Re: Micro Bent

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Kendall Raine on November 07, 2001 at 08:39:10:

In Reply to: Re: Getting Bent - Question posted by Ed L. on November 06, 2001 at 18:50:38:

Really good question. From what I've read and experienced myself, I'd say there are a range of symptoms short of the traditional pain or neurological symptoms which can derive from decompression stress. Looking at being "bent" as a purely binary condition (yes or no) seems a bit simple minded to me-useful in the context of educating beginning divers, or establishing broad based recompression protocols, but not particularly realistic physiologically. The work done on detecting spinal cord lesions on divers who've never been clinically bent is a start in the right direction.

These "sub-clinical" symptoms may include fatigue, flu-like symptoms, lowered aerobic performance after a dive or just strange transitory feelings known to the NE wreckers as "niggles." After a long deco, I can usually tell just from the way I feel near the end of the hang whether I'm going to register a low or high Doppler bubble grade. It's really more of a "sense" of how well my deco went rather than a pain or sensation. That's not very scientific, I know, but it is empirical. It does influence whether I breathe 02 at the surface or how aggressive to be on a repetative dive.

The transitory finger pain you cite could be from any number of things. The fact that it resolves on its own and quickly strongly suggests you aren't "bent" in the traditional sense. Whether the pain results from decompression stress or some other cause is another matter.

Discussion of some of these physiological factors is available in a lot of scientific literature. I'll give you a reading list if you like. E-mail me privately if you want it.

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