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  1. #1
    LifeofaFighter is offline Junior Member
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    Default Returning to kickboxing in 2016

    Whats going on everyone?

    My names Mike Caulo I am an amateur mma, kickboxing and bjj fighter. I was on a path to following my dreams to becoming a pro athlete and more specifically a pro fighter which I technically embarked on starting in 2006 but really started from 1996 when I started TKD as my first martial art.

    I am currently 28 years old and just finishing my bachelors from Stony Brook University with concentrations in Bio and Sociology. I am currently training part time between UFC Gym Huntington Station (Also a contracted coach for the location) and Long Island MMA (train 1 - 2 times per week when I am consistent which I havent been for 2 months)

    Recently in 2013 I herniated 8 discs, and caused me to slow down my training and competing and in 2015 I took the whole year off from any competition to use that time to recovery implement physical therapy, chiropractic, and aqua therapy to heal my body and re evaluate what I am doing. Especially considering I am 28 years old (I know I am old for starting a pro career). However I feel stronger and have found out that I have gotten down to 4 herniated discs.

    First I talked to my doctor about this and he said he is unsure if this is realistic and wants me to to get another mri since I never got surgery he is concerned if the mri results are showing a false report. From my research I have heard of other cases of herniated discs being healed without surgery and hope mine is one of those cases.

    So my main questions are, has anyone else dealt with herniation's and not had surgery? Have you returned to competition? Any advice?

    Looking forward to graduating spring of 2016 and cranking up my training full time and making a come back to competition.

  2. #2
    saxman1 is offline Junior Member
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    I hope your discs are better. I know what it is like to have a dream only to have your body let you down.

    Fighting is about as hard on your body as a sport can be. The ufc pays it's fighters peanuts compared to the top boxers. For what you go through it must be out of a need or love for the sport because most fighters end there carriers broke and broken.

    The thing that is hard for a man of your age to grasp is even if you make a complete recovery from your back it will leave it's mark on you. Your disc degeneration has begun. When you are in your late 30s you will feel this injury. It is forever a part of you now. The discs will buldge much easier now, stenosis will begin, arthritis will set in, you will be prone to inflammation. This is all from that original injury. Add the wear and tear of more fighting and the is a real chance that you will be pretty messed up by the time you are 40.

    The good news is medical science is getting much better at dealing with back issues. This is especially true i Germany. They are a solid 15 years ahead of us in back surgery.

    I am not trying to rain on your parade but I think you need to hear what I am saying and really think if fighting at the highest level is worth a life of being a cripple. It could even mess your brain up really bad. That is the fight game. Look at Tito Ortiz, that guy is messed up. I think he is up to 3 or 4 fusions at this point. Tweeking a shoulder is one thing but the back is a whole other can of worms.

    If you decide to fight then I wish you all the success in the world. I hope your body doesn't let you down. Make no mistake though, your original injury is doing much better now but it will never be gone and it will slowly rear it's ugly head as you age. That is just how the body works.

  3. #3
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    I had a disc herniation about 5 years ago. I did not have surgery. I did do physical therapy. It was very painful and difficult. Sciattica pain was constant and I lost a lot of sleep. After many weeks/months of PT I was starting to heal again. After 2 years I began to use kettlebells. My back got stronger - even now I still have some stiffness in the lower back especially in the morning. But I am alot older than you - so there it is. You may or may not return to competeing. Back injuries and outcomes can vary widely from person to person. The main point is that you should avoid doing those things that will re-injure you. And enough time has to pass for healing to be as complete as possible...Dennis

  4. #4
    AndrewR is offline Senior Member
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    Sorry Mike but you're done at the top level. I've been around many great martial artists and have trained multiple world champs. Focus on health. I know it's hard to understand at 28 but anything you do in martial arts will be a pin drop in the ocean that the rest of your life will be. At 50 when you can't walk without pain, or play with your kids, or maybe even still have sex because you're on so many pain meds those few minutes you spent in the ring will seem like a poor choice.

  5. #5
    Chris Hansen is offline Senior Member
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    Having had my own share of chronic pain, I would urge you to prioritize long-term health. It's a real bummer when you can't do the things you love because it hurts too much.

    I would work with your doctor and not do anything without his clearance.

  6. #6
    Eoin Kenny is offline Senior Member
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    I think you got some great advice. Even when you get a tiny injury and decide to "work through it", it can just be disastrous. I know nothing about disc herniation but if it's anything to do with the spine then I'd probably wait until it was 100%, then rest another few months, then get the green light from a doctor, THEN start training slowly. I know from my own experience it can be hard even waiting a week to train, but I've found that focusing on other things in my life I've been neglecting can be good therapy.

  7. #7
    saxman1 is offline Junior Member
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    Also keep in mind that many if not all the guys at the top are using, test, hgh, epo and all other kinds of performance enhancers. Are you ready to do that to stay competitive? Do you know how to cycle juice and beat drug tests? Do you know how much that stuff costs? It isn't cheap.
    Last edited by saxman1; 11-05-2015 at 10:45 AM.

  8. #8
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, well entering into pro kickboxing/mma is a serious undertaking.The injury risk is high for everyone going professional (even for those with no injury history). Pro Nascar racing is risky too. If you go into it with a pre-existing injury your are pretty much guaranteed to get hurt badly. Back injurys - even those that have "healed" most likely won't withstand the demands of fierce competition in pro athletics. Its simply unknown how you will fare in the arena. And because it is unknown do you still want to risk it? I am not just speaking to the OP. I just don't want to gang up on LoaF. I think he gets it. Its for anyone who wants to weight the risks upon entering into competitive sports. And yes steroids is a bad thing too. A real Romper Room no-no...Dennis

  9. #9
    Eoin Kenny is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ad5ly View Post
    I just don't want to gang up on LoaF. I think he gets it. Its for anyone who wants to weight the risks upon entering into competitive sports.
    Absolutely! The OP can do whatever he likes, his life, his rules. We get one crack at life before we're all decomposing corpses blowing away as dust in the wind. If he wants it, he should do everything possible to get it.

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