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Thread: Niggles and Aspirin

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    New Member Percy is an unknown quantity at this point Percy's Avatar
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    Niggles and Aspirin

    Okay, at the risk of opening some floodgates here goes…..

    I have been diving on and off since 1978 and currently dive an Inspiration using Trimix and Air to a max so far of 70m using a VR3 conservatively.

    I have randomly suffered for years from what divers once called the “Niggles” , minor aches and pains that will be gone the following day. These come and go as they please with no discernable pattern but more often that not are the product of the deeper dives with long deco’s (an hour max) .
    Now … I know that this is a bend so please don’t bother reminding me….. but I would need a season ticket to the pot at Portsmouth if I went to see them every time this happens.

    The symptoms are always the same…a tenderness to the skin , like sunburn, across my upper back and shoulders, but without any discolouration. It is always gone within a couple of days and can never be anticipated…sometimes I get it sometimes I don’t.. but this could be because I spent longer or less time at deeper stops…who knows ?

    I have a theory that it is caused by blood being prevented from flowing as efficiently through some damaged muscle and tissue in my shoulders, thus leaving gas behind that would otherwise have been removed.

    I have spoken to a doctor at the DDRC previously who did not think that it was a DCS and had never heard of anything similar. !! I must be unique... I must tell my girlfriend !!.

    Question: Is there anyone else out there who has similar problems and have you identified a way to avoid them ?
    Could taking ˝ and Aspirin, used by Angina sufferers to thin the blood, increase the flow and reduce my chances of a reoccurrence. ?

    Cheers

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    Re: Niggles and Aspirin

    Have you tried other deco profiles, like hard tables instead of your VR3?

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    Re: Niggles and Aspirin

    Quote Originally Posted by Percy  View Original Post
    I have a theory that it is caused by blood being prevented from flowing as efficiently through some damaged muscle and tissue in my shoulders, thus leaving gas behind that would otherwise have been removed.
    That would be symmetrical. It would gas on less and off to match. It would be just another compartment.


    Silly question: Are you a hard man who "doesn't get cold" and dives in a thin suit because that sounds like a classic cold induced skin bend. The gas gets in while you are nice and warm with big blood flow and when the cold shuts the blood vessels down it can't get out. You are, effectively, changing the time constant of the compartment mid dive.
    It is always in well cooled surface tissues.
    Could taking ˝ and Aspirin, used by Angina sufferers to thin the blood, increase the flow and reduce my chances of a reoccurrence?
    That's 75mg and they are a quid a hundred so why not try it?

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    Re: Niggles and Aspirin

    Hello,

    I would not recommend aspirin as a preventative.

    The Adjuvant Treatments Committee of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society reviewed all drugs considered potentially useful in the treatment of DCS several years ago and the published findings are available for purshase through the UHMS website.

    With respect to aspirin, there was a fashion for its use in both prevention and treatment of DCS, based on theoretical concerns over activation of platelets (components in blood involved in initiation of clot formation) by bubbles. Such activation has been objectively demonstrated in experiments and aspirin is known to prevent platelet activation. However, there was NEVER ANY data that demonstrated benefit from aspirin administration either to prevent or treat DCS in animals or humans. It was a theoretical strategy only.

    It has been called into question on the basis of the well documented "micro-bleeding" caused by bubbles forming in the spinal cord in spinal DCS. Anything inhibiting clotting might, in theory, make this worse. But once again, there are no data demonstrating that spinal DCS is worse in animals or humans taking aspirin.

    So in summary regarding aspirin: There are theoretical reasons why it might be beneficial, and theoretical reasons why it might be harmful, with no data from animals or humans to answer the question. On this basis, the UHMS Adjuvant Treatments Committee concluded that it could not recommend aspirin for use in treatment or prevention of DCS.

    Simon M

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    Re: Niggles and Aspirin

    Quote Originally Posted by nigelh  View Original Post
    That would be symmetrical. It would gas on less and off to match. It would be just another compartment.


    Silly question: Are you a hard man who "doesn't get cold" and dives in a thin suit because that sounds like a classic cold induced skin bend. The gas gets in while you are nice and warm with big blood flow and when the cold shuts the blood vessels down it can't get out. You are, effectively, changing the time constant of the compartment mid dive.
    It is always in well cooled surface tissues.
    That's 75mg and they are a quid a hundred so why not try it?
    A few items:
    1. I too suffered this problem for years, but traced it. It is due to profile. I have permanent marks on the skin of one shoulder as a result. It does not affect just your skin: one finds out the real damage years later.
    2. It is not symmetrical: on-gassing is a rising expontial, off-gassing is a falling exponential. This means tissues take much more time to off-gas than on-gas.
    3. You raise a good point: Cold is a problem. Not good to get cold as it does change gas flow, particularly on shoulders and neck. I do not notice the cold, but the gas in my tissues do.
    Cheers,

    Alex

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    Re: Niggles and Aspirin

    Quote Originally Posted by Percy  View Original Post
    Could taking ˝ and Aspirin, used by Angina sufferers to thin the blood, increase the flow and reduce my chances of a reoccurrence. ?

    Cheers
    See Simon's post above.

    For clarification - aspirin does not "thin the blood", what it does is help prevent blood clots in certain situations by interfering with the action of the platelets which are partly responsible for clot fromation.

    Dave T

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    Re: Niggles and Aspirin

    Quote Originally Posted by AD_ward9  View Original Post
    2. It is not symmetrical: on-gassing is a rising expontial, off-gassing is a falling exponential. This means tissues take much more time to off-gas than on-gas.
    Agreed.

    The point I was aiming at was that if damage to the tissue makes gas transfer slower it merely acts as a different, slower 'compartment' so the standard model still applies and normal deco calculations should still work. I expressed it messily.

    Incidentally I've been on 75mg a day asprin for years now due to the cardiac stent.

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    New Member Percy is an unknown quantity at this point Percy's Avatar
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    Re: Niggles and Aspirin

    Hi Guys, I thought this might create a few replies;

    Martin; Cheers, I have not tried any tables as I , like all of us want to get some decent bottom times, but despite this I find that the VR3 is quite conservative. I also frequently extend my last stop and when I can I will sit on the boat for a further 5 or 10 mins on the loop. This sometimes helps.

    Nigel: I don't suffer the cold much but I also dress to impress so I do not believe that the cold is a factor here. The last good niggle I got was only a month ago , off Brighton by the way, and the water was quite warm.

    Simon and Dave: Not being a doctor I didn't really understand the way Aspirin works...but believed only from the press that it thinned the blood. That was clearly wrong ..Cheers.

    Alex: I am glad too find someone else who had a similar niggle...although I have no other symptoms such as a rash that would normally identify it as a typical Skin Bend.
    As I stated earlier it does not always happen , and can vary in severity from one dive to the next, and I am aware that the profile is responsible. I occasionally experiment to see if it can be avoided in particular I am now considering extending slightly my deep stops.
    We will have to see how it goes.

    Cheers

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    Re: Niggles and Aspirin

    Hi Percy,

    Do these 'niggles' correspond with when you first started using your VR3?

    Although I dive one myself, I'm not a fan on of the profile it gives - yes, it's conservative on the shallow stops but seems to ignore the mid range stops all together.

    As a example on 20 conservatism, yesterday a dive to 42m for 40 mins bottom time using 1.2 set point on the bottom and assent, my VR3 gave my first stop at 24 meters, then 17 meters and then straight to 9m. I prefer to do the first stop as per my VR3 and then ascend at 3m/min between the VR3 stops. I also find that this reduces the shallow stop times so is in fact crediting me and taking into account the offgasing through out the assent.

    Cheers

    Rich

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    New Member Percy is an unknown quantity at this point Percy's Avatar
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    Re: Niggles and Aspirin

    Hi Rich,
    unfortunately I can't blame the VR3 for my probs..I have suffered on and off for years now but it seems to be more so since getting the Inspiration but this could simply because I am going deeper for longer.
    Your suggestion that mid level stops may be missed out by the VR3 could be on the money.
    I have examined the idea of extending the deeper stops to see if anything changes...the theory being that the more time I give the deep stuff to get out the better !!.
    As stated before sometimes I get almost no niggles at all and on these occasions I shall study the ascent profile to see if I kept to the VR3 or if I took longer to come up because of one reason or another.

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