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1 yr sciatica anniversary/ progress report

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:58 pm
by randolph
Hello back-rebuilders!

It's been a year since my lower back exploded and sciatica turned my life upside down. Contact with RYB and this forum has been my major source of help and inspiration. So I want to thank ya'll again for the help, to myself and my family.

Like tooth decay, sciatica like I suffer from, is not necessary. The pain of sciatica comes from years of abuse and neglect, not unlike the process that produces the pain of a horrendous toothache. Both are preventable. Certainly, in the future, I will be doing the RYB exercises, and a few others specifically helpful for sciatica, to prevent further degeneration. And eliminating those unwise work and exercise habits that caused the disc degeneration in the first place.

Unfortunately, unlike a tootache, there are no relatively simple and fast solutions to sciatica that don't also involve personally, unnacceptable levels of risk. Root canals and crowns are unpleasant, but very reliable treatments. Microdiscectomy? Not so.

Thankfully, there is the RYB/PT option. I'm not sure why the program doesn't work for everybody, but I do know I am making steady, though painfully slow progress, doing all that I can, but not too much. And, boy, is it ever so easy to do too much. Ouch. Thankfully, the body's natural passion to heal is greater than my stupidity ... so far.

I may never run again, but I am very grateful that I can walk as much as needed, to be able to drive in my big rig, and tackle the honey-do list each weekend I'm home. It's a bummer having to accompany my kids for day long excursions at amusement parks and museums in a wheelchair ... but I'm still with them, sharing in the great fun they are having. Exercising used to be my time for myself to have fun; now it's what I have to do just to make sure I have my best chance to work for my family's needs, and not be a drain on them.

One of the unexpected benefits of sciatica has been the dawning realization that I am mortal. I had no idea, really. I mean, yeah, I knew that death was inevitable, but hey, I was taking care of myself (I thought) and had another 50 years of doing battle with life before I had to consider slowing down my mad pace. So this has really been a helpful wake-up call. I wish I'd had such knowledge a lot earlier; I would have made some better decisions. But there are still some good years ahead, thanks to RYB.

Another unexpected benefit, was having the days and nights of laying around with time to think about eternal questions that mankind has answered in a million different ways over the last few thousands of years. Like, what is the nature of god or gods? Is there an afterlife? Whose god is the real god? You know, those kind of questions. The important part was finally, REALLY thinking about such things, instead of just taking someone else's word as Truth. I won't burder you with my conclusions (wouldn't be helpful to you anyway), but just encourage you to REALLY think about these things. Again, if I'd done so years earlier, I sure would have saved myself a lot of wasted effort.

I had the privilege of meeting Dean a few weeks ago on one of my trips thru Ozark, Missouri (NOT Arkansas), where he lives. It was a real pleasure to buy him lunch and share in some great conversation. Dean had other plans for his life besides maintaining a website and forum on back rebuilding. It's no accident he lives near Branson, MO; he'd rather be making music. But the back thing happened to him ... and (this is my impression, he never said so in so many words) he couldn't live with himself if he didn't do all he could to make the info on RYB available to as many back pain sufferers as possible. That's what you call a MAN in my book.

Continued good luck in your efforts to rebuild your backs, ya'll.


Thanks Randolph

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:49 pm
by MJ110445
That was such a great message. Thank you for sharing your feelings and your knowledge with all of us here.

I really enjoyed your comparing taking care of our teeth with taking care of our backs. I was just thinking the other day that if I wrote a book on what I would do if I could travel back in time and be 30 again.

I sure would have taken much greater care of my teeth..... I mean I am 60 and have all of them but I sure have had my share of troubles in the last ten years with root canals, crowns and implants just to keep those pearly whites.

I also would have not ignored all those back problems by simply going to a chiropractor. I would definitely make it a priority to do these simple exercises. I still bore my children by telling them that they cannot take for granted the gift of good health. I think they are beginning to listen to me since they have seen me so sick these last few months.

I have enjoyed all your posts. I have gained much strength and mental clarity since I found Dean's website.

I feel very grateful and optimistic about getting my back stronger by not ignoring what it takes to keep it strong.

Again, I love reading your messages. Thanks so much.!!


Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:03 am
by randolph

It's encouraging to read you're getting some good information and encouragement here, MJ. It's a real challenge in making the posts to keep to the facts, share what little I KNOW, write accurately so the info isn't twisted up by my limited writing ability, AND not come off like a know-it-all. It's a fun challenge, though, because, for whatever reasons, the info on RYB is not easily obtainable and not well-known, and is incredibly valuable ... for some of us, like finding gold.

Like you, I'm hoping my kids pick up some of what I'm learning so they don't have to go thru my pain and disability. Words don't seem very important; you can see the words bouncing off their ears, can't you, MJ?! But I'm pretty sure something's getting through. How can you miss the difference when one day your dad is running marathons, and the next day he's crawling on his hands and knees, and you watch him for months learn to walk again? When I was kid, my granddad exercised daily into his 90's; my dad chose to smoke and drink way too much. I could see the difference in their lives, even as a kid, and it really sunk in when my dad died early. No one had to lecture me about the value of exercising and using alcohol moderately. I think it's the old story: actions speak louder than words.

I fell for the chiropractic propaganda, too, MJ. Sad to say, we learn a lot of what we think is true through hidden-agenda driven news and advertising. And after decades of really effective legislating and advertising, chiropractic seems mainstream. But no matter how often you tell a lie, it's still a lie. I think the internet is going to allow a very rapid revelation of the truth of the very limited value of chiropractic. Perhaps, it's even happening now: enrollment in chiropractic colleges is down; I'm even hearing on national, radio talkshows like Dave Ramsey and Dr. Dean Edell, mild warnings to beware of chiropractic; and funding thru insurance and government health programs for chiropractic is decreasing.

The similarity of the development of tooth decay and back decay came as I was writing the post. The treatments for tooth decay have really come a long way in my lifetime ... and, while reliable treatments for lower back disorders are behind the reliability of dental technology, I'm noticing all kinds of experimenting and development going on. I'm very hopeful our kids will have treatments available to them that we don't have now for our bad backs. But even more important, the idea of PREVENTING back problems is going to become mainstream, like the idea of preventing tooth decay is now. We could prevent a lot of our back troubles if we simply started, early in life, doing some very easy things like the RYB stretches and exercises each day, and learn how to do our everyday activities in a more back-friendly manner. Like brushing frequently and flossing each day, back care is not rocket science.

Again, MJ, thanks for the encouragment.


Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 7:12 pm
by Kevin
You go Randolph...........good luck and glad you go to meet Dean.



Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:48 pm
by krd
Hey Randolf

Glad to hear of your report. Now my update.

I started PT last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I was in so much pain initially after the first day of PT. Things are looking much brighter now. I am actually able to walk upright again, and I am able to sit much longer now. I am getting my 2nd epidural injection this Thursday. The first one gave me so much relief that according to my friend the second should complete the results. I am hoping.

My PT is only having me do extensions right now (cobra). That is it. He said that my back has to get use to going that way again. I am doing it every 2 hours every day on my own. I lay down on my bed on my belly for about 5 minutes, then I get up on my elbows for about 3 to 5 minutes, lay down and rest a couple of minutes, then I do a set of 10 up and down cobra moves. When I started last Wednesday, I could hardly move upward. Now I am able to get good extension in my lower back. I am not allowed to do them standing up yet because I had a lateral shift in my body stance (right hip out to the right). I am now standing almost completly upright. My muscle memory wants to have my hip out so I have to be consciencious of this.

The epidural has been great for me. Personally I am looking forward to the next one. Be posting....


Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:34 pm
by randolph
Hi Ken

I'm looking forward to hearing how the next epidural goes ...

Good to read of your steady progress with doing the cobra. Especially good that you are willing to start at ground zero again, and have a great attitude about it. That's the toughest part for me - just getting started in spite of all the negative feelings that say it isn't worth it. But once I start seeing progress again, it all gets easier. It's a very good thing, how our bodies will heal with the exercises, while politely disregarding any negative thoughts! :D


Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:30 am
by Rupert
I am counting on the RYB approach too. I made significant progress over the last 3 and a half months. My PT and I overdid the back bend thing and am now with a slightly weaker abdomen than the back muscles. I am working to correct those by doing the pelvic tilt.
But I would be able to fix this once I get the epidural that supposedly as per the neurologist who did the EMG would relieve me of nerve symptoms in my lower body.
The comparison between toothache and back ache could not have been better. If I drink soda for a couple of days and do not brush the teeth before sleeping i start getting the gum ache. But as soon as I give up soda and brush my teeth with more focus and use cleansers the ache dissappears in a matter of day or two.

Keep posting,


Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:29 am
by krd
Hey Rupert

Glad to hear that you are getting the epidural. I hope that you get the same or better relief than I got out of my first one. I will undergo number 2 this Thursday. Let me know how you make out with it. When are you getting it done, and where???? Good luck.


Re: Epidural

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:07 am
by Rupert
krd wrote:Hey Rupert

Glad to hear that you are getting the epidural. I hope that you get the same or better relief than I got out of my first one. I will undergo number 2 this Thursday. Let me know how you make out with it. When are you getting it done, and where???? Good luck.


it is not scheduled yet but from my last conversation with the doctors that is the course of action he recommends.
What are the things that need to be taken care of for the Epidural steroid injections? One thing for sure is that it has to be done under fluoroscopy and contrast. What other things to care to avoid a side effect?
ANother question i have on this is if this works like it has worked for you and then in future say after 2 years have another flare up, would this work again then if I am in the same kind of situation or it only works once?
Would keep you guys updated as this is scheduled.



Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:32 am
by krd
Hey Rupert

All I know is that you can't take any anti-inflamatory meds for two days prior to the epidural. I also was not allowed to eat anything for 12 hours prior to the epidural. Beyond that, you are allowed to start PT immediately and even go back to work if you want. I will let you know how the 2nd one goes on Thursday and if I notice any hugh difference from this one over the first epidural. Be posting.....


Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:09 pm
by Kevin
Hey guys.

I wish you all the best with your different experiences. I startd PT today. Back pain gone before I went but still get double sciatica if I sit for a long time. Exercises have changed as well as theories from sixteen years ago. It just reinforces that Dean is right on the mark with this stuff. One differnce I noticed is that traditional floor exercises are know done with ball under your legs or feet. The one thing the PT told me was to make sure I am relaxing the muscle that I am stretching and let the arms do the work (for example in a piriformis stretch).

A neat abdominal exercise he showed me was to lay down and bring one knee up. Now with the opposite hand try to push that knee to the floor but resist. so the knee does not actually move. While doing this make sure you press your back into the floor or table that you are lying gets all the abs plus the obliques at once...........

good luck guys and to the gals too..............


Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:21 am
by randolph
I like the ab exercise, Kevin. Looks like a good one to do while I'm still lying in bed, trying to find a good excuse for staying there :D Thanks