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  1. #1
    ...2 wheel terror...
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    Herniated Disc....Ouch! :(

    So a disc in my lower back decided to go south on me. I think I pop'ed the disc just getting out of bed last week but the strange thing was I did not really start feeling it until last weekend during a MTB race. Anyhow, so far I have had two visits with a Chiropractor and was recommended to spend some time with the Spinal Decompression machine they have. Have any of you tried this? If so did it help?

    Thanks,
    Stover

  2. #2
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    I would recommend finding a good ortho who deals with back injuries. In general, spinal decompression has fallen well out of favor in medical circles.

  3. #3
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    Had a blown disc with fragments around 10 years ago....worst pain of my life...pain down into my left leg...foot drop, numbness, etc. Started out with PT and lots of NSAID's but didn't feel like I was progressing. Doc finally said that he thought I needed a laminectomy (sp?) but I opted for decompression therapy.

    Don't know if it was the decompression therapy or just time but it did resolve itself. It took around 6 months and I still have occasional problems to this day but have lost weight and worked on my core strength. My understanding is that up to 90% of disc herniation's will resolve in 6 to 12 months time if you use conservative and consistent therapy. Just depends if you can deal with the pain for that long.

    Please stay away from surgery and only use it as a last resort....just read an article that a majority of disc fusions are unnecessary and risky.

    Good Luck

  4. #4
    Rohloff
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    Chiropractic, Spinal Decompression, and McKenzie Method is the best routine for most disc injuries.

  5. #5
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    Once you get past the initial pain points using the above methods, do not forget to do core training, this will help stabilize your back.

  6. #6
    ...2 wheel terror...
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    Quote Originally Posted by loydfl
    Once you get past the initial pain points using the above methods, do not forget to do core training, this will help stabilize your back.
    Yeah. Still working on the pain part.Got my MRI back the other day and confirmed three unhappy dics. One was even torn/ruptured. I'm scheduled to see a specialist tomorrow and discuss getting a cortizone shot.

  7. #7
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    Stover,

    Sorry to hear that. With all the pain you are experiencing I understand how desperate you can be to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

    That being said I would be more than happy to send you a copy of my original diagnosis....fragmented disc L5/S1, bulging discs L3/L4/L5, spinal stenosis.

    I did recover with conservative therapy and NO surgery.....if you can get a second opinion, do it and let your Doc. know you want to be conservative.

    This will take some time and patience on your part....if you are having major foot drop, incontinence...by all means see your Doc and consider all options. But think conservative treatment and accept the fact that it does take some time.

    I don't want to get too "woo woo" alternative medicine, but I would recommend a couple other things....Google "Dr. John Sarno"....read his books, it will help you deal with some of the mental aspects of this. Also try drinking a gallon of water a day, take a tablespoon of Carlsons Fish Oil (Not Cod Liver), take a liquid glucosamine /chondroitin product,and eat a ton of ginger to help with the inflammation.

    More than happy to help if I can....Have been in your situation and hated every second of it.

    Good Luck,

    Paul

  8. #8
    ...2 wheel terror...
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    Thanks homer8,

    Got back from the ortho and I am scheduled for some cortizone shots on Monday. L3/L4/L5/S1 are shot. The ortho is a sports meds doc and seemed confident I could ride again but did say its going to be awhile. Lots of rehab and I think I'm going to have to take up swimming for a while to keep up my cardio.

    Quote Originally Posted by homer8
    Stover,
    Sorry to hear that. With all the pain you are experiencing I understand how desperate you can be to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

    That being said I would be more than happy to send you a copy of my original diagnosis....fragmented disc L5/S1, bulging discs L3/L4/L5, spinal stenosis.

    I did recover with conservative therapy and NO surgery.....if you can get a second opinion, do it and let your Doc. know you want to be conservative.

    This will take some time and patience on your part....if you are having major foot drop, incontinence...by all means see your Doc and consider all options. But think conservative treatment and accept the fact that it does take some time.

    I don't want to get too "woo woo" alternative medicine, but I would recommend a couple other things....Google "Dr. John Sarno"....read his books, it will help you deal with some of the mental aspects of this. Also try drinking a gallon of water a day, take a tablespoon of Carlsons Fish Oil (Not Cod Liver), take a liquid glucosamine /chondroitin product,and eat a ton of ginger to help with the inflammation.

    More than happy to help if I can....Have been in your situation and hated every second of it.

    Good Luck,

    Paul

  9. #9
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    I would really recommend finding a Pilates instructor that deals with back issues....you get the decompression coupled with the core strength...it address what typically causes the issue and creates the fix and prevention...really changes things...BR

  10. #10
    Rollin 29s
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    Yes, Pilates was 'prescribed' for my herniated, ruptured and degenerated discs and it really helped. Core strengthening is key, along with the stretching and decompressing exercises on the specialized Pilates equipment. I would seriously consider this recommendation.

    If the discs are bulging out toward your back as mine were, it really helped to stretch by arching my back forward, curling up in a ball on the floor. Stretching the wrong way by leaning backward and compressing the bulging discs set me back several days.

    I've gone through what you are going through several times over the past 20+ years and it is absolutely the worst pain a person could have. I'd much rather break several major bones than herniate another disc and deal with pain shooting down into my feet for months.

    Good luck.
    Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.
    - Lord Charles Beresford

  11. #11
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    Yep. I'm planning to try Pilates or Yoga or something to increase my core strength. I always thought my core was in good shape, I usually would goto the gym 3x a week and do crunches and then ride 2x's on the weekends usually. Obviously I was wrong.


    Quote Originally Posted by BenR
    I would really recommend finding a Pilates instructor that deals with back issues....you get the decompression coupled with the core strength...it address what typically causes the issue and creates the fix and prevention...really changes things...BR

  12. #12
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    chiropractors are quacks, stay away.

  13. #13
    Clydesdale
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    A lot of good advice here, well except for #12 anyway. Core and flexibilty training are vital! Also try myofascial release, it's important to keep your hamstrings and glutes stretched and loose, as they tighten they cause the pelvis to tilt putting even more strain on the back. Keep in mind that you have an injury, what you put into your body (quality of proteins, carbs and healthy fats) will play a very important role in allowing your body to heal. Don't let ignorance push you away from chiropratic or Eastern medicines. If it get your ass back on the bike does it matter?! Good Luck
    CLYDESDALE- when size matters!

  14. #14
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    As you exercise your muscles will gain strength as well as size. The latter is more important in your low back muscles as they tend to act like a balloon on tha fascia that connects to your glutes/low back/ lats (thoracolumbar fascia) This takes some of the strain off the facets that are now taking the brunt of the force your discs used to take. Core and back muscles are key. Your discs and facets usually have about an 80-20 split of percentage of force applied, with the disc taking up 80%. When the disc goes, that force is applied to the facets, which are a very small synovial joint, much like your knee, in that they do not respond well to excess shear and compression. That is the exact force induced when the disc is not as healthy as it can be. All that being said, your disc will never be where it was before the injury. It is a non vascular tissue and the only part of the disc that has any part in the cushion effect is the nucleus pulposus, or the part that people often mistaken for jelly. When its gone, it does not come back and the pressure has to go somewhere. Once it begins extruding (bulging) past the annulus fibrosis (the outer part of the disc) your cerebrospinal fluid can have an inflammatory effect on it swelling the area around a peripheral nerve. Strong back muscles can help. Typically if your pain distally, or farther away from the injury site, is worse than the pain in your back, and it is a radiating pain, meaning it has a distinct demarcation indicating it is following a nerve path rooted from the intervertebral canal of that disc, then you may be a candidate for disc surgery or a lamenectomy (they remove part of your vertebra and fuse the remaining bodies together). If not, usually only conservative approaches are taken. Recently an article published in SPINE brought to light the fact that the outcomes for both surgery and conservative treatments were the same, and that the risk of infection by performing surgery far outweighed the minimal benefit. not to mention the cost. DO NOT SEE A TRAINER OR PILATES INSTRUCTOR! They are not trained in this information. I know, I used to be a trainer and I feel I knew alot more than my peers. I am in Physical Therapy school now and realize that I did not know what I thought I did. The body is not as simple as reading a text. Unless the trainer has dissected cadavers and knows how fascia and muscle relate and how that relationship is more than pulling, they are simply unqualified. 95% of trainers don't know what movements aggravate the disc (flexion) or which ones aggravate the facet (extension/rotation). I'm not bagging on them, it is just a simple fact. They have their purpose, and it is not with spinal injuries, which is what this is. Pilates is the same. It was developed as a means for fitness, not spinal rehab. If you start feeling numbness or tingling in your legs you have more going on that needs to be addressed. As odd as this sounds if you notice your urination cycles are odd or that you are having trouble with urinal incontinence you may have a larger issue going on. If you feel what is called saddle parestesia which is where your crotch is numb or tingly where a saddle would be, that indicates a pretty large area of neural distribution and you should see a doc. I recommend seeing a QUALIFIED PT or a QUALIFIED chiro. I believe the PT will be more able to help because they are specifically trained in strengthening the muscles in the proper manner. I am not for chiro's personally, but there are some great ones out there if you look. We all have bad apples in any profession. You know if a PT is good if they actually take the time to work with you rather than dump you off on a tech, and you know if a chiro is good if they do more than pop you 6 days a week and hope for the best. Search around and if you need to see if the things they say sound like what I'm saying. Some incongruency is acceptable as we all have different ways of explaining things, but if nothing sounds like the things I say, you know you have a quack.

  15. #15
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by pwrtrainer
    As you exercise your muscles will gain strength as well as size. The latter is more important in your low back muscles as they tend to act like a balloon on tha fascia that connects to your glutes/low back/ lats (thoracolumbar fascia) This takes some of the strain off the facets that are now taking the brunt of the force your discs used to take.

    Core and back muscles are key. Your discs and facets usually have about an 80-20 split of percentage of force applied, with the disc taking up 80%. When the disc goes, that force is applied to the facets, which are a very small synovial joint, much like your knee, in that they do not respond well to excess shear and compression. That is the exact force induced when the disc is not as healthy as it can be.

    All that being said, your disc will never be where it was before the injury. It is a non vascular tissue and the only part of the disc that has any part in the cushion effect is the nucleus pulposus, or the part that people often mistaken for jelly. When its gone, it does not come back and the pressure has to go somewhere.

    Once it begins extruding (bulging) past the annulus fibrosis (the outer part of the disc) your cerebrospinal fluid can have an inflammatory effect on it swelling the area around a peripheral nerve. Strong back muscles can help.

    Typically if your pain distally, or farther away from the injury site, is worse than the pain in your back, and it is a radiating pain, meaning it has a distinct demarcation indicating it is following a nerve path rooted from the intervertebral canal of that disc, then you may be a candidate for disc surgery or a lamenectomy (they remove part of your vertebra and fuse the remaining bodies together). If not, usually only conservative approaches are taken.

    Recently an article published in SPINE brought to light the fact that the outcomes for both surgery and conservative treatments were the same, and that the risk of infection by performing surgery far outweighed the minimal benefit. not to mention the cost.

    DO NOT SEE A TRAINER OR PILATES INSTRUCTOR! They are not trained in this information. I know, I used to be a trainer and I feel I knew alot more than my peers. I am in Physical Therapy school now and realize that I did not know what I thought I did. The body is not as simple as reading a text. Unless the trainer has dissected cadavers and knows how fascia and muscle relate and how that relationship is more than pulling, they are simply unqualified. 95% of trainers don't know what movements aggravate the disc (flexion) or which ones aggravate the facet (extension/rotation). I'm not bagging on them, it is just a simple fact. They have their purpose, and it is not with spinal injuries, which is what this is. Pilates is the same. It was developed as a means for fitness, not spinal rehab. If you start feeling numbness or tingling in your legs you have more going on that needs to be addressed.

    As odd as this sounds if you notice your urination cycles are odd or that you are having trouble with urinal incontinence you may have a larger issue going on. If you feel what is called saddle parestesia which is where your crotch is numb or tingly where a saddle would be, that indicates a pretty large area of neural distribution and you should see a doc. I recommend seeing a QUALIFIED PT or a QUALIFIED chiro.

    I believe the PT will be more able to help because they are specifically trained in strengthening the muscles in the proper manner. I am not for chiro's personally, but there are some great ones out there if you look.

    We all have bad apples in any profession. You know if a PT is good if they actually take the time to work with you rather than dump you off on a tech, and you know if a chiro is good if they do more than pop you 6 days a week and hope for the best. Search around and if you need to see if the things they say sound like what I'm saying. Some incongruency is acceptable as we all have different ways of explaining things, but if nothing sounds like the things I say, you know you have a quack.

    Yeah what he said....broken up just a bit...good advice!

    No offense PW....great advice but I struggled getting through it...and no I'm not a grammar Nazi...you can chalk it up to being a simpleton.

  16. #16
    ...2 wheel terror...
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    Well, I received three Cortizone injections in the L3/L4/L5/S1 discs yesterday. I think the proceedure went very well. The doctor said it will be a few days until I start seeing & feeling an improvement so I am keeping my hopes up. I'm staying at home for the next two weeks so I really hope the ability to just rest will help me recover quickly.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by homer8
    Yeah what he said....broken up just a bit...good advice!

    No offense PW....great advice but I struggled getting through it...and no I'm not a grammar Nazi...you can chalk it up to being a simpleton.
    None taken. I get going on a tyraid and my ideas start to resemble a blarney. Plus my wife was yelling at me to get off the computer so I couldn't make paragraphs...thanks.

  18. #18
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    I feel your pain stover, I recently joined the L5/S1 club about 3 weeks ago. The pain I had was such that it has been easy to take it easy and not jump back on the bike. I also had an epidural steroid injection and it took about 3 days to be effective, but it was like magic. I also have been having decompression therapy (my wife also responded well to it) and it has been helpful, at least I am a believer. Also my .02$ don't forget about ice, I have also been taking bromaline (found in pineapples but i take supplement) and extra Vitamin C during the acute phase. Good luck and hears to a quick recovery!

  19. #19
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    Herniated Disc Pain Relief and Treatments Guide.

    Herniated discs are a major cause of disability in people under 45.
    I am one of those people.
    For the past 3 years I suffer L5S1 disc hernia, the most common type of hernia.
    But each case is slightly different and that makes it very difficult to treat.
    In my case I also have hyperlordosis, scoliosis and spina bifida.
    I have been trying countless treatments and supposed cures. I was often left in disappointment but fortunately found some sources of relief.
    I'm not a doctor, just a student with lots of experience with a mother which is a doctor.
    At this time, despite my efforts, I have reached a point where I need surgery.
    But if I have had the experience and the knowledge I have now I could have avoided this complicated situation for sure.
    That's why I made a PDF with my experience and everything Iíve investigated and used to relieve my pain over the years.

    I offer this guide for FREE to those who ask me by mail to this address.
    dibujantesautocadrb(at)gmail(dot)com

    Since my insurance does not cover this type of operation I'm asking for help through the IndieGoGo platform. There I explain who I am and where I come from, watch it if you can and share it if you like it.

  20. #20
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    I just find out that I have an L5S1 extrusion disc.. My pain level is pretty mild and my numbness and tingling comes and goes. I have a little bit of a foot drop Doctors are saying the I need surgery but i am going to try every possible therapy before considering surgery unless foot drop does not go away with Chiro and PT.. I was told by the Chiro that he is concern about the foot drop because it means that the nerve is getting damage.. I know everybody is different but the 4 consistent things I have heard is Chiro, PT, Yoga ans Swimming. The question that I have is How long you we should wait or you guys have waited before considering surgery. I am going into my 4 weeks and I hated because I can't ride or play soccer...No problem walking, just limping because of the foot drop.. Good luck!
    Gera
    Specialized HR 29er

  21. #21
    Rohloff
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    Quote Originally Posted by gera72 View Post
    I just find out that I have an L5S1 extrusion disc.. My pain level is pretty mild and my numbness and tingling comes and goes. I have a little bit of a foot drop Doctors are saying the I need surgery but i am going to try every possible therapy before considering surgery unless foot drop does not go away with Chiro and PT.. I was told by the Chiro that he is concern about the foot drop because it means that the nerve is getting damage.. I know everybody is different but the 4 consistent things I have heard is Chiro, PT, Yoga ans Swimming. The question that I have is How long you we should wait or you guys have waited before considering surgery. I am going into my 4 weeks and I hated because I can't ride or play soccer...No problem walking, just limping because of the foot drop.. Good luck!
    I'm a chiropractor that owns and operates a large chiropractic/physical therapy clinic. I think the two best tools for managing herniated discs are spinal decompression and McKenzie Method. Foot drop is a serious concern. Four weeks is plenty of time to try a treatment. Are you getting better? If not, move on to something else. If you are still having foot drop after another few weeks, I'd give strong consideration to surgery. Foot drop can become permanent if the nerve compression persists. One surgeon told me the patient has 4 months before there is concern for permanent nerve damage. Everyone is different. I'm not sure I'd go more than 2 months. Do everything you can to avoid surgery but don't go into denial.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdc View Post
    I'm a chiropractor that owns and operates a large chiropractic/physical therapy clinic. I think the two best tools for managing herniated discs are spinal decompression and McKenzie Method. Foot drop is a serious concern. Four weeks is plenty of time to try a treatment. Are you getting better? If not, move on to something else. If you are still having foot drop after another few weeks, I'd give strong consideration to surgery. Foot drop can become permanent if the nerve compression persists. One surgeon told me the patient has 4 months before there is concern for permanent nerve damage. Everyone is different. I'm not sure I'd go more than 2 months. Do everything you can to avoid surgery but don't go into denial.
    BSDC thanks for your adviced. Foot drop started 4 weeks ago, and it is getting better very slowly or maybe still the same (can't stand on my heels). I will research the Mckenzie Method. I haven't heard about it.. Also have an appointment with surgeon next week. let see what he says when sees the MRI.-thanks again..
    Gera
    Specialized HR 29er

  23. #23
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    I had an L5S1 disc herniation in the spring of 2009. Really sorry for anyone that has to go through a disc injury. I know how it is. Initially it was so bad I could barely lift a coffee mug off the table and had some really uncomfortable sciatica. The slightest twist or movement would continuously aggravate it and I couldnít get over the hump. I came across the book on the site healyourbulgingdisc . com. (I'm new on here it won't let me post a hyperlink until i have more posts) by a chiropractor Dr. Ron Daulton Jr. I'm not getting paid to promote this or anything. I know it looks kind of cheesy but I rehabbed using the routine in this book and it basically saved my life. It is a step by step program that starts light and gradually progresses as you heal. It involves a series of stretching/strengthening exercises combined with chiropractic care, massage therapy, supplements, yoga, exercise, etc. Cycling and swimming were also a big part of my routine. There is so much detail in the book. A lot of it is common sense (healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, etc.) but there are a lot of little things most people wouldnít consider. Every aspect of the lifestyle required to promote a healthy back is detailed. You could spend months on the internet and not find all the information in the book. It works best following the guidelines in the book as closesly as possible which does get a little pricey since it requires you to buy some additional stuff (therapy ball, resistance bands, supplements, massage therapy, etc.) but it is all quality and worth every penny in my opinion to avoid doctor visits or surgery in the worst case. With a lot of discipline, the majority of back injuries can be healed on their own. Also Dr. Daulton was very responsive and helpful through email so you get some personalized advice. Anyway everyone's different and who knows if it would work for everyone but hopefully someone finds this useful. The results were remarkable for me after the first 6 months to a year. It's now coming up on 4 years and I have very little if any lower back discomfort at this point. Best part is, in that time Iíve still been able to ride the bike regularly.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Netminder29 View Post
    I had an L5S1 disc herniation in the spring of 2009. Really sorry for anyone that has to go through a disc injury. I know how it is. Initially it was so bad I could barely lift a coffee mug off the table and had some really uncomfortable sciatica. The slightest twist or movement would continuously aggravate it and I couldnít get over the hump. I came across the book on the site healyourbulgingdisc . com. (I'm new on here it won't let me post a hyperlink until i have more posts) by a chiropractor Dr. Ron Daulton Jr. I'm not getting paid to promote this or anything. I know it looks kind of cheesy but I rehabbed using the routine in this book and it basically saved my life. It is a step by step program that starts light and gradually progresses as you heal. It involves a series of stretching/strengthening exercises combined with chiropractic care, massage therapy, supplements, yoga, exercise, etc. Cycling and swimming were also a big part of my routine. There is so much detail in the book. A lot of it is common sense (healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, etc.) but there are a lot of little things most people wouldnít consider. Every aspect of the lifestyle required to promote a healthy back is detailed. You could spend months on the internet and not find all the information in the book. It works best following the guidelines in the book as closesly as possible which does get a little pricey since it requires you to buy some additional stuff (therapy ball, resistance bands, supplements, massage therapy, etc.) but it is all quality and worth every penny in my opinion to avoid doctor visits or surgery in the worst case. With a lot of discipline, the majority of back injuries can be healed on their own. Also Dr. Daulton was very responsive and helpful through email so you get some personalized advice. Anyway everyone's different and who knows if it would work for everyone but hopefully someone finds this useful. The results were remarkable for me after the first 6 months to a year. It's now coming up on 4 years and I have very little if any lower back discomfort at this point. Best part is, in that time Iíve still been able to ride the bike regularly.
    Forgot to mention there are separate strengthening/stretching exercises for low back, mid back and neck depending on your type of injury.

  25. #25
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    I'm dealing with this as well (since early October) Just finished a month of PT which included stretching and core strength exercises. It helped me quite a bit but not enough to allow me to ride as I'd like.

    Besides the lower back pain I experienced horrible pain shooting into my right leg, enough to drop me in my tracks. After the month of PT I decided to try Chiropractic treatment. After 3 visits I've made seen even more improvement but I'm still nowhere my old self.

    My main problem now is weakness in my right leg. I can support my weight on my left lef w/o any problem but when I try to stand on the right leg only there's no way I have the strength to do it. There's no pain, just no strength. Really stinks. I go in for an MRI tomorrow.

    And, forgive my ignorance, but what is foot drop?
    There are three kinds of people: those of us that are good at math and those that are not.

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