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Update Us! Share How Your Recovery Is Coming Along!

Posted: Sun May 11, 2008 2:49 pm
by Flyin Pig
I'm curious about our very different injuruies. Some of you had been degenerating and some had been broken, some fused to hold a week point in place and some still in serious pain.

I'd like to know something about your back, and what you've been doing to recover...what works for you and what doesn't...or just a simple update on your progress.

Thanks in advance,

Posted: Mon May 12, 2008 5:47 am
by NancyR
:D Hi Scott,

I have been diligently doing my exercises and am sooooo very pleased to say that my back is feeling MUCH better. By far the exercise that seems to help me the most is the Cobra. I still can't get all the way up yet, but what I can do, I do several times a day and it makes a huge difference. Since I found a way to do it without twisting my neck, I'm noticing that the referal pain down my arm has subsided as well. I still have some pain, but it isn't constant and there's more time in between the pains. I'm still keenly aware that should I do too much I'll be back to square one, so I'm careful there as well. I'm looking forward to the day when I won't have to think about it so much. My current challenge is finding a way to make it through the work week without the pain level or duration increasing. I sit a lot and try to do the chair exercises, but it's not the same. I'll just keep working on that as well. This too will pass.

How're you doing?

Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 6:03 am
by TBone
That is good to hear Nancy.

I have been improving as well. The deep breathing has really helped me go further with my stretches each day. Especially before doing the forward bend. Yesterday, I was able to reach all the way down to my ankles...which is a big deal for me! I have also noticed that during all of the other exercises, that it is so important to breath deeply and simply relax the muscles that you are stretching. If you strain, you are actually working against your goal.

A positive attitude and finding ways to laugh at stressful situations has really helped me. I am "unlearning" some of the perfectionist habits that I have developed over the years. Life is too short to be so serious all the time. In many ways, we create our own stress.

Another thing that has helped me to avoid the "plateau" effect is to clear my mind of any preconceived notions about my limits. Over the past 2 weeks I have come further than I had in the previous 10 months with any other treatment including prolotherapy, spinal decompression, physical therapy, a nerve block, ect. Through deep breathing and relaxation, my body has literally surprised me with its ability to heal. In short, I was telling myself, "You are injured, you are inflexible, you are not young anymore", and this was completely preventing me from healing.

If you haven't done so yet, I would suggest you pick up the Pain Relief Manual. Dean has some great insights to preventing injury through warm up and increasing longevity through exercise. Some of the notions that I had about health and staying in shape for the long haul were just plain wrong. I will be following Dean's insights for the rest of my life.

Take it easy,

Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 9:26 pm
by Flyin Pig
Nancy, TBone, your recoveries are good news, indeed.

I was reminded while yanking on the starter cord for the lawn mower, that I'm not quite 100% yet. Like you mentioned earlier Nancy, it's easy to re-injure yourself if you do some of the normal day-to-day things without giving it much thought. Thankfully, nothing catastrophic happened. I did use the pelvic pinch after the initial (reminding) pull, though. The grass is cut at home and at the airport.

I think I use the standing back stretch the most. I've incorporated it into my normal standing activity...meaning whenever I'm standing, I stretch a few times...always with some slow, deep breaths. You're right TBone, I think the breathing is the key for all of it! The common denominator.

Do you guys also have the RYN manual?? I throw some of the neck stretches in for good measure, too.

Personally, my recovery has not taken that long at all. It happened at the beginning of March '08. I must say that I am fortunate to have found you folks as soon as I did.

Thanks for your updates and let's meet back here every week or so. OK?

Blue Skies,

Posted: Sun May 18, 2008 3:10 pm
by NancyR
Hi, meeting back every week sounds good. I continue to do better. I have gotten my cobra all the way up. What a difference if makes for my back. I try to do it several times a day. Today, I woke up and went through the whole morning without pain at all. I forgot all about my back. What a wonderful thing! Then I went shopping and it came back. Something to do with walking or standing. The pain is gone again. Like I said, better and better. I never remember the breathing thing. I do use the pelvic pinch, especially when when out walking or standing. I also like the hip shrug, although it hurts still a bit. I'm not fond of the standing back stretch. It makes me feel like I'm straining my neck. I try to incoorporate neck stretches with some of my back exercises, but to be honest, I'm more concerned with working with my back. I'm so used to the neck/arm pains, that I've resolved myself to having them no matter what.

I'm glad to hear you guys are steadily improving. For me this is a slow go, but that's fine, so long as it's in the right direction. Stay well.

Posted: Wed May 21, 2008 5:40 pm
by Flyin Pig
It's great to hear your recovery is going well, Nanc! Yep! Slow IS the way to go.

I guess I don't mind sounging like a broken record... I'm getting stronger and more flexible. I use the eBook material for the foundation for all of my excercise routines, and also before as well as during any laborous work I do.

My daughter came home from school for the summer and she's been jogging every morning before she goes to work. I've only ran very short distances to sort of test the waters, but I'm encouraged to try a run around the block with her this week. I just don't want to over do it.

My main stretches continue to be the standing back, foreward bend, cobra, hip shrug. Walking with my wife and dog have been a daily event. The walking does tend to tighten up the lower back a bit but again, I'll stretch before, duing and after. I think its time to go back through the manuals and add some different stuff.

Well, you guys still remain to be great encouragement for me, so lets continue to update each other if you have the time!


Posted: Wed May 21, 2008 5:43 pm
by Flyin Pig
Oh yeah... TBone says, "breathe deep."


Posted: Wed May 28, 2008 12:11 pm
by TBone
My first 4 weeks are up today and I'll be starting the advanced exercises. I am seeing great improvement. In fact, I feel that most, if not all of the pain is gone now. I even played a little tennis yesterday. I only served (which requires no reaction) and hit with one of the junior players that I teach. It was fairly safe, and I was feeling so good I figured "why not?"! I have to admit that I really "went after" a few of the serves...meaning that I hit them as I would during a tournament match. I am slightly sore today, but it is a good sore, not a sharp "why the hell did I try that?" sore.

One of the threads on this forum proved to be very vital to me over the last week or so. It was the discussion on John Sarno's book called "Healing Back Pain". I haven't finished the book yet, however, as I read the first 50 pages or so, I started to see that I am a prime candidate for getting TMS (Tension myositis syndrome). I am a perfectionist in my thirties who has a recently had a load of responsibilities and problems heaped on him. I also have a lot of emotional baggage from the past (I'll spare you the details, but I have this compulsive need to achieve).

Sarno talks about the repression of anger and other emotions that can cause TMS. I have begun digging these feelings up and I am telling you that it has been making a huge difference.

I am certainly not suggesting that I am going to stop rebuilding my back and other joints. And, I am not about to jump back into participation in sports. I need to rebuild and as Dean says, "the pain needs to be long gone" before any sports activity is attempted. However, I think that by realizing that there is no real structural issue, I have been able to "push the envelope" with my exercises and my activity. I feel that I am over the mental hurdle of fear.

It is tough because you have a doctor telling you that you will never be the same, and you will have to learn to manage your pain for the rest of your life. They have a clinically examined MRI suggesting that your pain comes from a bulging disc. This kind of news scares the daylights out of the bravest person. They also tell you to avoid certain activities. Your pain starts to become a self-induced phenomenon. You are told to expect pain when you try to bend over, so when you bend over, you tighten up and feel pain. So, in a way, your pain becomes your obsession.

My doctor told me my pain was "discogenic" meaning that the disc itself was painful. I know now that "discogenic pain" is just a guess. And a bad one! To be fair, he said as much when he gave me the diagnosis...the lesson to be learned here is that doctors are really only useful to make sure you don't have something really a tumor or a fracture. It is up to you to heal you.

I am starting to ramble here. Anyway, I would check out Sarno's book if you haven't yet. Hopefully, you will find it as helpful as I have so far.


Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 7:39 pm
by Flyin Pig
Is it just us three that are mending??

If you're not mending and using the books, please let us know anyway. You may help someone else in the same situation avoid backsliding (pun intended). And thanks in advance.

Ok then...

My daughter's boyfriend has been pushing me to hit the golf course with them, so, Tuesday I went to the range after swinging the driver in the back yard. Felt real good. Hit the ball well, too. Probably because I was swinging nice and easy.

Well, I went with them for 9 holes yesterday. And of course, the more I watched him hit the crap out of the ball, the more gorilla-like I got. Luckily, the round ended before I could do harm. I am a bit tight tonight, but the stretching feels good.

Also, he said my swing has changed. I asked him how but he said he needed to watch some more. Maybe for the better... I was hittin' em pretty good at the range. We shall see.

My oldest daughter wants to go skydiving...I used to do that when I was younger, but I think I'll just watch her go.

So far so good!!


Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:08 am
by TBone
Hey Steve,

I was thinking about trying out some golf myself at the end of the month. After you played, did you have any really bad days or were you just sore? How many days did it take to recover?

On Sunday, June 1, I went to the park with my kids and we played tag. I was running full out. Turns out that that was no the greatest idea...I didn't hurt my back, but I did re aggravate my hamstring. I probably should have warmed up first, but I was in the moment. Anyway, it is starting to feel better now.

Take it easy,

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:46 pm
by Flyin Pig
I was a bit stiff for 2 days. Nothing traumatic at all, though. At the range the day before I went real slow and easy with the swing... probably why I'd hit the ball so well; and felt good to hit 9 the next day.

During the 9 however, I'd started to swing harder for some damn reason... didn't score too well and got sore also.

I gotta tell ya that I stretch all day long, still. The standing back bends do me good and I do em where ever I happen to be. When I get home I tend to stay away from the couch or easy chair and lounge on the floor on my belly and elbows.

Today I got to play some tennis! Jeez, it was hot and humid, too. Wore my butt out... I'm a little sore again, but it feels good to run around!


Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:58 am
by TBone
Hey Scott,

I played 9 holes this Saturday. I felt mild soreness the night after playing and I was mildly sore the next day. But it didn't stop me from working out/stretching.

I didn't play as well as I'd hoped, but that's what you get when you haven't played in over 8 months! I am scheduled to play 9 holes with a buddy on Wednesday.

Anyway, I thought I'd share the progress with you.


Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:09 am
by NancyR
:D Hi Guys! I''m glad to hear that you are both getting back into your lives. Golf and Tennis! That's great! I'm not doing anything quite so ambitious. BUT, I am feeling better for the most part. Gardening is my thing, and I was weeding on Saturday and all but forgot about my back. It's a great thing! Of course, I do try to keep in mind that I don't want to overdo ANYTHING, again. But I did get a few hours of yard work in. I go for my walks, with nearly no pain (except in the beginning). I still experience some level of back pain when I go shopping. I'm still trying to figure that one out. Maybe too much standing, or poor posture. Beats me, but even that isn't as bad as it was.

As for exercises... I got myself a yoga mat and when I hang out to watch TV, it's on the floor (I have hard wood floors, hence the yoga mat). I used to always sit on the floor, before we took up the rug, and never had back pains. I still do the hip shrug and the cobra most, but do some of the other exercises daily also. I'm trying to build up my abdominals, as I find that when I keep them tight, it minimizes the back pain. I also have been doing modified push ups, a few here and there. I also got one of those huge exercise balls that they use in PT. That helps me to use some of the balancing muscles more and helps ensure correct posture. It reminds me what its supposed to be. And, it's FUN!

Now, for some reason, I had this string set to notify me and it did for a while and then it stopped. I'm hoping that it starts notifying me with activity again.

Stay well and active! :wink:

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:14 am
by NancyR
I'm trying to post and getting errors...

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:54 am
by Dean
Hi Guys,

The forum crashed a couple of weeks ago and now whenever anyone posts they get an error message.

The good news is your post eventually shows up... although delayed for some reason. You can ignore the error message.

Don't keep posting repeatedly.