and just accept that I'm 46 and past it - he said as soon as you do that you gone - you can never give in to thinking like a 20 year old!
      He's bloody right about that so now I'm probably going to be irresponsible like a 20 year old and buy a new board which some more volume! (if I can sell the 5'8" Potatonator)

      I hope all this chatter helps someone else in the same situation.

      Comment


      • #21
        good stuff mate.... with a good physio etc, get fit in all the right places, dont go surf in junk just for the sake of it, surf "economically" and you'll be sweet....your mate is right....young in mind, young in body.... my kids school-friends paid me the best compliment of my life a few years ago.. "we know your a parent, but your a big kid really"...

        if you want to double check any of the training your prescribed, or just get more detail, give me a yell.. rehab is my gig.....not that boot camp crap.....
        Last edited by core personal training; 10-14-2013, 10:26 PM.

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        • #22
          and by way of cross training Goanna, if you are interested in learning to dirt surf I can help you out. We'll have all your teeth missing and a few broken bones but you'll be fit and broke! A decent dirt surfer will set you back 3 to 5 times as much as an FST FW! Of course 2nd hand there are some bargains I just sold one recently that retailed for $10K in 2008, for $1500.
          Last edited by Slowman; 10-20-2013, 08:29 PM.

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          • Goanna
            Goanna commented
            Editing a comment
            I'm already broke but not fit - one out of two aint bad.

          • FW - Fan
            FW - Fan commented
            Editing a comment
            Hey Goanna, super bummed to hear about your neck. I have told my story on hear before but in essence I had the same diagnosis on a ruptured lower back disc. Not bulged, ruptured. The nucleus has spurted out of the disc and wrapped around my spinal cord. After 2 previous ops I had it fused 5 years ago and have never looked back. My best advice is to INTERVIEW SURGEONS. For the most part they hate it, but before you cut me open and fuse anything I want to know what your doing and why. I interviewed about 7 and all of them were kind of shocked when I told them I was interviewing them. For some reason we put Surgeons up there with God and dont dare ask questions, tough ones at times. Not me. I live in NSW but ended up going with a surgeon up in QLD. A brilliant man named Matthew Scott Young. He is the professor of orthopedics at Bond University and his brother has a company that makes all of his fusion components so you have both brothers on your side. I surf as much as I want, in big and small stuff with no problems. I dont even think about it. I have lost about 5% flexibility but I bet I am more flexible than 95% of the population. It has effected my backhand surfing a touch. I just stuff up backhand take offs more than my forehand..but once up, no probs. Research Research and then Research some more and then ask lots of questions. email me re your Potatonator...I might have a buyer for you. Good luck with it all.

        • #23
          Originally posted by Slowman View Post
          and by way of cross training Goanna, if you are interested in learning to dirt surf I get help you out. We'll have all your teeth missing and a few broken bones but you'll be fit and broke! A decent dirt surfer will set you back 3 to 5 times as much as an FST FW! Of course 2nd hand there are some bargains I just sold one recently that retailed for $10K in 2008, for $1500.
          Dirt surfer? Are we talking about mountain bikes here? I have recently just got into MB in a big way and never thought I would say this, but I love it just as much as surfing. By the way Slowman, thats an inspirational story. You doing the Syd to Gong this year?? I am giving it a crack on my duelly.

          Comment


          • Slowman
            Slowman commented
            Editing a comment
            Fan, yep mountain bike = dirt surfer. I have been on some great working holidays to California where I just took my MTB and even though the trails took me along the coast in some cases it was rare I was wishing I was surfing instead (well in summer it is easy in NorCal; not much swell). Some of the trails in Cali are so fantastic and flowing it's like doing cutbacks, maybe slaloms, down the hill through moist but loose dirt which almost feels like you create spray around the bends. Like surfing in some ways - it's all about picking good lines, balance and timing. Plenty of fun and there are no onshores!

            Haven't done the Gong ride for a while. Just get going early before some of the complete muppets hit the road. In recent years the numbers have increased and while it is good to see more people on bikes some (admittedly a small number) really need to sit back and be a bit more realistic about their abilities, particularly in a mass event like that where they can bring down others. I've always done it on a roadie but I'd love to do it with the family on MTBs and just cruise down the coast and enjoy the scenery. Some slicks or a fast rolling tyre like Schwalbe Racing Ralphs or Maxxis Crossmarks will make big difference.

        • #24
          Hey Goanna, sorry I couldn't talk much on Saturday, I was sort of busy as you know but I tried to keep away from asking questions where you'd need to shake your head! Your posture didn't look too stiff and you looked to be paddling around OK but that might have only been half the story.

          Comment


          • Goanna
            Goanna commented
            Editing a comment
            No worries Slowman - I didn't want to put you off your game either! I had a good time although it was hard to get a wave with contestants / lulls / rippers / lack of fitness - I did get one good turn in though which made me happy. Movement is really good and fitness is on the way back.
            thanks for asking!

          • Slowman
            Slowman commented
            Editing a comment
            Interesting side note, the guy that came 2nd in the opens was riding a Unibrow.

        • #25
          Go get your self some bromelain, trypsin and rutin. Do mega doses for a short time and then have normal doseage for the rest of your life...

          Comment


          • #26
            Hi,

            Comin in late to the convo. I feel for you as my wife was told that she'd need spinal surgery at age 38. Due to her young active life style of gymnastics and vollyball in highschool, she is now suffering sleepless nights combined with high doses of ibuprofin and booze to cope with the pain.

            However we took matters into our own hands and started down a diff path, one were the medical industry does not gain by illness.

            Long story short, we found that she was very allergic to Gluten and eggs, there were other minor ones but these were the bigies.

            They manifested in internal inflamation causing pain and malnutrition as her body was unable to absorb nutrients. Its been one year now since being armed with this knowledge and she no longer requires ibuprofin or booze to sleep and can move her neck around freely, no more gross crunchy noises etc...

            She hikes, runs etc... no issues.

            What we did to get this info;

            Listen to Dr Wallachs weekly show.
            Read the book; Grain Brain.
            Start taking plant derived supplements, we do Youngevity.
            Find a homeopath to perform an extensive food allergy test via the Cyrex blood test.
            No longer listen to moderm medicine as its based on the "come back" principle meaning there is no money in the cure.

            I hope you find this info helpful and best wishes.

            Now, if only my surfing would improve, I would be a very happy camper :)

            PS One last thing, we only eat meat and poultry that is humanly treated and free range with no growth hormones and antibiotics in there diets. And all our food is just about GMO free. We took a multi pronged approach over time and these changes were not done at once. Its very hard to do but once there, very easy to maintain. I'd say all in all, it took ~1.5 years to implement all these changes so now it feels very natural to eat and live like this..
            Last edited by aurfalien; 11-03-2013, 09:18 AM.

            Comment


            • #27
              I had a bout with a bulging disc in my neck a few months ago with some similar symptoms to yours, but not as severe. Pain radiating toward my left shoulder and down the arm, tingling & numbness in the fingers, and of course surfing was agony and made things worse for a day or two after each session. What really helped me was doing the two exercises in the linked video. The first half of the video is mainly about prevention and what to do to help keep the problem from progressing, then the exercises come in just after the 13 minute mark. The first exercise helped me right away as far as reducing the pain, and about 3 weeks in I really noticed an improvement during and after surfing. Things are much improved now, but I still do the exercises before and after surfing, after long days in front of a monitor, long drives, etc. Again, I know my case wasn't anywhere near as severe as yours, but I think you still may be able to benefit. Hope it helps! Just in case the video isn't available internationally, you may be able to find it by googling Mark Perren Jones.
               

              Comment


              • #28
                Thanks for all the feedback guys. I am certainly not as bad off as some of the people written about here!
                I have taken steps to alleviate the symptoms thanks to all the great feedback and my neck is already feeling so much better.

                I did have the wind put up me last night though - Having a Saturday arvo beer with my neighbour and he tells me about his sister having a highly successful operation to repair a bulging disk and then his cousin going in for the same operation (on her glowing recommendations) to never being able to walk again - this happened last week and she is 40yrs old with kids!
                They are now trying to find out whether it was the existing issue or something went wrong in the operation.

                When I hear this and it starts to play on your mind what sort of risk am I taking when surfing with 3 bulging disks?

                I'll keep exercising, stretching and surfing although maybe a little less than usual.

                Comment


                • #29
                  Goanna, i just saw your post and thought i'd share my thoughts. Some 18 months ago i was diagnosed with severe spinal column narrowing, stenosis of C6/C7 vertebrae, nerve impingement and a disk that was pretty much shot. I am an experience surfer on the Gold Coast and surfing is my passion too. I was battling with a sore neck for a few years especially after surfing. Anyway long story short, i was in so much pain eventually, on pain killers 24/7. I thought i'd never surf again. Saw a neurosurgeon and he suggested a fusion at C6/C7. I was so worried about this option but really i had to do something quickly. I tried every other approach under the sun, first (costing a fortune too) eg, natural methods and nothing helped, infact it aggravated the problem. I couldn't work it was that bad. Looked at disk replacement, but decided against that. Anyway, i had the fusion operation (expensive i might ad without private health cover) and i am pretty much back to normal now. The best thing i ever did!!! I have slight reduction in neck mobility, but hardly noticeable. My advice, is if you have a serious problem, get it fixed properly. No amount of natural therapy, conditioning exercises etc, etc will fix a collapsed/degenerated disk. It just depends on how bad your problem is and what you are prepared to live with.

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                  • #30
                    Improving mobility in the thoracic area will reduce the stress in the neck, improve paddling and and help share the "work" through the community of the spine, let me know if you want to know more.

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