Bones & Joints

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Bad Discs, Sciatica, and Diving

By Dr. Jolie Bookspan A degenerating disc, or one that is slipped (herniated) can be painful and frightening. Divers may be told to give up diving, or they may find they are too limited to dive effectively. Despite the fact that discs usually can heal quickly and easily, divers are commonly told that a disc […]

Abdominal Muscle Fitness for Divers By Dr. Jolie Bookspan

Exercises for Abs No More Crunches! No More Back Pain! By Dr. Jolie Bookspan Why “Do” Abs? Most people don’t know what abs specifically “do” or how. You’ve heard that abdominal muscles help your back, but exactly how? Your “abs” have something to do with posture? But exactly what? You know something vague about “support” […]

No More Back Pain by Dr. Jolie Bookspan – Part 3

Bad Diving Practices The Diving Doc that Harvard University calls “The St. Jude of the Joints” shows you how to save your back from common bad practices This is Part III of “No More Back Pain.” Part II covered important exercises to strengthen while you retrain posture and habits for standing and moving in real […]

No More Back Pain by Dr. Jolie Bookspan – Part 2

Back Exercises This is part II of “No More Back Pain.” Part I explained how the majority of back pain comes from bad standing, sitting, lifting, and carrying habits. The relentless pull of bad mechanical use of your body during normal activities will eventually strain, tear, degenerate, and injure you in the same way that […]

No More Back Pain by Dr. Jolie Bookspan – Part 1

You Don’t “Just Have To Live With It” The Diving Doc that Harvard University calls “The St. Jude of the Joints” shows you how to save your back from common bad practices Eight of ten people get back pain at some time in their lives. Back pain is the second most usual reason for doctor […]

Herniated Disc Disease

Diving With Unoperated Disc Disease Diving with un-operated herniated disc disease is thought by some authorities to constitute a contra-indication to scuba diving. However, post surgical and healed vertebral fusions generally are thought not to impose any restrictions on diving. In addition, there is the theoretical caveat that there is an increased risk of bubble […]

Fractures, Surgery and Acute Conditions – limitations for divers

General Considerations Disqualification of divers with musculoskeletal injuries, surgery and inflammations should be considered during the period of an incompletely healed fracture, sprain, ligamentous injury or inflammatory process for several reasons; the loss of mobility and dexterity with a cast the possible alteration in the uptake of inert gas at the site of injury resulting […]

Diving with Joint Replacement

Knee or Hip Replacement There should be no diving limitations or restrictions placed on diving with a knee or hip replacement, or any other metallic inserts or implants. The effects of pressure are not any specific danger for implants which do not contain compressible gases. Gas laws (Boyle’s and Henry’s) don’t effect an implanted solid; […]

Sjogren’s Syndrome and Diving

A chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder of unknown etiology, characterized by dryness of the mouth, eyes, and other mucous membranes and often associated with rheumatic disorders sharing certain autoimmune features (eg, RA, scleroderma, and SLE) and in which lymphocyte infiltration into affected tissues is seen. The syndrome is more common than SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) but […]

Arthritis and Scuba Diving

Medical Conditions affect the safety of divers in the following ways: The effect the condition has on organs vital to safe diving (central nervous system, heart, lungs, ears, eyes) The limitation of physical ability caused by the condition; alteration of the diver/buddy relationship The effect on diving of medications taken for the condition Complex interactions […]

Compression Arthralgia and Diving

Definition Called ‘Compression Pains’ in the new U.S. Navy Diving Manual (3- 10.8). it is referred to as compression arthralgia in other texts (Edmonds and Bove). It is the result from increases in external pressure surrounding the body. These pains affect the joints and may occur in almost any diver. They have been experienced in […]

Chronic Adverse Effect of Diving on Bones

DYSBARIC OSTEONECROSIS HistoryIn the late 1800’s and early 1900’s many people worked building tunnels and bridges using compressed air in caissons to keep the workplace dry. It is from this population that Bassoe(1911) in the United States and Bornstein and Plate (1911) in Germany were the first to report disabling hip and shoulder conditions which […]

Dysbaric Osteonecrosis and Diving

Osteonecrosis – definition Dysbaric osteonecrosis is the death of a portion of the bone that is thought to be caused by nitrogen embolization “blockage” of the blood vessels in divers. Although the definitive pathologic process is poorly understood, there are several hypotheses: Intra- or extravascular nitrogen in bones, “nitrogen embolization”. Osmotic gas effects due to […]
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