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BJJGround Forum >> Multiple Sclerosis and jiu jitsu

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7/30/13 11:59 AM
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allamerican85
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Member Since: 3/23/13
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Hey guys, I won't make this a pity me party, but I'm going to the VA on Friday to have an MRI done to see if I have multiple sclerosis. Went to the doctors a few weeks ago to get X-rays on my hips because they have been bothering me, also my dad had a hip disease that could be genetic, so I went to get them checked out and the docs scheduled me an MRI because I show signs of having Multiple Sclerosis. My question is, do you guys know anyone that has it and has continued rolling and how it's affected their jiu jitsu. Thanks in advance. Phone Post 3.0
7/30/13 12:14 PM
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ChangoBravo
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I have MS.

I had been having "episodes" intermitantly through out the last 5 years and was formally diagnosed 18 months ago.

I have been practicing Jiu Jitsu since 2005, and all of my therapists and Neurologists feel that BJJ and Yoga are the best things that I can do, and continue to do. Anything that can keep you moving in 3 planes and challenge your mind at the same time is going to benefit you down the line if/when the disease really takes hold.

Day to day it does not effect my rolling. I do have times when I am especially pained or lethargic or my mind is scattered or I become mildly depressed. I generally know during my day how nad why my mobility is affected. At those times I either a.) don't participate in Jiu Jitsu class or b.) d owhat I can and work around it.

I have been with my instructor since 2005. all of my classmates know about my condition and the help and encourage me.

I recently underwent ACL surgery. My Physical Therapist says I have the fastes mobility/ROM, full use of movement that he has ever seen in ANY patient. I am 40 and have MS. I attribute my recovery to the foundations that were laid by my practice of Jiu Jitsu.


Chango
7/30/13 12:20 PM
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allamerican85
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Chango, people like you give me hope, thank you for your quick response Phone Post 3.0
7/30/13 8:00 PM
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PayItForward
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I think Sir Taps has it too and he has been training for a bit.

good luck man. I too had the symptoms but it ended up being stress induced symptoms. I didn't even know it was happening. I wish you the best.

from the sound of it and from others here, it's not a "death sentence" to your bjj. stay positive with your thoughts
7/31/13 9:13 AM
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SlapUsilly
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I have MS. Diagnosed in 2008 right after I got my brown belt, but i've had symptoms since 99. Essentially my whole BJJ career.. just didn't know it.

My advice, get a good neurologist, and a good team of doctors. If you can find a place that specializes in MS, you'll be better off.
I go to an MS center where they really understand me when i tell them that my hands sometimes feel like they're on backwards. (trust me.. its a real symptom)

As far as BJJ is concerned.. just do what you gotta do.. don't stop training just because you have MS. Live a normal life and don't hold back because you think the MS will hinder you. Like me, and the poster above, at times you may feel lethargic, slow, uncoordinated and weak, but on other days you'll feel 100%. Its weird.. and it's totally dependend on the person since it doesn't affect everyone the same way.

Of course, you'll hear tons of advice from people who don't have it, but who's aunt/uncle/cousin had it and cured themselves with home remedies, or that it's gluten related, or what have you... so wether you choose to believe it or not, is up to you... Personally, i stick to my vitamin D and my copaxone as well as relatively healthier eating than what i used to before i knew i had MS.

Remember though, train to your limits, but don't overdo it either. Some people are sensitive to heat as it exascerbates symptoms.. in my case, i start to lose my vision and have walking difficulty if i get too too hot... but it's pretty rare.

I earned my black belt in BJJ (2011 - to my knowledge, the first person to do so)... while having MS, by the way.. And although i have some difficulties with the tougher people at my school..of all ranks... i can still roll hard, and still feel great afterwards.

Its cliche- but i do go by the saying, I have MS... it doesn't have me... so i do what i want.
7/31/13 9:22 AM
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allamerican85
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I'm really glad you guys are reaching out about this, I show no signs what so ever, or that I know of, of having it. My bjj journey is just beginning, been training for a little over a year and am up for my blue belt as soon as I can "test". But I never feel lethargic, or tired or weak. Hopefully this is a misdiagnosis but the MRI will clear everything up. Thanks guys. Phone Post 3.0
7/31/13 10:24 AM
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SlapUsilly
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MS is a tricky diagnosis and it takes years for some people.
MRI alone doesn't determine it. You need at least two confirmed attacks, MRIs.. and in my case, they made sure with a spinal tap.

I've found it weird how some doctors are like... "Oh, this may be MS" without reviewing the patient fully. I've seen this happen to people.. they get the shit scared out of them and then they end up having nothing.

Let's hope you come up clear from this.
7/31/13 11:59 AM
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MTH
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I find the notion of those with MS pursuing a grappling sport like BJJ to be beyond fascinating. 

It makes the very idea that those of us without any kind of chronic condition would ever complain about feeling tired, slow, hot, etc., when we're on the mat seem just laughable.  And it's not as if Chango and SlapUsilly rolled in the other day just to "give it a shot."  You guys have been doing this for many years.

I would love to see a well-done biopic on either of you.  Something along the lines of the AllThingsBJJ videos.  I mean surely this is a nearly singular accomplishment you guys are pursuing here?  How many MS grapplers can there really be? 

Just incredible. 

7/31/13 2:06 PM
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Siciliano
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ChangoBravo - I have MS.

I had been having "episodes" intermitantly through out the last 5 years and was formally diagnosed 18 months ago.

I have been practicing Jiu Jitsu since 2005, and all of my therapists and Neurologists feel that BJJ and Yoga are the best things that I can do, and continue to do. Anything that can keep you moving in 3 planes and challenge your mind at the same time is going to benefit you down the line if/when the disease really takes hold.

Day to day it does not effect my rolling. I do have times when I am especially pained or lethargic or my mind is scattered or I become mildly depressed. I generally know during my day how nad why my mobility is affected. At those times I either a.) don't participate in Jiu Jitsu class or b.) d owhat I can and work around it.

I have been with my instructor since 2005. all of my classmates know about my condition and the help and encourage me.

I recently underwent ACL surgery. My Physical Therapist says I have the fastes mobility/ROM, full use of movement that he has ever seen in ANY patient. I am 40 and have MS. I attribute my recovery to the foundations that were laid by my practice of Jiu Jitsu.


Chango

All the best for you man. had a cousin suffer from MS too. Now, she's back training boxing everyday.
7/31/13 6:47 PM
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Hey Beer Man
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There was a guy at the first gym I went to for BJJ that had MS and very symptomatic. His seemed to be like one year long episode but he killed it on the mat. He was only a very good blue and smoked guys even when he couldn't move one side of his body. He swore by BJJ as a treatment for his MS
7/31/13 9:17 PM
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rothko
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I thought I had MS about 8 years ago. Turned out to be Lyme disease. I've also have heard of people with vitamin B6 toxicity being misdiagnosed with MS. At any rate, keep fighting whatever it is.
7/31/13 10:20 PM
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SlapUsilly
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rothko - I thought I had MS about 8 years ago. Turned out to be Lyme disease. I've also have heard of people with vitamin B6 toxicity being misdiagnosed with MS. At any rate, keep fighting whatever it is.

MS diagnosis involves eliminating all other diseases or causes for the symptims first. That's why it takes so long on some people.
I got checked for Lupus, Lymes (twice), vitamin deficiencies, migranes, syphilis, antinuclear antibodies..and Lord knows what else.
7/31/13 10:21 PM
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SlapUsilly
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Edited: 07/31/13 10:35 PM
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double... probably the MS
8/1/13 9:05 AM
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ChangoBravo
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Just like SlapUsilly has stated. MS is diagnosed by omission or "Rule out". I too was screened for Lupus, Lyme Disese, vitamin deficiencies, allergies, a whole host of mold and other environmental sensitiviteis...

It takes a long time and is very trying.

I'm very fond of BJJ and it has helped me immensely, but it doesn't have to be for everyone. The real deal is to keep moving. Challenge your body. Whether it's BJJ or dancing or yoga, or triatholons, you have to keep your body moving and teaching it to move in new ways.

Also challenge your mind. I prefer chess and trivial pursuit, but Sudoku or word games will also help with memory and cognitive function in the long term.

SUS is right about the cliche. I have MS, It doesn't have me. Things become cliche when they are true...


Chango
8/1/13 11:27 PM
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Sgt. Slaphead
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you guys are inspiring!


AA85, you go VA?.......were you in gulf? I wonder about that since GWI due to toxitity, etc., especially that damn anthrax shots. Whatever it is, best of luck!
8/2/13 11:46 AM
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allamerican85
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I was in OIF 7, but yeah alot of shots we had to get over there Phone Post 3.0

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