Sit ups/crunches

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Sit ups/crunches

Postby Tidbit » Sun May 20, 2007 11:12 pm

Happily I'm back to going to the gym and working out. I'm doing the recumbent bike and the cross trainer for about 45 minutes of cardio 4 times a week. I want to do crunches, am able to do crunches, but I'm not sure if I should or not. I know they're kind of straining, but with the shunt in there would I still have to worry about that? They lifted all my lifting restrictions once I got the shunt, so would crunches therefore be okay too?
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Postby mac » Sun May 20, 2007 11:25 pm

Hey Tidbit, I don't know anything about anything, but just wanted to say hi and it's good to "see" you!! You have been missed! I'm glad you are feeling well enough to do the PT and gym exercises! I'm sure someone with the answers will along soon, but I couldn't help myself from saying hi to you!


Beach Ball Method

Postby Babu » Wed May 23, 2007 11:22 am

Hi there! I'm new to the forum. I read your posting. I don't have a shunt, but have lots of problems with my neck. What I've discovered helps me a lot in taking the pressure off my neck is to use a small beach ball, about half inflated. I put in behind my head like a pillow and I lift it with my neck when I do crunches. It helps quite a bit actually. Maybe it could work for you. Best wishes!!

~Babu :D
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Postby Tidbit » Wed May 23, 2007 5:18 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome, Mac! It's great to be back. I've missed you all.

Great idea Babu! I'll have to try it.
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Postby mac » Wed May 23, 2007 6:34 pm

Okay, I have to say this, it "ouches me" to read about anyone of us doing sit ups or crunches! I just know deep down inside of me that this is bad bad bad for any of us in our conditions.

This took me a long time to understand. I even used to try an Ab Roller and such. Of course, I do not have SM or CM...but many of our nerve damage symptoms are the same.

I believe it says somewhere in guidelines that you all should not do situps...I say ask your doctor, but even then, I'm afraid your doctor will say it's okay, and I truly believe it's not okay. I remember Sarahinparadise telling us all this long ago.

I don't know that there is a safe way to work the abs for those with CM or SM....but I just wanted to let you know what I believe is true: avoid situps and crunches, okay?

Tidbit, I've missed you big time!

love, mac

Postby Sandy » Wed May 23, 2007 6:57 pm

HI TIdbit!

Missed you, and I"m so glad you're back!

Ask your doctor. Let your doctor guide you on medical matters. Your doctors is qualified to give these answers.

Glad you're feeling well!

sandy :D
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Postby lisa40 » Thu May 31, 2007 9:51 pm

I was wondering about the do and don'ts in exercise. I have a syrinx from wreak. ( found out two months ago) Can situps and other walking worsen it.

Postby petsmom » Thu May 31, 2007 10:04 pm

Good to see you back here. But OUCH ! I had this visual of us attempting to do a sit up and it hurt me just thinking about it.

Believe me, I sure could use to do some real exercising. Cut back on my sodas and one other vice. You be careful about overdoing! Did you ask the doc about these exercises first?? I do not believe the "no pain no gain" applies to us. U be careful.

I am not my disorder. It does not define me as a Person.
DDD, SM thoracic
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Location: TN.

Postby angie7 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:16 am

Hey Tidbit, long time no see!!!! I have given up on doing anything to strengten my stomach back after having the twins. I have tried crunches, sit ups, leg lifts, etc and it is all to painful and I can feel the strain on my neck and I am not comfortable doing them. So I have given up on toning my belly. I still am able to walk about 2 miles a day that helps with the weight loss (less then 10 more to go YAYAY!!).

If you have a good doctor, maybe try talking to them. Or maybe a trainer at the gym, explain everything and see what they say. If you think it will put any strain on your neck/back dont do it.
Mama to 4 y/o ID twin girls (2006)
CM 0, C5-T1 syrinx, Scoliosis, Hypotension; PFD 2004
Deg Disc C4/5,Cervical Kyphosis-repaired 07 w cadavar bone graph & plate w 4 screws
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Postby svennobalance » Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:25 am

Hey -

There are tons of abs exercises that don't involve the neck - I do bridges everyday (Lay on back and lift body). I also do the one where you lie on your side and bend up your knees and then lift the leg up bent. This is also great for the lower back. Planks are good too if you can do them.

I also do a lot of kicking stretches - these are very hard, though, on the abs. If I do tons of kicking/leg lifts I have to reach for the painkillers in the evening.

Spine Universe has some good exercises on their web site.
chiari, decompressed dec 05, syrinx, hydro, baclofen pump October 2007, rev jan '08, VP shunt April 2009
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Location: Muskegon, Michigan

Postby Tidbit » Sat Jun 02, 2007 9:54 am

Thanks for your replies, your welcomes back, and your concern. Don't worry, I listen to my body and if something hurts I stop. When I had my shunt put in, they lifted all my activity and lifting restrictions (since pressure and fluid can't build up anymore/syrinx can't expand) and told me I can do whatever I want within my comfort level. I don't do any impact activities (like running) because it jars and hurts my neck (I CAN run if I want to, like if I had to chase after a kid or my dog, but I choose not to). I just wasn't sure about the situps because of the strain on my neck where I had the laminectomy. I like the suggestions of alternate activities to tone the tummy.

Thanks guys!
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reply- crunches

Postby prism » Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:13 pm

I'm really interested in knowing how to work on the mid-section muscles safely too. I'm just guessing by what happens when I overdo- (and I don't do much) but much exertion makes me vomit, but most especially any involving the upper abs. Does that happen to any of you? common for CM1 & SM?
You figure it would be ok just to isolate the muscles, squeeze and hold? What about trying to suck it in at the same time? (it would be like doing a plank, but my shoulders and wrists don't stand up to that well thanks to EDS)
can't stand being pudgy :roll: prism

Postby Cyborg Ninja » Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:18 pm

It is possible to work out your abs by sucking in your gut and holding it there. But anything you get from it will be absolutely minimal. There isn't much point. And you can't isolate a particular area of your abs, as much as some people like to think so, it isn't possible. Some exercises will be more intense of a certain part of your abs (like say, roman chairs), but it will all be getting worked out.

If your neck is getting strained from doing crunches or something similar, it's likely that you either have bad form or your abs are underdeveloped. Though for some of you, your previous surgeries (like a laminectomy) could be the cause.

Anyway, if we're so worried about worsening our conditions through exercises than we might as well abstain from sex. Any takers? No? I'm not surprised.
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Cyborg Ninja
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Postby powerlineman » Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:31 pm

Doing crunches or situps makes me strain too much and really kills my back. I work out at the local rec and use their Natuilus machine made for your stomach and its wonderful. You sit upright and kinda bend down alittle, and it doesnt put no strain on my back.

Its very similar to this: ... C17407x007

Speaking of which I havent worked out in two weeks, thats odd for me. Gotta get back to doing something!
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Postby k!tkat » Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:41 am

Cyborg Ninja, I'm a bit confused about your post, hoping you can clarify for me.

"Anyway, if we're so worried about worsening our conditions through exercises than we might as well abstain from sex. Any takers? No? I'm not surprised."

I know most people with SM are advised against doing situps or stomach crunches as it can expand the syrinx. I don't believe that sex poses the same risk?

I don't do stomach crunches as I find it very painful in my spine. My syrinx is located in my thorasic spine along with some compression fractures which make my back a little fragile. I find other ways to work out my stomach instead. I don't think they're as effective as stomach crunches but I'd rather not push my luck with my syrinx.


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