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Thread: Back surgery!?!

  1. #1
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Back surgery!?!

    Hey all,

    It's been a while since I've posted because over the last 10 months I have been going through hell trying to find out what is wrong with my back. At first my primary care Dr. sent me for Xrays and to PT, which wasn't working. So, he sent me to another physical therapist who specialized in back problems. They sent me for more xrays and the PT didn't help. Then they sent me for steriod injections. I went for a series of 3 and that didn't help. THEN they FINALLY sent me for an MRI about 3 weeks ago and today I found out that the MRI showed that I have a herniated disk and the protrusion is pressing up against the spinal column and nerve. OUCH! So, the Dr. tells me that I can either get opened up and have it fixed or they can do a less intrusive procedure called Percutaneous Discectomy where they needle removes some of the disk tissue and relieves pressure around the nerve.

    I guess I have a couple of questions. Has anyone had a similar back problem? What treatment did you go with? Opinions on the two I described here?

    I'm trying to get an appointment with my primary care Dr. to get his opinion, but he has so many patients that I have a better chance of getting an appointment with the President of the US!

  2. #2
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    I had a laminectomy / laminotomy almost exactly 12 years ago. They really didn't offer any other procedure back then. My herniated disc had completely disintegrated but I had pieces floating around. They said that there was a chance that the parts of the disc that were left could pinch the nerve again and I would go throught the same pain and paralysis that I went through with the initial trauma. (I still have no feeling in my left calf)

    I opted for the surgery. This is actually one of the big reasons I ride as much as I do. I have to maintain the muscular support around the area because I essentially have nothing to keep the vertebrae seperated.

    I still have episodes of back pain that usually last a couple of days to a week or so, but these only occur once or twice a year. I attribute these bouts to the large amount of scar tissue that surrounds the area. (just my opinion that is probably wrong)

    If I were you, I would really look into the P.D. procedure as this sounds less invasive. You may eventually need the L/L but if not, you will probably be better off in the end.

  3. #3
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    First off, sorry to hear about your back injury. I had a herniated disc, L4-5 to be exact. I have to tell you, it was fu&^in' hell and I feel your pain! It started to act up in November 05. I went through PT for two months to no avail. My symptoms were crazy back pain and a compressed nerve that was inhibiting the function of my lower right leg. In early Oct, I ended up having a microdiscectomy, which was done via a 3/4 incision. All I can say is that I'm happy that I went through with the procedure. I was up walking around a few hours after surgery and was released from the hospital the next morning. The post-surgery pain level was very managable and rehab was relatively easy. Today, four months later, I'm about ready to graduate from physical therapy and hit the trails again! I can definitely say my core strength and stability is better than it ever was! Hope that helps. Sorry, I can't help you answer questions regarding the percutaneous discectomy. My ex-gf had an open discectomy a two years back, and her recovery was definitely a lot tougher than mine was. Good luck with everything and keep me posted.

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    Thank you both for the advice/encouragement! I'm thinking that the microsurgery might be the way to go. I'm basing that solely on the fact that the other procedure is relatively new, and I can't find any info on long term effects.

    trojaninsomniac - your pain progression sounds almost exactly like what I've been going through. The "compressed nerve that was inhibiting the function of my lower right leg" is right on the money. I guess we have a guy here in Mass who is world renown for this type of procedure, so maybe I'll go with that.

    Thanks again and I'll try to post more, especially once I go through with whatever procedure I choose!

  5. #5
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    Definitely, do your due diligence when choosing a spine surgeon. I went to see two before settling on the one that did the procedure. These minimally invasive microdiscectomy procedures are nothing. The percutaneous discectomy sounds even easier on the body, from what I read! Go in with a positive attitude, work hard in rehab, and you'll be on the trail again in no time!

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    Thanks again for the encouragement! I'm going to work my butt off to get back into riding shape! It's been over a year since I was able to ride regularly!

    It just drives me nuts because I started this whole process 10 months ago and a lot of time could have been saved if they had done this MRI right off the bat. I asked my mother (she does billing for a MRI center) what they charge for an MRI and she said $750. That's what ONE of my PT sessions cost! And I've gone to over 20 PT sessions. The wasted money is out of hand! The series of 3 injections that they sent me to cost the insurance company over $1,200 each! And they wonder why our insurance costs are so out of hand. The whole system is screwed up.

  7. #7
    fog
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    oddestfellow,

    I feel your pain. I fell, taking the garbage out, and ruptured my L4-L5 disk in January 06. I had what was called a moderately ruptured disc and a severe to moderate pinched nerve. I could hardly walk. I was lucky in that I got a MRI quickly and a referral to a neuro surgeon. I was injected twice and I am not sure if it helped or not. My pain finally went away. The Doc thought he would operate; but I was out of pain and then back on the bike. I did get a series of stretches and exercises which help.

    I am lucky in that I have had problems for a few days a couple of times. I just take it easy and so far everything is good.

    I just ordered a new 29er, fully rigid, and feel it will work. I rode all summer on a fully rigid bike. So I feel confidant that it will work.

    My PT said sometimes surgery works and sometimes it does not work. Every back injury is different.

    I hope it works for you.

    Please let me know which option you go with and how it worked. My Doc may eventually win and do his surgery. He has no problems with my not doing the surgery by the way. He also rides off road too.

    Good luck!

    Wayne

  8. #8
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    Website for percutaneous discectomy

    -Oddestfellow-

    -I was herniated L-3 thru S-1 and just had the P.D. done by this Doc (http://www.spineonline.com/) in California 3 weeks ago. The surgery & recovery were painless; I have 4 weeks of P.T. left. There seems to still be a trace of pain down my leg but nothing compared to before. This was the only place I could find to get the Percutaneous surgery done, and I am curious to know where you are looking at having yours. I had to fly out & back from VA.
    -My buddy just had the traditional microdiscectomy and he is doing well, I'm not sure what his recovery time will be.
    -The one bit of advice I do have is to make sure you are dealing with a neurosurgeon, since the cutting will be done so close to the spinal cord.
    -More advice: it's not good for your liver but ibuprophen seemed to help more than anything before my surgery, I have also heard good things about the DRX-9000 traction machine but never tried it. Something else to look into if your really trying to avoid surgery.

    My physical therapist just got back from a spine seminar and she said the main causes of disc trouble were poor posture and bad lifting technique. She didn't say anything about hunching over a set of handlebars & bouncing off of rocks, but I have to wonder

    Good Luck

  9. #9
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    I hear ya oddestfellow.

    Long story short, I had microdiscectomy surgery this past fall after 4-5 years of symptoms. Initial consults 4 years ago did not show me as a candidate. However, my symptoms got worse this summer so I got another consult where I was identified as a candidate because all other options (rest, PT, cortisone, manipulations) were not providing relief. After surgery, the doctor commented that I had a "massive" herniation and he was surprised I had let it go for that long. Recovery wise, you have to take it very easy for several weeks, doing nothing but walking short distances. Slowly over time you can do more active things. I'm at the point now, where i pretty much can do whatever I want sans running (still causes pain). I've even been out on the bike a few times and have had no problems. Your rehab will primarily consist of strengthening your core.

    My advice, get at least 2 surgical consults from qualified neurosurgeons. Make sure they entertain non-surgical options first because most problems can actually be resolved without surgery. Make sure you have good insurance because my bill was over 15k (and insurance covered all but the 30 dollar co-pay for the initial consult )

  10. #10
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    If you have a bulging disk check this out

    Quote Originally Posted by oddestfellow
    Hey all,

    It's been a while since I've posted because over the last 10 months I have been going through hell trying to find out what is wrong with my back. At first my primary care Dr. sent me for Xrays and to PT, which wasn't working. So, he sent me to another physical therapist who specialized in back problems. They sent me for more xrays and the PT didn't help. Then they sent me for steriod injections. I went for a series of 3 and that didn't help. THEN they FINALLY sent me for an MRI about 3 weeks ago and today I found out that the MRI showed that I have a herniated disk and the protrusion is pressing up against the spinal column and nerve. OUCH! So, the Dr. tells me that I can either get opened up and have it fixed or they can do a less intrusive procedure called Percutaneous Discectomy where they needle removes some of the disk tissue and relieves pressure around the nerve.

    I guess I have a couple of questions. Has anyone had a similar back problem? What treatment did you go with? Opinions on the two I described here?

    I'm trying to get an appointment with my primary care Dr. to get his opinion, but he has so many patients that I have a better chance of getting an appointment with the President of the US!

    http://ocspinaldecompression.com/DRX...FU9FGAodqmtjBg

    My back issue was two fold.

    I had been through PT steroid injections etc….. Gave me some temperately relief but nothing permanent.

    Had an MRI done and it showed bulging disk (L4 and L5).
    I wanted to try every option available before opting for surgery. Went through the DRX9000 program and it helped allot. I was still having issues with a pulling sensation on my left side so I decided to go see a neurosurgeon for a consultation. I deliberately did not tell the neurosurgeon what treatment I had went through so I could get his take. Had another MRI done and it showed a cist / bone spur on my spine in between L4 and L5 but no bulging disks. The disks were not hitting the nerve.

    It appears the DRX9000 temporarily worked and that the a cist / bone spur was causing the disks to bulge.

    I elected to have the bone spur removed (surgery in the morning home on the same day) The doctor told me to not exercise / stretch etc for 6 weeks. It has been 8 weeks and my back feels better than it has in years. Doing for my first post surgery ride tomorrow!

    IMO check out the DRX9000 and use surgery as a last option.

    Good luck!

    Ps. DO NOT DO THE Percutaneous Discectomy. As we get older he have less disk material (reason we get shorter the older we get)
    Last edited by DeeZee; 04-04-2007 at 02:56 PM.

  11. #11
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    if surgery is necessary, definitely go the microdisection route. my buddy had it done in Philly at Jefferson in and out in one day and was back riding the mountain bike within 6 weeks. Theres not too many places that do it so your primary care doc may not recommend it or even a specialist since they probably dont do it. He actuallly got his MRI's on DVDs and sent them to the places he was considering having it done, then settled on Jeff and went in for the consult.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by casey441
    -Oddestfellow-

    -I was herniated L-3 thru S-1 and just had the P.D. done by this Doc (http://www.spineonline.com/) in California 3 weeks ago. The surgery & recovery were painless; I have 4 weeks of P.T. left. There seems to still be a trace of pain down my leg but nothing compared to before. This was the only place I could find to get the Percutaneous surgery done, and I am curious to know where you are looking at having yours. I had to fly out & back from VA.
    -My buddy just had the traditional microdiscectomy and he is doing well, I'm not sure what his recovery time will be.
    -The one bit of advice I do have is to make sure you are dealing with a neurosurgeon, since the cutting will be done so close to the spinal cord.
    -More advice: it's not good for your liver but ibuprophen seemed to help more than anything before my surgery, I have also heard good things about the DRX-9000 traction machine but never tried it. Something else to look into if your really trying to avoid surgery.

    My physical therapist just got back from a spine seminar and she said the main causes of disc trouble were poor posture and bad lifting technique. She didn't say anything about hunching over a set of handlebars & bouncing off of rocks, but I have to wonder

    Good Luck

    Thanks for the well wishes! The doctor who did my steroid injections actually does the PD too. He's out of the Beverly Hospital Hunt Center in Danvers, Massachusetts - Dr. Charles Ho. He hit a nerve when he did one of my steriod injections and I was a hurtin' puppy for a few days after. Not sure I'd want him trying to remove a piece of my disk with a needle.

    I did a lot of reasearch into both types of treatment and decided to go with the micro. I hear ya about the neurosurgeon thing. A friend of the family had a similar back issue and had the surgery done 3 times - twice by orthopedics who screwed it up and once by a neuro who made him almost as good as new. There is a well known neuro near my hometown who I have contacted. I had to fill out some paperwork for them to review before they'll schedule me to come in, so I hope to hear back from them within the next day or so.

  13. #13
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    shots and sugery here

    4 shots with no luch... full blown laminectomy discectomy here. i year post op and feeling great. Now I just have to get the other disks fixed.

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    Update

    It seems like forever since I orginally started this thread. Anyway, here's where I'm at:

    Contacted a neurosurgeon about possible microsurgery and he looked at my MRI and said he couldn't help me. So, I contacted a well known spinal orthopedic and he looked at my MRI and found some new things. 1) I have advanced degenerative disk disease for my age and 2) Not only do I have a herniation at L5 S1 going to the left, but a good size bulge at L4 L5 going to the right (which explains the mystery pain in my right thigh and numbness in my right calf that nobody else could figure out). He said that due to the degenerative disk disease, he wouldn't recommend the Percutaneous Discectomy as that would only speed up the degeneration process. So, he gave me a PT regimine to do in the pool. Only problem is that the Open Swim hours at my local YMCA are pretty limited, so the PT is going to be a little tricky. I've been trying to find a PT'ist around my work who has a pool, but no luck yet.

    So, to summarize, I'm hoping this new PT regimine will help and I've decided that I'm going to be hitting the trails as soon as they open around me on April 15th, and I'll start popping Advil like M&M's if the pain gets to be too much. I can't sit around doing nothing - I'm way too high strung for that.

  15. #15
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    I used to be a UPS driver, I ruptured L-4, L-5 in 2004, I had 6 weeks of PT and they sent me back to work. I thought this was a little soon but the doctors said to "try it". I woke up everyday with pain in my back. I lasted until Sep. of 2005. That time I blew three of them, L-3 L-4,L-4 L-5,L-5 S-1. I had no feeling in my left leg and unbeleivable pain in my lower back for about 9 weeks. The first doc recomended surgery right away, I wasn't big on that idea. I got 2 more oppinions and both told me that all herniations (spelling?) can heal with rest and core strengthening. One of these guys had been an orthopeidic for the olympic team and the other had worked for the Chicago Bears, so I took there word for it. It took 8 months of PT, the last 6 weeks working out 6 hours a day(work hardening) to get back to work. I got tired of being at work wondering if my back would hold up, so in July of last year I sold everything and moved from the Chicago burbs to Fruita, CO. Now I get to ride 3-4 days a week, I feel healthy for the first time since my first injury, LIFE IS GOOD. I just wanted to let you know it is possible to get through this without going under the knife. I wish you all the best and good luck.

  16. #16
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    non-surgical

    mine was L4-L5 herniation. Pain was unbelievable. I am an MD and researched this to kingdom come and came to the conclusion that 2-3 years post herniation you will likely feel the same whether you do surgery or wait it out. If the pain is too much to bear then do the surgery. If you can live with it (however you decide that) the disc will disintegrate and your body will slowly rebsorb it and the compression will diminish. I begged my surgeon for surgery, he said no because I could walk and wasn't peeing or pooping on myself (shows you where his threshold is for surgery). I am thrilled that he made me wait it out. I am back to racing Expert Vet.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the encouragement with the non-surgical route! It's good to hear some success stories! I was supposed to start my new PT regimine this week, but I came down with what I can only guess is the bird flu. But seriously, I was pretty sick, so I've decided to start next week. A friend of mine who used to be a tai chi instructor has also recommended a couple of low-impact stretches that I have started to do, which have surprisingly helped quite a bit! I'll try anything at this point. I'm not totally against trying voodoo and sacrificing a live chicken if I have to!

  18. #18
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    I have been riding since 92, my back went for other reasons, but i used the drx 9000 in calgary canada and i have zero pain. from 8/10 to 0/10.

  19. #19
    pb48
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    I know how you feel. It just takes time and commitment to get healed.

    I got into a car accident in Oct 2005 and that ruptured 3 discs and broke my tail bone. l3 l4, l4 l5, l5 s1. Went to pt, epidural shots neurologist, neurosurgeon, etc.. Nothing was getting better, when I got hit again (at a red light) in May 2006. That messed upmy right hip, as well as bad case of sciatica. So I tried the pt, and all again, and nothing was getting better. So I opted for surgery, and finally got an appointment right when my Mothers insurance dropped me because I turned 19. And I couldn't get a personal health care plan because I had a "existing condition." I also couldn't quit my job because I had bills to pay.

    So I finally paid off my car 2 weeks ago and quit my job so I can get AHCCCS and get this taken care of. So It's been a rough 18 months to say the least. I pray every day that I'll be back to normal. The pain is unbelieveable. Especially with no meds or anything. But hopefully I'll get my surgeries this summer.

    So trust me I feel all your guy's pain. You just gotta keep telling yourself you'll get better and make It happen. So If you need any support just let me know, because we all need it. I've been dealing with this for too long, and I am finally about to get some relief after a year and a half. Plus two lovely settlements to put towards a new bike

    Good Luck.

  20. #20
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    long, but my full story. worth reading if you want to try to fix without surgery.

    30 yrs old, weightlifter, mountain bike, boxer, yaddah yaddah, very active.
    2 yrs ago doing deadlifts in gym my L5S1 nerve root finally started hurting after me abusing my body for years. Went to chiro, ...useless. Went to physio...useless. Got an MRI, yup, L5S1 disk protrusion (not full on herniation yet). Called a number advertised in calgary newspaper for this 'machine', drx9000 decompression machine. I did some research on the science (BSc Geology....science background so im a facts-based decision maker!) and signed up for 20 'decompression' treatments. This was one full year after I blew it out. That year was hell, as most of us all experience.

    I was 8/10 in pain for a full year. 4 treatments on this machine and I was 5/10, ....then 4...then 3. then dropped instantly to zero around 17th session. Stayed on for the full 20. was told to sit tight and see what happens. This whole time I was trying to keep my glutes, erector spina muscles, hamstrings, quads (albeit it was REALLY hard to stretch anything out until i started dropping to the 4 or 3 of 10 range in pain). I 'sat' on a lacrosse ball to get my glutes and IT band to loosen up. That hurt like hell, but felt amazaing after being tight (not having bent past 8 degrees forward in a year).

    So, I ended up going for another 5 sessions on this machine, then let it sit for a month.

    I felt zero out ten of pain ( i was biking back in the 3-4 /10 range...even went to Moab!) consistently. So, I went back to the gym. BAD BAD BAD BAD idea. Although i didn't do any squats or dead lifts, I think just the grunting from lifting weights just caused things to 'flair' up again and before I knew it i was laying on the hard floor unable to move again.

    I couldn't have gone to the drx machine if I wanted too....I was totally unable to move without yelping. a week later the pain subsided down to 4/10, I went back to the DRX, told the doctor what I had done, he politely called me a dork, and i went back on the machine. Instant releif, and I did go back for a second one. total treatments now at 27, and a year has passed from teh first DRX treatment I had. Right after recovering from this flair up, I was shown how to stretch the "piroformis" (no idea if it's the right spelling and i did see it mentioned in this thread) in my a$$. THIS WAS AMAZING. Where I used to feel no pain, but did feel "stiffness" even after the DRX, after doing these stretches (not reefing the stretch, easing into it) all the "stiffness" dissapeared from my lower back and i was feeling totally normal, and could even do revearse arches with my back.


    so....3 weeks ago I was playing in a squash tournament (been months since that last flair up and I figured i was completely healed never to have pain again) and I was really having to pour on the gas to beat my opponent. I rammed the glass a few times with my body, and during a major extension backhand followed by a quick torque-twist to get back to the T, i felt tissue tear in my lower back. The way it felt in my lower back made me think it was the scar tissue that had formed over the herniation ripping apart as it poked it's way back out again.

    hahahaha. I was so demoralized and deflated. I had just seen the movie 300, and that movie made me want to continue working at getting back in great shape like I was before blowing out the back (i put on a good 35 lbs over the year of not being able to move and am now sitting about 25lbs overweight at 235, incedently, this front end baggage definately adds to the lower back stress I've had) and MAN this was a tough pill to swallow after having gone so long with zero back pain and being on the roll to full recovery without looking back.

    I spent a week face down on my floor playing pokerstars.net with ice and heat alternating on my back, (a man really begins to understand the loyalty and compassion of his wife in a time like this...) then when the pain was down to 4/10 again...I went back for another DRX session.

    I didnt' get the "dork" response from the doctor...but I had to admit to him that I was not holding anything back even working out. he actually was pretty amazed at how much activity i had been doing. a lot of your recovery i beleive is augmented by your brain and your mind and your attitude. If your a mtb racer, or (like me) was in the past, that attitude comment will make sense to you.

    so, I did one more session (a week ago) on the DRX (total treatment now at 28 sessions over 1.5 years and and Im sitting here now with really good 'S" shape posture feeling zero back pain again.

    No surgury, no injections, I did spend lots of money, but hey we only live once, and we only get one body. My attitude towards injections and surgery is sorta like how I don't let some financial planner who is still paying off student loans handle my investments and finance...i dont' let somebody who has never, or has not yet fix their own back, operate on mine. Especially after the research I did showing how many people cut themselves open, inject themselves, and then are right back to the drawing board months to a year later. I truly value YOUR experiences out there more than anything that comes out of a doctors mouth.

    next step for me to enroll in pilates, and eaaaaaaase into yoga.

    Anyway, I've been on a warpath lately to share this story with as many people like me who want to fix themselves on their own terms, naturally, giving their body a chance to heal itself.

    take it for what its worth. my email is ryanmitton@gmail.com live in calgary, canada.
    cheerio. Ryan.
    (snow has switched to rain (slush??!) and biking in the warm sunny weather soon to come...!)

  21. #21
    pb48
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    That's interesting. I'll look into that machine.

    I hurt myself kinda the same way. Personal trainer, and I was competing in some strongman comps. Squats, deads, bench, tire flip, etc... I wasn't juicing, but I was taking plenty supplements and I was making gains really fast. But I put a huge strain on my back, so I cooled off and lifted lighter and did cardio mostly, then I got rear ended by a car..lol.

    I've pretty sure I'm going to get surgery. Because I've done many things, and have actually done them, and nothing works. Morphine though and iv and I still feel the pain, badly. I honestly believe this won't be solved without surgery. I've based that on doctors opinions, and countless hours of research. And looking at my mri's and how It's just getting worse, puts the icing on the cake.

    It's still interesting how two people can have the same injury, and 1 thing works for one person, and not the other. And visa-versa. That goes for non-surgical and surgical routes.

    My good friends dad went the had the same problem and had surgery and was 100%. His good buddy had the same problem and had several surgeries without any luck. Pt didn't work for him either. It's just interesting how 1 thing works for someone, but will make someone else worse.

    IMO, a persons lifestyle has a great effect on recovery. Proper form, and the activities they do, etc..

    Nonetheless I'll look into your advise,
    Thanks for your post.

    ETA- 300 gave me motivation to tone my core too!!! lol

  22. #22
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    hahaha, yah. 300 was a hell of a movie!

    I think your bang on with the comment on lifestyle. when my attitude sucked for that first year.....i was only getting worse. i changed my attitude, and suddenly things got better slowly, then i found that machine.

    have you seen the secret? it's a movie worth watching when your on the road to recovery, then afterwards on the road to kickin a$$ and takin names in realm of success.

    cheers and good luck. If you do give the decompression a chance, i recommend heating your back up (my mom gave me a 'wheat bag' that you stick in the microwave and it heats up) on the way to the doctors office. that way, all your muscles are ductile and the juices in your back flow easier. (sounds gross! )

    cheers. check out the science behind that machine. makes sense.

  23. #23
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    something else im about to start doing to stregthen the tissue and cartilidge and ligaments and everything down there is to start taking MSM and Glucosamine.

    does anybody here have experience with those types of supplements? I've been researching the science behind them, an the scientific results from groups of test paitents and it looks like a slam dunk.

  24. #24
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    Hey all,

    Some great discussion here on a pretty common problem it seems. I'm going to have to look into that machine! I had an annual physical yesterday and mentioned to my doc that a friend of mine (actually, my barber) recommended the anti-inflammatory Diclofenac as he had been using it for a neck problem he's had for years. He gave me an Rx for it, and it seems to be helping somewhat. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I'm going to stick with it because the more research I've done on NSAID's, the more harm I think I might be doing to my body by taking them. Oh yeah, and I found out that I have an umbilical hernia that I need to have surgery on. I'm tellin' ya - it's all down hill after 30! I totally agree about the attitude aspect though. You get to that point where the whole thing just has you down, and it definitely seems like the pain is worse then. It's just tough when I go out to the shed to grab something and I see my bikes sitting there collecting dust.

  25. #25
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    Super active - best shape of my life then I carried a box up a cliff and herniated L5-S1. Xrays, PT, Chiro, blah,blah. Numbness in calf and the started to kill my sciatic nerve and lose reflex and calf strength in the right. Then unrelenting pain in the calf. BIG TAKE HOME - GET THE MRI!!! Otherwise more damage will be caused while all these PTs, Docs, and Chiros try to diagnose. I hear those stretching machines work for bulges but not herniations (Vax-D, DRX-9000).

    Progressed to no reflex, no response from steriod and opted to get micro discetomy/lamenectomy. Long road to recovery but relief was immediate and I can really push myself in the gym and trail ride again. Got reflex back and the nerve started to repair (calf not as strong as it used to be). Prob won't be able to trail run again, but it is really not the best thing for the body anyways.

    Pilates is what helped me the most. I am the only guy in the class full of chics in spandex and my core and leg muscles that were never engaged/defined when I was at peak fitness are now engaged. I have days when I am super stiff (not from the classes) and I imagine there will always be a little bit of remnant weakness, but things keep getting better as long as I am active.

    Good luck and listen to the docs regarding recovery after surgery. I hung out for a month before I started doing a lot or everyday things including work, but my surgein and PT says that why I had such a complete recovery.

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