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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:44 pm
by johnW
G'day All
After two months, I can now stand and walk, for a short time, without that wretched sciatic nerve pain flaring up, bringing me back to my knees. . . .YESSSSS!!!
I have also had my first shower standing upright instead of squatting or kneeling on the tiles. . . YOU BEAUTY!!!!

Thank you Dean for your fantastic RYB book, and this forum of helping people who have or are going through similar painful experiences themselves. It is very very encouraging to read their replies and posts over and over.

I am not quite jumping up and down yet . . although I feel like it at the moment. I have been doing Deans suggested exercises for nearly a week now. Improving somewhat, yesterday evening, I took a gamble, going for a 5 mile kayak on the lake . . stepped out. . . NO sciatic pain for the first time.
I know, stubborn bloody Ozi you say! and you’d be correct. :oops:
However, I am not saying for a minute that kayaking is a cure or recommending that any of you attempt it for several reasons: a) Up until now I have been extremely fit, 2) It is an Olympic Class K1 kayak which is very light weight. 3) I have been trained to paddle properly, using my trunk and leg muscles, whilst opening and swinging the shoulders . . a sort of horizontal form of Deans hip shrug. This seems to work for me, so I am just telling you as it is and will only continue unless I feel any pain or experience any setback.
Please follow Deans advice and exercises as he has set out in his book and you wont go wrong.

I am not home yet, still get the sciatic pain returning after some time standing and still have a dull lower back ache. So I am not kidding myself. I still have a long long way to go (slowly) . . but at the moment . . I’M STOKED!!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:27 pm
by Dean
Hi John,

Glad to hear of your progress. I've been following your posts and, as usual, holding back on answering so that others can have an opportunity. It's so great to be able to watch someone make those first steps towards recovery and to share in your joy.

The kayaking worries me, of course, as this is about the point where people get over-confident and want to "test the waters" (pun intended) and see if they can't start doing their old activities. I'm not an expert on kayaking so I can't really comment on whether it would be a good activity or not. All I can do is recommend that you take it easy and don't over do it. Just ask Randolph.

Just be careful, and keep us posted,

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 11:34 am
by randolph
Fantastic John :!:

Even though I know how bad the onset of the sciatica can be, I can only imagine how good you must feel to come out the other end - PAINFREE!! Wow!!! I'm not there yet ... but improve daily, weekly ... so will continue the exercises, quite confident that because others like you John are rebuilding successfully, I'll be jumping up and down with you sooner than later!!

Thanks for the great progress report ... and touch base with us again ... when you're not on the lake!

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:27 pm
by johnW
Many thanks for your kind replies Dean and Randolph.

I am not quite 'pain free' yet Randolph, but no doubt, your very positive attitude is assisting me get there and will also get you back to 'jumping up and down' very soon. . I realy look forward to reading your post when you do.

You don't have to worry Dean, as much as you are not an expert on kayaking, I am no expert on backs, I take your advice very seriously indeed. I am treading the waters very lightly when paddling . . I still get out of the kayak pain free yet the sciatic pain (not travelling down the leg very far now) still returns after standing/walking for some time. It is rather weird how my pain actually keeps changing. Sometimes nothing, sometimes fierce down the left leg /buttocks, then strong lower back only and occasionally sciatic pain in the right buttocks??? However, it is slowly improving each day and that is what matters most to me and no doubt everyone else who follows your RYB program.
Time to exercise again . . nearly worn a patch in the carpet where I do them :roll:

I also have a question regarding swimming and bad lower backs which I will post as a new topic.

Kindest regards to you both. john

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:48 am
by randolph
Hello again, John!

Yes, it's weird how the pain changes from day2day, different places, different intensities. Very frustrating being human with very limited intelligence, and no direct line to God to get a 100% infallible answer to "What in the world is going on here!?!!" To keep myself from going too crazy with all the day2day changes, I've been focusing on the week2week improvements. So far, each week the pain is discernably less, I can walk further and do more without pain, and I can stretch a bit more. Maybe it's the male part of you and I that thinks if we just knew more, we could do more to fix this accursed sciatica!

Another book I've read on self-treatment of sciatica without surgery recommended doing some sort of aerobic exercise (the book also recommended all of Dean's exercises with the same concerns for going slow ... so I'm inclined to regard that book positively). Swimming is one of their recommended activities. The authors (physiatrists) also strongly warned to be very careful: don't do too much too fast, but by all means, do as much as you can without too much pain. I think that's where the concern Dean and I had for you came from, after you mentioned kayaking (I had mental pictures of you going down 45 degree slopes in roaring rapids!) I'm doing about 30 mins each day on the exercise bike quite successfully (I'd swim if I had access to water). The positive effects are both physical and psychological. If I don't exercise vigorously 30 mins each day, I don't feel right; so it feels good to be able to sweat each day again ... and I figure anything healthy that makes me feel better must help the healing/rebuilding process.

Hope this helps, John!!

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:38 pm
by johnW
G'day Randolph

It is good to talk to someone who also needs aerobic exercise each day. I have been doing it as long as I can remember, I don't know any other way.

It is not that I am trying to speed the rebuild process along, dont get me wrong, I am taking my time as Dean and yourself have suggested. . . but I am darned if I will let some pain stop me from doing EVERYTHING.

Your dead right, you just don't feel right if you don't exercise, it is a psychological thing . . nothing to do with ego. :roll:

So, I am doing a little swimming and some mileage kayaking on the lake ( no, not down rapids :lol: . K1's are extremely tippy, similar to a round log ) I have been off my racing bicycle and the stationary rollers for two weeks now, so I will have to go through yet another pain; the hill climbing pain, all over again . . after I rebuild my back to 100%.

I am pleased to hear that you are getting a bit of a sweat up for 30 mins each day on your stationary bike. It takes guts to get on the bike when suffering so much with sciatic/lower back pain.

Mate, I wish you continued success with your own rebuild, which sounds like it is coming along just fine, and look forward to talking to you again . . it certainly does help! john

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:20 am
by randolph
Hello John

What sold me on doing some aerobic exercise was trying a few minutes on the bike ... and feeling the hip pain go way down ... doing even more and feeling even better. So far doing any more than 30-40 mins leaves me in more pain, but hitting that sweet spot of doing just enough, then doing some stretches, and I'm stoked!!

So I am bit puzzled by Steven's post that highly recommends not adding anything to Dean's exercises and Dean's lack of mention of the advisability of doing some aerobic exercise. Of coarse, I'm quite mindful to back off if the pain flares ... but so far, after one month, the aerobic activity seems to be quite helpful both physically and psychologically. And like you, John, I'm just not going to give up EVERYTHING. My wife tells me I'm just plain stubborn ... but it's just a life long habit (and a good one I think) of pushing to see how much I can do, how far I can run, how far I can throw ... well you get the point. Probably a "guy thing" :lol: