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Neck and Back Injury

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13 hours ago, HuggyU2 said:

Story time:  when I was TDY to Al Dhafra, the U-2 pilots could go in to Abu Dhabi and get massages with an American chiropractor.  Apparently, the Emir was in Minnesota a few years earlier, used their services, and asked them to set up shop in Abu Dhabi because he was impressed.  

I head downtown the day after a flight, and during my consultation with the American doc, I discussed my neck issues, explained that I had almost no feeling in my 4th and 5th finger in my right hand for the past 2 years, and he took x-rays.  Finally, I go back for my 1 hour massage with one of the four masseuses.  All four of them were from China, spoke almost no English, and apparently were pretty well trained.  

After about 10 minutes of her working on my back and neck, she has me turn over, and in broken English asks which fingers are numb.  She proceeds to work my chest, pectoral and arm pretty hard.  After about 15 minutes, she sees the tears working their way out of my eyes and in more broken English says "too hard?" 

"No!  Keep going!" 

When she was done, I felt like my chest and right arm had been turned in to ground meat.  But it felt great.  

About an hour later, on the drive back to Al Dhafra, the feeling in my fingers came back.  And it remained for many years.  I could hardly believe it.  

That experience made me a believer in massage therapy and chiropractors.  

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulnar_nerve

This nerve is directly connected to the little finger, and the adjacent half of the ring finger, innervating the palmar aspect of these fingers, including both front and back of the tips, perhaps as far back as the fingernail beds.”

Story checks!

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Since it's seems hit or miss on flight med referring out to a chiropractor, another avenue is to request to be seen for Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT). It's similar to seeing a chiropractor, except it's a physician (DO) doing the work. I've had good success with OMT for my lower back, but keeping up with the stretches afterward is the hard part

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On 8/30/2019 at 6:43 AM, matmacwc said:

Those machines USED to be in every fighter squadron, all given away in the mid 2000’s.  We discovered they were injuring our necks worse than the jet.  

Did you have a set regimen, or was it do whatever you wanted?

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16 minutes ago, ctf151 said:

Did you have a set regimen, or was it do whatever you wanted?

There are actually a bunch of exercises to help build the supporting muscles of the neck. Most of them you can find on the interwebs

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19 minutes ago, Sprkt69 said:

There are actually a bunch of exercises to help build the supporting muscles of the neck. Most of them you can find on the interwebs

I know. I’m wondering if he trained in an optimal/supervised manner or if it was unsupervised.

See attached study: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14736129

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Are you in AFSOC? They have chiropractors just a phone call away as well as human performance people that can help with neck issues.

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6 hours ago, Sprkt69 said:

There are actually a bunch of exercises to help build the supporting muscles of the neck. Most of them you can find on the interwebs

These are a game changer. With exercises and stretching I've fixed many upper back and neck issues.

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On 8/31/2019 at 1:37 PM, ctf151 said:

Did you have a set regimen, or was it do whatever you wanted?

I don’t think you’re hearing me.

  • Haha 1

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I know we had a few guys in the Gunship community who came from fighters for a variety of health related issues. Looking left and wearing NODs would do your neck no favors, but there are examples of people leaving ACC and going having good careers afterwards. 

Also, I second getting things checked out. I started having headaches in 2014 and eventually would lose vision for short periods of time. By 2016, doing squats would leave me almost incapacitated with a migraine afterward. I eventually had a seizure, not from brain activity, but spinal cord compression and all I did was reach up to grab a towel after a shower after working out. I’m still pretty limited in what I can do because of the injury and they say I’m not a good candidate for surgery. Get things looked at and press with what you think is best for you and those who depend on you. 

  

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20 hours ago, isshinwhat said:

I know we had a few guys in the Gunship community who came from fighters for a variety of health related issues. Looking left and wearing NODs would do your neck no favors, but there are examples of people leaving ACC and going having good careers afterwards. 

Also, I second getting things checked out. I started having headaches in 2014 and eventually would lose vision for short periods of time. By 2016, doing squats would leave me almost incapacitated with a migraine afterward. I eventually had a seizure, not from brain activity, but spinal cord compression and all I did was reach up to grab a towel after a shower after working out. I’m still pretty limited in what I can do because of the injury and they say I’m not a good candidate for surgery. Get things looked at and press with what you think is best for you and those who depend on you. 

  

How did the back issues/migraines affect your flying career?  Asking for a friend.

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7 hours ago, Steve C said:

How did the back issues/migraines affect your flying career?  Asking for a friend.

Seizures and vision loss are conducive to flying... sucks, but it is what it is, and the mission is more important than me wanting to fly it impaired. 

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Huggy, I totally expected that story to take a different turn after the flip... Figured that was part of the reason we don’t get the massages anymore


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So got my MRI results. Degenerative disease from C4-C7.

My specific symptoms were pain in my neck, arms and face while driving. None while flying or exercising.

Yes I have had a stress test for cardio. Results were negative.

I guess it will be more PT and a neuro consult.

Oddly enough I went to a “float spa” last week. Tons of salt in a tank float for 60 minutes in the dark etc. I was pain free for about 4 days. If you have the opportunity I highly recommend it.




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On 8/31/2019 at 2:08 AM, Majestik Møøse said:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulnar_nerve

This nerve is directly connected to the little finger, and the adjacent half of the ring finger, innervating the palmar aspect of these fingers, including both front and back of the tips, perhaps as far back as the fingernail beds.”

Story checks!

can confirm.  Had numbness in little and ring finger of left hand for about 6 weeks after dislocating my left elbow.  I don't recommend dislocating your elbow.

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@Skitzo, don't cross train to helos, it'll make the back and neck issues worse due to the poor ergonomics + NVGs + body armor.

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[mention=500]Skitzo[/mention], don't cross train to helos, it'll make the back and neck issues worse due to the poor ergonomics + NVGs + body armor.


Copy thanks for the tip!


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Update to my original post:

Unfortunately, I’m still DNIF (since May). The flight doctor will not return me to flying status because of my neck injury. Personally, I feel healthy enough to fly, but I understand this precaution is to prevent any further damage to my spine. The doc is going pursue a categorical waiver for non-ejection seat aircraft once I’m asymptomatic. 

What should I expect in the near term for my flying/officer career? Is there a chance I’ll be cleared to fly ejection seat aircraft again? Is there a chance I’ll operate RPAs if the waiver is denied? Could I be MEB’d? Should invest time researching  crossflow opportunities into heavies or other non-ejection seat aircraft? What heavies should I look into? I’d like to remain in the tactical environment. 

I apologize for the barrage of questions, but I didn’t expect to be permanently DNIF from flying since I feel close to 100% again. I understand all of my questions could be answered with “maybe”. My goal is to continue to fly for one more assignment, and have the option to be competitive for the majors once my ADSC is up.

I appreciate and understand there is a wealth of knowledge and experience in this forum so that is why I’m reaching out. Thank you!

Edited by Newb

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Update to my original post:
Unfortunately, I’m still DNIF (since May). The flight doctor will not return me to flying status because of my neck injury. Personally, I feel healthy enough to fly, but I understand this precaution is to prevent any further damage to my spine. The doc is going pursue a categorical waiver for non-ejection seat aircraft once I’m asymptomatic. 
What should I expect in the near term for my flying/officer career? Is there a chance I’ll be cleared to fly ejection seat aircraft again? Is there a chance I’ll operate RPAs if the waiver is denied? Could I be MEB’d? Should invest time researching  crossflow opportunities into heavies or other non-ejection seat aircraft? What heavies should I look into? I’d like to remain in the tactical environment. 
I apologize for the barrage of questions, but I didn’t expect to be permanently DNIF from flying since I feel close to 100% again. I understand all of my questions could be answered with “maybe”. My goal is to continue to fly for one more assignment, and have the option to be competitive for the majors once my ADSC is up.
I appreciate and understand there is a wealth of knowledge and experience in this forum so that is why I’m reaching out. Thank you!


I wasn’t a fighter guy I was a bomber dude. I found the U-28 to be very rewarding and tactical. I have no other knowledge about your medical condition. Maybe worth asking in the aviation medicine section of this forum.

Cheers



"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

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Update to my original post:
Unfortunately, I’m still DNIF (since May). The flight doctor will not return me to flying status because of my neck injury. Personally, I feel healthy enough to fly, but I understand this precaution is to prevent any further damage to my spine. The doc is going pursue a categorical waiver for non-ejection seat aircraft once I’m asymptomatic. 
What should I expect in the near term for my flying/officer career? Is there a chance I’ll be cleared to fly ejection seat aircraft again? Is there a chance I’ll operate RPAs if the waiver is denied? Could I be MEB’d? Should invest time researching  crossflow opportunities into heavies or other non-ejection seat aircraft? What heavies should I look into? I’d like to remain in the tactical environment. 
I apologize for the barrage of questions, but I didn’t expect to be permanently DNIF from flying since I feel close to 100% again. I understand all of my questions could be answered with “maybe”. My goal is to continue to fly for one more assignment, and have the option to be competitive for the majors once my ADSC is up.
I appreciate and understand there is a wealth of knowledge and experience in this forum so that is why I’m reaching out. Thank you!


Are you unwilling to have surgery? Is the surgery your doc recommended in your original post waiverable?


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15 hours ago, Newb said:

Update to my original post:

Unfortunately, I’m still DNIF (since May). The flight doctor will not return me to flying status because of my neck injury. Personally, I feel healthy enough to fly, but I understand this precaution is to prevent any further damage to my spine. The doc is going pursue a categorical waiver for non-ejection seat aircraft once I’m asymptomatic. 

What should I expect in the near term for my flying/officer career? Is there a chance I’ll be cleared to fly ejection seat aircraft again? Is there a chance I’ll operate RPAs if the waiver is denied? Could I be MEB’d? Should invest time researching  crossflow opportunities into heavies or other non-ejection seat aircraft? What heavies should I look into? I’d like to remain in the tactical environment. 

I apologize for the barrage of questions, but I didn’t expect to be permanently DNIF from flying since I feel close to 100% again. I understand all of my questions could be answered with “maybe”. My goal is to continue to fly for one more assignment, and have the option to be competitive for the majors once my ADSC is up.

I appreciate and understand there is a wealth of knowledge and experience in this forum so that is why I’m reaching out. Thank you!

I have a bud who flew A-10s and after an MEB out of fighters went to fly C-12s overseas... restricted to crew aircraft now.  Attache-type. Got some DIA training. Some language training. Sounded like cool stuff. Then, he went back to the real world for another Ops tour... not sure what aircraft.

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If you end up going into something non-ejection seat and want to be tactically oriented, AFSOC is probably where you want to go. Given that you already have neck issues, I would avoid any AC-130 variant though. In the left seat, you’ll spend a ton of time with your nugget turned left and looking down with NVG on. I’ve got several Gunship bros that have pretty severe neck and back pain. YMMV.
 

Best of luck!

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