Contact sports and MS

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Contact sports and MS

Postby msfingsucks » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:28 am

My football playing college son was just diagnosed with MS.

For now his neurologist is saying it is oaky for him to keep playing until he has another relapse or he decides he is unable to keep up.
He lives for the game and it keeps him motivated to keep his grades up and we know he will give his all to make it happen ( much to his parents and grand parents worry).

My question to the MS community is have any of you been able to play football, hockey or rugby at the college or professional level (without to many issues) or is he most likely done?

He has only had one event so far, lost vision in one eye for several weeks.
Just started Plegridy regiment.

Thank you for your time.
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby NHE » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:17 am

Welcome to ThisIsMS. I would be concerned about the long-term effects of repeatedly banging one's head into things. Please see the PBS Frontline documentary "League of Denial."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/ ... of-denial/
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby ElliotB » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:28 am

Sorry to hear of your son's plight. TIMS is an excellent resource for you [and him] and you might want to introduce him to it at some point when he is ready. There is a wealth of information here as well as excellent support.

Ultimately the awareness/possibility of any type of injury should be seriously considered, especially as suggested by NHE. He himself will know when he cannot/should not play anymore. (I had been playing adult ice hockey as goalie and chose to give it up at the time more so because of my concern for injury than my ability to play.)

Something to consider: he may enjoy coaching (perhaps youth sports) which will keep him 'in the game' so to speak.

And there are many non-contact sports he will be able to do safely and give him the exercise he needs, and hopefully he will be just as enthusiastic about them as he is now with the sports he is currently involved with.
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby Scott1 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:11 am

Hi,

I don't know anything about your game but nothing is over till its over. He will know when but sometimes he will need to have it pointed out. I continued to do many of the things I enjoyed until I was well past the time many others had given up. Don't take away what he enjoys just because of a diagnosis. Let him show you what he is made of.

Regards
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby lyndacarol » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:00 am

msfingsucks wrote:My football playing college son was just diagnosed with MS.

For now his neurologist is saying it is oaky for him to keep playing until he has another relapse or he decides he is unable to keep up.
He lives for the game and it keeps him motivated to keep his grades up and we know he will give his all to make it happen ( much to his parents and grand parents worry).

My question to the MS community is have any of you been able to play football, hockey or rugby at the college or professional level (without to many issues) or is he most likely done?

He has only had one event so far, lost vision in one eye for several weeks.
Just started Plegridy regiment.
Welcome to ThisIsMS. You have found a supportive community of people with ties to MS – people with MS and people who care about them. We welcome not only you, but, as ElliotB has implied, we offer our support to your son as well.

To your specific question about sports and MS, I have no information or opinion. (I do share the concern of NHE; I know the topic of concussions in pro football is in the spotlight these days.)
Last edited by lyndacarol on Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby msfingsucks » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:55 am

Thanks to those who posted.

Thanks NHE for the link to Frontline show about concussions, that discussion we had many times before the MS diagnose. obviously the smart thing would be not to play but if he does continue playing I'm hoping to get an idea of what chance of success he may or may not have. When you Google search athletes with MS only handful of people come up, pretty discouraging to say the least.

So I'm hoping to hear from people in the MS community that have had positive experiences in sports (or not) after diagnoses.

As you can tell by my online name MS F ing sucks I'm in the angry stage of the diagnoses that my big strong and healthy son has been dealt this fate and as any good parent I wish I could take the MS out of him and put in me.

I just hope for his happiness he can continue playing with his team mates and the game he loves, not to mention all the hard work he put in to make it to this level.

Thanks again.
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby NHE » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:43 pm

msfingsucks wrote:Thanks NHE for the link to Frontline show about concussions, that discussion we had many times before the MS diagnose. obviously the smart thing would be not to play but if he does continue playing I'm hoping to get an idea of what chance of success he may or may not have. When you Google search athletes with MS only handful of people come up, pretty discouraging to say the least.

No one can predict your son's future experience with MS, he might be disabled in 10-20 years or he might not. But why stack the deck against yourselves by putting football related TBI into the mix?
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby msfingsucks » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:21 pm

NHE wrote:No one can predict your son's future experience with MS, he might be disabled in 10-20 years or he might not. But why stack the deck against yourselves by putting football related TBI into the mix?


Well thank you for the uplifting message NHE it's encouraging to know at least he has 10 years before he's in a wheelchair or totally blind.

Yes NHE I know I'm being a smart ass, sorry, but the reason football is so important to him is we have had 3 professional players over the years in our family.

The Frontline show link you posted about concussions was interesting and one of our family members played at the same time as Mike Webster of the Steelers the person profiled in the piece. By the way luckily (knock on wood) none of our family members had the problems poor Mike had though all had their "bell rung" numerous times.

I'm realizing now that MS and contact sports must go together like vinegar and oil but I was just hoping a few people would have posted: I played football/hockey/basketball/lacrosse in college and I had occasional set backs but I did it and your son can too!

He is an adult now and he's going to have to make the decision himself whether he try's to continue playing or not.

PS I will let you all know what he decides and what happens if he does play next year.
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby ElliotB » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:51 pm

I will suggest that you and your son study as much as you can about MS. Along with this site, there are many, many excellent books and web sites available that will give you a better understanding of the illness and some insight as to what to expect down the road. And NHE's response (and mine) may make more sense to you at that point.

Simply and politely put, MS is not an illness to be taken lightly.
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby cheerleader » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:55 pm

Sorry for what you're going thru, MSmom---
I have a college aged son, too---and I can imagine this has been really hard for your whole family.
There have been professional athletes with MS who continue on--Josh Harding comes to mind.
http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/spor ... rosis.html

Dr. Scott Rosa has worked with athletes, like Jim McMahon, to help them heal neurological disease, due to injury.
http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/ ... -1.9493358
He works with many people with MS, too.
http://www.fonar.com/news/110211.htm

He looks specifically at the craniocervical junction, using an upright MRI machine, to help reallign the spine, and get cerebrospinal fluid and blood circulation normalized. Many people have gotten real relief from his treatments. Not sure where your son is located, but just wanted to send this info out to you.
Hang in there, keep learning, NHE and Elliot and I mean well. We hate MS, too.
Cheerleader (for my husband who has had MS 9 years, and is still jogging.)
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby msfingsucks » Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:29 pm

Thank you all so much for your comments and advice.
I guess I'm still in a bit of denial about the whole thing.
We as a family are going to try and talk him out of continuing to play.
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby NHE » Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:47 am

msfingsucks wrote:
NHE wrote:No one can predict your son's future experience with MS, he might be disabled in 10-20 years or he might not. But why stack the deck against yourselves by putting football related TBI into the mix?


Well thank you for the uplifting message NHE it's encouraging to know at least he has 10 years before he's in a wheelchair or totally blind.

MS is full of uncertainty. That's the nature of the disease. "Disabled" doesn't necessarily mean blind or in a wheelchair. It can mean many other things that are less extreme. My own path has been as follows. I had my first attack in 1991, but was not diagnosed at that time. I was fine for the next 8 years. I skied and hiked regularly and road my 12 speed road bike on 20-30 mile rides. I had my next attack in 1999. I initially had problems with my leg and then developed optic neuritis about a month later which led to my hospitalization where I was diagnosed with MS. My vision cleared up, but my physical problems began a slow progression. I now use a rollator (walker with wheels) to get around. This is my story after 24 years. Other people with MS have different experiences with the disease, some better, some worse. However, there's a plethora of things you can do to improve your odds with the disease especially with exercise, diet and supplements. Just read around on the various forums to find them. Be aware though that repeatedly banging one's head into things, as in football, isn't one of them.
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby cheerleader » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:58 am

msfingsucks wrote:Thank you all so much for your comments and advice.
I guess I'm still in a bit of denial about the whole thing.
We as a family are going to try and talk him out of continuing to play.


Other sites for your family to check out, for inspiration in other physical pursuits.
My friend Matt Embry was dx with MS 20 years ago, at age 19. His Dad created a charity and program for him, Direct-MS, which has helped many others. Matt is still doing really well, with no MS progression or symptoms. He's an athlete, film maker, and now an MS advocate. Hope this might be an inspiration for your son, too. He can reach out to Matt for encouragement thru his website.
http://www.mshope.com

David Lyons is a body builder with MS--and co-founder of MS Fitness Challenge. He's still going strong, and using weight lifting to maintain his health. http://msfitnesschallenge.com/team/david-lyons.html

NHE is right. The hardest part of MS is the unknown. Your son should feel in control of his health and positive about his future. Football may not be the sport for him in the future, but he can still have an active, vital life.
Hang in there,
cheer
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dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby msfingsucks » Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:20 pm

NHE wrote:
msfingsucks wrote:
NHE wrote:No one can predict your son's future experience with MS, he might be disabled in 10-20 years or he might not. But why stack the deck against yourselves by putting football related TBI into the mix?


Well thank you for the uplifting message NHE it's encouraging to know at least he has 10 years before he's in a wheelchair or totally blind.

MS is full of uncertainty. That's the nature of the disease. "Disabled" doesn't necessarily mean blind or in a wheelchair. It can mean many other things that are less extreme. My own path has been as follows. I had my first attack in 1991, but was not diagnosed at that time. I was fine for the next 8 years. I skied and hiked regularly and road my 12 speed road bike on 20-30 mile rides. I had my next attack in 1999. I initially had problems with my leg and then developed optic neuritis about a month later which led to my hospitalization where I was diagnosed with MS. My vision cleared up, but my physical problems began a slow progression. I now use a rollator (walker with wheels) to get around. This is my story after 24 years. Other people with MS have different experiences with the disease, some better, some worse. However, there's a plethora of things you can do to improve your odds with the disease especially with exercise, diet and supplements. Just read around on the various forums to find them. Be aware though that repeatedly banging one's head into things, as in football, isn't one of them.

I apologize again for my flipped response but that sentence stopped my heart and shocked me into reality how serious this disease is and can be.
I thank you for helping me get through this difficult time.
Last edited by msfingsucks on Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Contact sports and MS

Postby Froggie » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:42 pm

I feel for you and your son. This wonderful disease has caused a lot of us to make lifestyle changes, as our bodies just don't work the same as they used to. From personal experience, it doesn't necessarily require a contact sport to be hard on the body. For years, I used to do kickboxing. I broke my big toe in class one day from hitting a shield the wrong way and as a result, started practicing barefoot. The act of landing on a hard surface in bare feet I'm sure contributed to my back problems. I now have a herniated disc which is being treated with physical therapy and Aleve. My kickboxing days are over I fear, as my lower back cannot deal with the stress and balance issues make it difficult to maneuver like I used to.

The good news is there are other things out there and your son probably needs to experiment to find out what works for him. I've known people with MS that are avid runners and even black belts in Karate. I guess it depends on the symptoms.
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