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Degenerative Disc Disease

Posted Mar 01 2013 9:44am

Hey guys!! Happy Friday!!!!  I’m SOOO excited because it’s the Friday before I head off to the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio!!!

arnold2013

Last year I was only  able to hang out for about 3 hours which allowed me to walk the venue exactly ONCE (see last year’s post HERE ).  This time we’re actually going for the entire day/night.   I’m hoping to go to the armature finals tomorrow morning!  One of my Team Fokken Strong teammates made the top 10 so I’ll get to see her compete and I’m stoked about it!  I’ve actually never been to a full NPC/IFBB show before so if I ever want to compete in the NPC, I’ve got to at least see one before I try for myself!!!

So today I wanted to bring up something that no one really knows about….

About 10 years ago, I woke up on vacation with this INSANE pain in my neck/upper back.  I figured it was just a stiff neck.  I remember being in the airport in severe pain and it was the worst flying experience I had ever had.  I thought maybe it was the scuba diving from the trip, or the unfamiliar beds at the resort…or somehow tweaking it when we were out and about.  I figured the pain would go away in a couple days…unfortunately I was wrong.

The pain lasted several weeks until it got a bit more tolerable.  I went to a few doctors, got xrays, pain meds and they never really knew what was causing my pain.

After several years of dealing with it, I went back to yet another doctor who took more xrays and compared them to my last ones I had.  She delivered the bad news that day…I have Degenerative Disc Disease.

You may be wondering what Degenerative Disc Disease is (according to wikipedia)…

“Degeneration of one or more intervertebral disc(s) of the spine, often called “degenerative disc disease” (DDD) or “degenerative disc disorder,” is a condition that can be painful and can greatly affect the quality of one’s life. While disc degeneration is a normal part of aging and for most people is not a problem, for certain individuals a degenerated disc can cause severe chronic pain.” ( Source )

The worst part about this “disease” even though I would never consider it a “disease” is that there is NO cure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You could go through surgery I guess, but I don’t think I want to do that…yet.  There’s no natural way to stop the abnormalities that are occurring in my spine/back to produce this pain.  The doc just told me I basically just have to suck it up for the rest of my life.  That was and still is the hardest part to grasp.

keep-calm-and-suck-it-up-22

She told me strength training could help strengthen the muscles and could relieve some of the pain.  To be honest, it’s helped a bit but it’s still a constant annoying pain that I deal with every day.

I still train as hard as possible but sometimes my neck “tweaks” a little more than normal and it will put me out for a couple days.  I try my hardest to not let this stupid thing WIN, so I work my ass off and fight through the pain while trying to strengthen the muscles around it.

The reason I bring this up is because I’m wondering if anyone out there has any advise on how to treat this pain?  I’d love to have another answer other than “there’s no cure for your pain”.  Until then, I’m going to keep training, keep lifting heavy and be blessed for everything I have in my life.

Well….I’m off to the Arnold Classic soon!!!!!!!!  I’ll do a post when I get back and if you want to follow me on Instagram (my name is LiveLifeActive) or Facebook , I’m sure I’ll be posting a lot to those :)

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