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Neck Injuries and Shooting

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by BadgeBunny, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Monkey+

    I have what is going to be a long-standing neck injury that has severely impacted my shooting. Shotgun and rifle shooting are absolutely out of the question right now but I have just now started shooting handguns again after a 6 month hiatus.

    Problem is after about 50-60 rounds (G-34, 9mm custom loads, so they are fairly light recoiling) my groups (which are decently tight) fall completely apart. I have caught myself flinching, which I am assuming is being caused by muscle weakness and pain.

    Tonight I wore my TENS Unit to see if that would help with the pain but you have never tried to shoot a decent group until you have done it with one of those things on ... LOL That obviously is not going to work.

    Do any of you guys have this problem and if so, what have you done to help. I miss shooting A LOT. In fact, I am not willing to give it up so I gotta figure something out. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!
  2. hedger

    hedger Monkey+

    Neuro-Muscular Chiropractic Therapy

    Ask around to find a good chiropractor who specializes in neuro-muscular therapy. Chiropractors provide non-drug oriented therapy that works. As a guy who has had back problems, I know what I'm talking about. My wife saw the dramatic improvement in my back and she tried it--she benefitted, too.

    My son, got rear-ended (car was totalled) and had a nasty whiplash/neck injury. It affected his eyes, and consequently, his ability to read (tracking letters and words horizontally). He got relief and, ultimately was cured.

    Have you ever wondered how those football players and other athletes get bad ankle sprains and are back on the field way before you imagine they could--that's right--chiropractic got them back (because it also works on extremities) to where they needed to be.

    Remember, you do not get a gold star or some kind of brownie points for "sucking it up and bearing the pain." If you can get some relief, please get it.

    It sounds pretty uncomfortable for you; I hope this info helps.
  3. jungatheart

    jungatheart Beginner's Mind

    This may be completely useless but, I started wearing a neck gaiter especially at night and it seems to help by keeping it warm.
  4. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Monkey+

    My injury is a whip-lash injury also.

    I did the chiropractic thing for about 3 months and while she worked wonders on my shoulders and back everytime she would adjust my neck I would wind up in bed for a week or so with excrutiating headaches.

    Started seeing a pain management doc about a month and a half ago. While the steriod injections have helped I still have issues with my neck, particularly at the base of my skull. Any pressure there (like laying down at night to sleep) causes horrible headaches and an absolutely unrelenting achiness. When that starts then the numbness and tingling in my hands become significant enough to concern me.

    Riding in the car for any length of time aggravates it, too.

    I agree totally with you about finding relief -- I just don't want to be one of those persons who becomes very "attached" to her pain meds, if you know what I mean.

    I will figure something out eventually. But you know the old saying "two heads are better than one."
  5. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Monkey+

    Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. I hadn't thought of that but will give it a try. Thanks!!
  6. bnmb

    bnmb On Hiatus Banned

    Too bad you guys in the US don't have access to Tesla healing technology...If you have someone in Russia, ask for the EM healing gun being in use in hospitals...If there's a chance you can get it, don't think, just get it!
  7. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Monkey+

    Hmmmm ... Bummer, no friends in Russia -- yet :D ... off to google ...
  8. bnmb

    bnmb On Hiatus Banned

  9. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Coming form a guy who has had severe back and neck injury I found relief only one way.
    Replace what is damaged with muscle to support what is no longer able to hold up.
    your results may differ.
  10. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I broke c6 and c7 in an aircraft incident.. i use a TENS (trans-cutanial electro neuro stimilation) unit and ice massage to releive my pain and take 850mg motrin as needed... Go grunt pills...:D

    OOPs didn't se that you had a tens... there are some alternate sites that will help and not mess up your shooting... look for accupunture points and apply the pads there...
  11. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Monkey+

    Little update ... we did a little diagnostic deal (cervical facet injections) ... OMG I felt like a different person for the first few days ... Then man did I crash and burn ... Soooo, next step is radio frequency neurotomy -- apparently we are gonna burn the nerves that are giving me grief and that should afford me some relief albeit temporary relief.

    Hey! I'll take what I can get ... I went from shooting 4-500 rounds 4 or 5 times a week to not being able to handle the recoil from 80 rounds ... Every time my gun goes off I feel like someone is knuckle-punching me in the side of my neck. Blah!

    I'll report back ...
  12. jungatheart

    jungatheart Beginner's Mind

    Please do, your research is helping me.
  13. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Monkey+

    :D More like guinea pig! LOL ... My neurotomy is scheduled for Nov. 1 and I will definitely get back with you.

    Maybe a little history will help ... Had uncontrollable headaches and migraines for about a year or so. NO symptoms of neck/cervical problems but did have a pain mgmt doc tell me not to ever have a MVA after reviewing my MRIs. Meds did not help. Started seeing a chiropractor. Headaches were reduced greatly, stopped all meds. Life was good again.

    I was basically headache free for about 4 months. Then we were rear-ended at a stoplight. Moderate burning in my neck and shoulders immediately after impact. No trip to ER.

    24 hour later though ... O.M.G. [peep] Started back with the chiropractor, however it became clear very early that any manipulation of my neck or occiptal region was NOT a good thing ...

    Typical muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory Rxs were not much help.

    Started steroid injections at c-2 through c-6 about 2 1/2 months ago. Some relief but nothing to write home about. At best it was moderate and very, very temporary.

    So 2 weeks ago my MD did facet injections at c-2 through c-6. Unlike the steriod injections before, my relief this time was IMMEDIATE, but again, fairly temporary. By the end of the first week I was again having muscle spasms and headaches. But at least we have determined exactly where the problem is.

    It is my understanding that damage to cervical facets does not show up on MRIs, etc. but are fairly common whiplash injuries. Doesn't help any that I am a "slightly older" :D woman with previous neck injuries (what can I say? Those wild oats needed sowing. :D) and arthritis in my neck.

    It is also my understanding that radio frequency neurotomies have varying degrees of success ... some people don't get any relief, in others it only lasts a moderately short time (3 months or so) but some people have gotten relief for up to 2 years after the procedure. There is so much variation in results due to the individual nature of the regeneration of the nerves which are burned.

    However, at this point I am game for just about anything. They have already had me on the table 5 times in the last 3 months. I figure she knows "where she is going" now and it should be a walk in the park ...
  14. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

  15. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Monkey+

    NVBeav ... thanks for the link ...

    It looks like I am gonna have to do this in litte updates ... had my RFN yesterday morning. O.M.G. ... when the doc said it would get worse before it got better she was NOT kidding ... I will be in and out (mostly out) for a couple of weeks apparently ... Pain isn't so bad as long as I take my meds right on schedule but the weakness is unbelievable and the meds make me totally sleepy.

    Good news is my headache stopped DURING the procedure and hasn't come back ... that is good because my neck is KILLING ME now ... lol

    I "get" to start PT in four weeks and depending on how that goes I can eventually get back to shooting the doc says. No weight lifting for now though ... which is her way of saying "DON'T touch that gun" LOL
  16. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Just a thought.......

    How heavy could an air pistol be??? : O Hmmmm there may be a market for helium pistols for the physically incapacitated [peep]
  17. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Sends BB good mojo... let me know how it works out i may be heading in for some surgery in the next year....
  18. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Monkey+

    OK guys and gals ... quick update ... No headache TIL last night ... Pretty severe neck pain since the procedure Monday to about Thursday afternoon, but then that started to improve.

    Haven't been shooting yet, but did try to do some knitting yesterday and probably over did it because I paid dearly last night and this morning. Never mind that I tried to skip my Zanaflex (I hate that stuff ...). So ... short of it is I have a raging headache and monstrous muscle spasms going on now ... Hot shower helped some ... now if the meds will just kick in ...

    One other thing I have been doing that has not been possible is getting on the elliptical trainer. Only doing about 5 minutes at a time, couple times a day ... but hey!! A girl's gotta start somewhere ...

    I did learn some not-so-good news though ... I was kinda hopeful that I might be able to get completely back to new but apparently I was hoping for too much. However, doc says that she thinks that if I will just pay attention to what she tells me :oops:she can get me shooting again within 90 or so days and I will be able to return to an active lifestyle. However, it appears that "pain management" is going to be a way of life for me now.

    She did clear me to start dry-firing next week ... twice a day for 10 minutes at a time. My right arm and grip is so weak I can't even rack the slide on my Glock right now, so that should be an adventure!! b::

    ETA: For you guys with neck injuries or who are following this for informational purposes do a little research on occipital neuralgia. While my symptoms were precipitated by a whiplash injury there are several underlying factors that are contributing to the difficulty I have had in finding lasting relief, such as osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease and chronic migraine pain.
  19. jungatheart

    jungatheart Beginner's Mind

    Thanks BB. Those pain meds are murderously addictive, ask me how I know. Hope it gets better for you.
  20. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Monkey+

    Unfortunately I am painfully aware ... had a doc over prescribe (and me trust him and over partook, as it were). Took me nearly 3 months to get myself straightened back out. Never again. First thing I said to this doc is that if she was just gonna try to mask my pain with pills to tell me upfront so I could go on my merry way. I was very grateful to hear her say she didn't do that.

    Now for the results of the neurotomy. This was the party line -- first 3 or 4 days would be okay, after that I would tank and then slowly improve over the next month or so if the procedure worked.

    "Tank" is a relatively tame word to describe what happened to me over the weekend ... O.M.G. Apparently nerves that have had lesions burned onto them do NOT go quietly into that dark night ... :mad::mad::mad::mad:

    I am better today but for anyone contemplating this procedure DO NOT expect it to be a walk in the park.

    Still a lot of weakness on my right side and my arm and hand have had tingling sensation in them on and off for the last few days. I can expect the numbness and tingling to start about 10 minutes after I feel pain in my neck and shoulders from the muscle spasms -- generally these start up about an hour or hour and a half before it is time to take my meds again. This symptomology makes me fairly confident in saying that the original inflammation and resultant muscle tension were probably the major cause of my problem. Oddly enough, even though my neck and shoulders and arm hurt more, I have had almost NO headache since the neurotomy. Before I didn't have so much pain in my neck and/or shoulders (unless the spasms were really bad) but have pretty much had a constant headache since the accident.

    I'll get back with an update next week ... it will be interesting to see how I respond to an increase in physical activity (especially weight-bearing activities).
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