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Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:43 am
by cygnet
I can walk on my toes again! This week my calf is getting stronger, and now I can walk on my toes again! Yay! The exercises are working!

That means I won't have as much of a limp when walking.

Now if this nasty snow and ice would just go away, I could go outside and do my daily walking again. Three days ago it was 70 degrees out and sunny. YESTERDAY, we got hit with a storm and it was in the 20s. We had hail, freezing rain, and snow all at the same time. This morning there are 3 inches of snow with a layer of ice on top. Yuck.

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:11 am
by Dean
Yuck indeed! Time for winter to be over. Fortunately we only dropped into the 50's here in the Ozarks (Midwest). Don't envy you the snow one bit.

Glad to hear of your progress. I fully expect to see 100% recovery from you over time. It may take awhile for all symptoms to vanish, possibly even years... but the body can do some amazing things.

Set the bar high... go for 110% and you'll achieve the full recovery you desire.

Just don't get over excited and try to do too much too soon. Stick to a gradual increase in your activity levels and intensity of your workout sessions. One common mistake I see (just ask randolph or krd) is jumping right back into old activities such as manual labor or sports activities before your body has a chance to work up to that level.

The key to success with this program is the word, GRADUAL.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Keep us posted,

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:10 pm
by cygnet
Thanks Dean, I totally get that it is important not to overdo it and end up with a relapse.

During the months when I was stuck lying down most of the time, I read through all of krd and randolph's posts to get a sense of how their healing process happened. The forums are a great resource that way. I saw how they both had relapses (not necessarily from doing something wrong, sometimes it just happens) and how frustrating that was.

I'm being very careful to do only the exercises from section 2 of RYB I feel comfortable with. As time passes I'll add the harder ones. Walking is a safe activity. Swimming, elliptical machine, those are OK too. Snow shoveling, rearranging furniture, carrying heavy groceries up three flights of stairs - those are all out, probably forever!

And I suppose I should hold off on auditioning for cirque du soleil for a few more months :)

- Cythren

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:37 am
by Guest
Hi Leigh!

Great to read of your progress! Spring '07 will always be special for you!!

I think Dean has it right to encourage you to set your recovery goals at 110%. If my case is at all indicative, you don't have to settle for a partial disability as your optimum, where you can't, for instance, shovel snow, or push big sofas around, or walk up your stairs with heavy goodies (I'm now doing all that kinda stuff). My ascent to returning to full ability has been, as Dean wrote, a gradual thing ... but I see no reason why there can't be an audition for cirque du soleil in your future :D. I've set my sights on running a marathon again.


Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:15 pm
by cygnet
Hi RYB friends,

I just wanted to check in and say hello. I'm still doing well with healing. I do the stretching exercises every day (especially the cobra extension), and strengthening exercises every other day. I'm also taking a weekly yoga class that is designed for people with back problems. The woman who teaches it has scoliosis, and many of the students do too. The class helps with core strengthening, and we also do a lot of exercises that stretch the spine - traction.

It's amusing to me that someone invented a machine - the drx9000 - to put the spine in traction, when all you need to do that is a doorway and a broomstick, or a rope attached to the wall. Both the broomstick and the rope are used in different yoga postures that create traction on the lumbar spine!

I hope everyone here is healing and seeing improvement in their sciatica and lower back pain. Those exercises really do help so much.

:) Leigh

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:36 am
by Admin
Hi Leigh,

Glad to see you're still improving.

I agree... I find the spinal decompression machines like the drx9000 to be amusing. There is no question that they work... but it just makes no sense when you can accomplish the same results using very simple methods.

By the way, were you able to get your computer fixed?


Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:27 pm
by randolph
Hi Leigh

Can you please describe how you arrange a doorway and a broomstick or rope to duplicate the traction effect of the DRX9000? I'm having a hard time picturing it. Is the idea to position the rope or stick to be able to hang by the hands, without the feet touching the floor; so the weight of the dangling legs stretches the spine?

Thanks, Randolph

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:05 pm
by Paul
Yeah, I'm wondering about that broomstick thing as well. I like the decompression exercises in RYB because they don't require any equipment, but I'm always open to new ideas.


Posted: Tue May 01, 2007 7:50 pm
by cygnet
Hi Dean, Randolph and Paul,

I haven't been online much because the weather is finally getting nicer here and I'm feeling better physically, going out more and doing things, and working full time while doing a job search.

Anyway, for the doorway traction thing, you lay on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor in a doorway. You hold a broomstick in your hands like you would hold onto the handle of a grocery cart, and push the broomstick against the sides of the doorway. Your hips and lower spine are on one side of the doorway, and your upper body is on the other side.

My favorite traction exercise was the one I did in yoga class. It's iyengar yoga, so they use props. You know the downward facing dog pose? We did that pose but with ropes around the hips attached to the wall. The ropes held your hips in place while your upper body stretched forward and down to the floor, stretching your spine. You wouldn't want to try this on your own...only in a class with an experienced instructor.

I've been doing all of the RYB exercises regularly. It's been helping a lot to strengthen core muscles. I feel stronger and healthier.

I have very loose joints - for example, if someone pulls on my finger, you can feel the joint start to pop out (yuck, i know). I can bend my finger way back - much more than normal. I think this joint looseness makes me more susceptible to injuries. The only way to protect the joints is to keep the muscles around them as strong as possible. Especially the muscles that support the spine and hips. That spine injury that floored me from December '06 to March '07 was a wake-up call. From now on I'm going to be very diligent about doing the right kinds of exercises on a regular basis.


Posted: Tue May 01, 2007 10:45 pm
by Dean
Hi cygnet,

Thanks for the tips and the update. Let us know how the job hunt goes.


Thanks for the inspiration

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:16 am
by Sarah29
Hi cygnet,

Right now I'm going through the same thing you did. I have a partial foot drop on my left foot and leg with some numbnes and weakness. My parents are pushing me to get surgery because they don't think exercising will work. I've been reading all your posts and you've been such an inspiration to me. Thank you so much!!!! I don't want to have surgery and it is because of you that I've had the courage to stick with the exercises. I'm making progress. It's slow and somedays I have to come back here and read everyone's stories just to remind myself that I'm not all alone. Your story means the most to me because it's like you're writing about me. Thank you!!!

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:24 pm
by Ron
Hi Sarah29,

I'm not cygnet, but I wanted to welcome you to the group. You're on the right track so hang in there and it will get better. Be sure to read randolph's posts if you haven't already.

Keep us posted on your progress.