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January 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 39, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Watch That Giant Stride

from the January, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Here's a story we ran seven years ago, which still is just as current today.

One of our readers returned from Bonaire and wrote, us, "My husband and I dived two to three times a day for six days. At the resort, the pier was five feet above the water, and we used a giant stride to get in. On the last day, we both experienced 'groin pulls' from the giant stride into the water. Two days later, I came down with the worst case of sciatica I've ever had! I ended up at the doctor's office, and was put on meds to ease the pain and stop the spasms. My right leg went numb to the touch and hurt like you know what! Have you ever done an article about problems with the giant stride?"

We haven't, but we asked Dr. Ern Campbell, a.k.a. the blogger Scuba Doc, what he thought of this injury. After all, sciatica is one painful problem. Here's what he told us: "The impact of jumping off a dock in full gear will apply a significant force to the intervertebral spaces. For a person with poor muscular development or an incipient disc herniation, the impact may cause a protrusion of the disc onto the nerve root(s), thereby causing sciatica, pain down the leg, caused by irritation of the main sciatic nerve into the leg. Other things can cause irritation of, or pressure on, a nerve in the spine. Sometimes this may be a rough and enlarged part of a vertebra, brought about by aging, and sometimes rarer conditions, infections and tumors are to blame."

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