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Paul has cervical radiculopathy (from a bulging disc) - advice?  RSS feed

 
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It occurs to me that Paul being laid out on his back unable to move is reminiscent of another great innovator of his field in 1970, a Mr Bruce Lee. During this time, Lee dictated The Tao of Jeet Kune Do to his wife Linda.

Perhaps the time is right for Paul to dictate The Tao of HUSP to Jocelyn?

Advance orders for the hardback can be placed when?
 
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Location: Irvine, KY
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Paul,
Around 5 years ago I herniated a disk in a my lower spine. I know it is the opposite end of things, but there were a couple resources that I still lean on today. The number one person is Dr Stuart McGill, who I believe is out of California. His books are textbook like. He has done tremendous amounts of research into Back issues and I still find them invaluable. Much of his work seems to be lower back, however, there may be some key takeaways for you. Including many studies into safe and unsafe exercise movements that he has done extensive laboratory research into. There is Esther Gokhale and also the Egoscue methods.

I hope you find a solution, I know too well how frightening this pain is...mostly that we cant get the work done how we want to. Be well.



Joe Kilcoyne
 
pollinator
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Hi Paul, My best wishes to you for a speedy recovery! The best advice I can give is a really old workout program that was designed by a woman who had scoliosis and then tore her back up by backpacking around the world, and studied the body in both yoga and ballet to develop exercises that would strengthen and re-align the body. Goes by the name of Callanetics - 10 Years Younger in 10 Hours, I looked to see if youtube had a full version and I couldn't find one, but copies are readily available for cheap. Once you get over the bad 80s filming, and spandex, it still remains a solid program that was really based an anatomy. It's one where if you are interested you want to get the book, (or vhs-(dvd if available)) because, in it, she gives modifiers for if you are hurting or can't make the stretches at first. Also, from what I did see on youtube, there are plenty of uploads of individual components of the workout, but they are missing the key stretching portion in the beginning and end.

The exercises have always helped me out when I tweaked my back, neck or shoulder muscles or alignment. Hope you find some kind of relief, and hang in there, sometimes you just need to rest and recoup and your body will right itself all on its own.

Take Care,
Dee
 
pollinator
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Look! Even after 3 hours, plus another 2 hours vertical, Paul and I walked down the driveway to sit with folks around the ring of fire!





What a great picture. It's so good to see you sitting up and smiling.

Paul,

There are so many people (I would imagine) like myself, who have visited these forums for years, who have watched your videos and listened to podcasts . . . basically who feel that we know you after reading and watching you for years. So to hear of your pain and struggles these past couple of months has been profoundly sad. And Jocelyn, to hear and read and observe your care and love for Paul has been deeply touching. I know that the Permies community is this odd cyber community, but the feelings of empathy and concern are none-the-less real. It's just so good to read of your recovery.

I know that I'm just another stranger who logs onto the site and comments from time to time ---- I don't know if we will ever have the chance to meet ---- but there are so many of us who have greatly appreciated all that you are doing and wish you only the best as you continue to recover. To see that picture was like a cool drink of water. It's just so great to see you with a smile on your face, enjoying one of life's simple pleasures.

I suppose that suffering causes all of us to take stock of the good things in our life, and, hopefully, come to a deeper appreciation of the many little mercies that we may not see when we are strong and in charge. Perhaps that is one gift that has come out of this difficult season for you and Jocelyn.

Anyhow, it's great to see you sitting up and enjoying the company of others. Hang in there --- you are deeply appreciated.
 
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Scrolled through looking to see if anyone else mentioned it and the last post did, sort of. A few years ago I was sick of the lower back pain that kept reoccurring and debilitating me. Searched Youtube for "healing back pain" and found Dr. John Sarno. Suffice it to say that this encounter (on Youtube) has transformed my life. I hesitate to even mention it because it seems people don't want to hear about it, but I guess there may come a time when you're just over it (pain) and need to get to the root of the issue. I never imagined that watching a video could help alleviate pain but it did in my case. Though this might turn off more people, I'll try to put it in a nutshell. According to Dr. Sarno, who has all the traditional credentials anyone might look for, pain is largely in the brain. Particularly, repressed rage in the subconscious, that we're not even aware of, expresses itself as pain. This is the condition described as Tension Myositis Syndrome, TMS. When we are able to make a conscious decision to tell the brain to stop producing pain, it does just that. Don't take my word for it.
 
pollinator
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And Dr. David Hanscomb, http://www.drdavidhanscom.com/, a back surgeon from Swedish Hospital, Seattle, followed up on Dr. Sarno's theories... with great success. He had done many surgeries, had his own back operated on, had migraines, etc., etc... and found another way. Just fyi..
 
master steward
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Today Jocelyn is going to take me to Missoula to get my prescription refilled. I would go myself except that we have learned I should definitely not drive anything just yet. I get powerful dizzy spells that will leave me on the floor.

It's the meds. I have to come down off of the meds slowly. It will probably be another four or five months until I am done with them.

While on them, I find myself searching for vocabulary. And I often have to read an email several times before I understand it.

As for the pain itself - it is mostly gone. Ernie says it is still there, but the meds are doing their job of hiding it from me. For the last couple of weeks I have been taking 33% less than I was. He says that in another week or two I might start feeling the pain again.

I feel like I am doing pretty good at a lot of things, using knowledge from my past to get me through. But I am definitely not at 100%. I am currently operating at about 65% efficiency.

I can sit at my desk for about eight hours now. I tend to put in an hour or two on my back with my phone, do eight hours in the office, and then I really need to lie down again.

So, 65% now. Maybe in a month I will be at 75%.
 
steward
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Good to hear from you, Paul, and wonderful that you continue to improve. A long slow wean sounds like a great idea.

I hope that you can start to reintroduce some movement into your routine because I think that can help. I think there's more than one way to skin that cat, but things to improve alignment of your vertebrae over the long term will decrease the chance of more pain in the future.
 
paul wheaton
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Julia Winter wrote:
I hope that you can start to reintroduce some movement into your routine because I think that can help. I think there's more than one way to skin that cat, but things to improve alignment of your vertebrae over the long term will decrease the chance of more pain in the future.



I've been shuffling around .... a slow, slow walk. I've tried to shuffle to the top of the volcano three times with jocelyn and made it up there once.
 
Jason Silberschneider
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With Paul up and around, I'm beginning to think the Tao Of HUSP is never going to be written...
 
Julia Winter
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paul wheaton wrote:
I've been shuffling around .... a slow, slow walk. I've tried to shuffle to the top of the volcano three times with jocelyn and made it up there once.



Up to the top of the volcano! That's terrific. Our bodies need to move, and things just go badly when we don't.

For me, it's yoga. If I can do some yoga 2-3 times a week I'm less likely to wake up in pain (back pain). I should be able to do it on my own, but it seems I have to be in a class for it to really happen. Today was a good day, I rode my trike down to the Movement Center and attended their community yoga class ($5 - yes, I'm a cheapskate). Couldn't do that last week because I was on call. Tomorrow I'll participate in a class at the Ecovillage next door - I've decided that's my "church" and rarely miss that one.

I dearly wish there was someone who could travel out to you at basecamp and do some body work, whether it be yoga or Pilates or massage or whatever. (Thai massage! That's like a combination of yoga and massage....) Maybe someone would like to stay in the Tipi? I dunno.
 
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Did you have lots of headaches before this Paul?
 
gardener
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I've had this. It's unbelievably horrible.

There have been a few ways I've dealt with it, but the most effective, long term, was rolfing. Rolfing can help with bulged or impinged disks anywhere in the body, and the effects are usually long term stabilization of the body part.

Rolfing has a reputation of being painful, but it's not really deserved. My 99 year old grandmother would get rolfed, and she described it as a"good pain'. She was not a masochist, either. If you are having the sort of neck pain described, rolfing "pain" is not likely to be an issue.

The second best is a very good acupuncturist, followed by seeing a really good chiropractor. The order helps. The acu helps the chiropractic work to "stick".

If this neck problem persists, it can even be from a toxic exposure. In my case, that was the problem. I had this issue over a 20 year time period, and finally discovered I was living in a toxic-ly moldy home and had developed a hypersensitivity to mold. This is often referred to as biotoxin illness. It's not an allergy, though you can also be allergic. It's a reaction to toxicity, and it effects the nervous system. Even now that I'm out of that house and very recovered, if I get exposed to too much mold, my neck will "go out" again.

I'm not saying that's Paul's issue, just that there can be an underlying cause relating to an exposure of some sort that effects the nervous system. Disk problems are not always a result of a physical activity - although the physical activity usually exacerbates the problem.

But no matter the cause, rolfing is still the best fix for me with this problem.

 
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I don't have the time to go through all these posts but has anyone mentioned INCLINED BED THERAPY? Google it - almost free and amazing for some conditions and worthwhile for anyone. Also a book i have found extremely helpful in my times of need is Painfree by Pete Egoscue.
 
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Location: Toronto Zone 6a&7a and Havelock Zone 5a&b, Ontario The Canadian Shield
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Hi, I'm new here. Re: Paul's pain. It might be worth reading The Brain's Way of Healing, Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge, M.D. “Mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff,” according to The New York Times. Libraries have it.
1. Chapter 4 is on the work of Dr. Fred Kahn of Toronto, who developed a low-intensity laser device in conjunction with Ryerson University that eliminates pain and promotes healing. You have to read the chapter to grok the scope of what light frequencies can do. Note: Healing bulging and even herniated disks is on the list. See Case profile here: http://bioflexlaser.com/resources/article/cervical-spine-pathologies/ Dr Kahn is a farm boy from Ontario who later became a vascular surgeon, switched to studying light technology. He's treated athletes like Marc McGuire, also Blue Jays and Raptors team members. I used the device to accelerate healing/eliminate pain in 2 broken vertebrae in my lumbar spine. It worked. His company is http://bioflexlaser.com/about-us/ Call him to see if a health practitioner in your area has his device. Device can also be bought or rented for home use.
2. Ok. next up is from Chapter 7: A research lab called TCNL at the University of Wisconsin at Madison is doing the impossible (so-called) like healing multiple sclerosis, severe brain injuries, stroke, post-concussion and Post- Traumatic Stress in soldiers, etc. https://tcnl.bme.wisc.edu/projects
3. Lastly, Chapter 1 is on Dr Michael Moskowitz and how to train the brain to unlearn pain.You can read much of the chapter here https://www.amazon.com/Brains-Way-Healing-Discoveries-Neuroplasticity-ebook/dp/B00KWG9L2AChapter 1 The Brain's Way of Healing
4. You can google search any of these modalities, there is lots more on the internet.
(I have no financial connection with any of these)
All the best for your recovery.
 
pollinator
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I am also a massage practitioner and am going to echo Lynn Chase's comments.

I think there are two prongs to addressing an acute situation.

The first is dealing with the short-term debilitating pain and there really is a place for medication and injections and there are few reasons to not attempt to provide yourself with relief. Sometimes surgery IS the best path to healing, but that is left between you and a qualified physician.

The second is the long-term changes and daily habits that need to restore the entire body to health. This involves addressing the entire body and I would encourage you to get bodywork from someone truly qualified to help the entire body heal. I would also learn about various movement systems and pick one to practice. I like pilates. Other people like yoga. Other people like tai chi. To a certain extent, it doesn't matter as long as you start *safely* moving the entire body. If there is any way you can start moving parts of the body without irritating the neck, I would start adding movement to your day. This does not mean go all in with a movement system and flare things back up. This means extremely gentle movement to start restoring health to the entire body. This may be the most seemingly simple movements that might not add up to much for a few weeks. But sitting still is like putting the body in a vise and it is going to take some time to carefully unwind that, but sooner rather than later.

True, debilitating pain puts special limitations on what advice is good advice and what advice is bad. But, to the extent possible, I would incorporate frequent gentle movement and as much *good* bodywork to help move the body for you.
 
Lucy Becker
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I forgot to mention some things, regarding the low level-laser device in my post above, which information may be useful in making a decision to investigate it further. 1. It is not like other devices that have been around in your chiropractor's or physio-therapist's office. Not that there is anything wrong with the older technologies, it's merely to point out there IS a big difference in the Bio-flex device. I can say I've experienced many types of laser and electrical-stimulation devices, with varying degrees of success. But this device is far more effective: healing takes less time and heals many more issues. 2. It is not too expensive to buy, if you take into consideration how valuable something like this is to the community at large. It could be commonly shared to treat injuries of all sorts, from burns, to deep, long-standing diabetic ulcers that ate right to the bone, long-time undiagnosed concussion (my issue), broken bones (also my issue-2 in the spine), degenerated discs- the list goes on. It actually re-grows tissue. If you read the book, you will be astounded by the documentation of what this device has accomplished. (Again, I have no financial connection involved with this device. I just think it is a miracle) Best of luck Paul, and Paul's care-givers. I can tell the community really loves you. Balls to the wall, pal, we need you back.
 
nancy sutton
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Ditto, Lucy, on Dr. Doidge's book... very well worth a read. After all, Permaculture is all about the 'edges', where interesting things can happen ;)
 
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I know this is 4 months old, but the TMS information I found has relieved years of upper back/neck pain. I spent a lot of time and money on other treatments, pillows, contraptions, etc...
So I started reading Dr John Sarno's stuff (and videos), and got one ONE round of trigger point injections, and the difference is LIFE ALTERING. LITERALLY LIFE ALTERING. I think I need one more round for some of the deeper areas, but to be able to lift my head off of the pillow without using my hands is pretty amazing.
I still get massages (to relax, not to dig into the spasms), I do yoga (to relax, not to stretch certain areas), and I have also reclaimed other activities - biking, running, swimming, strength training.

Hope you feel better Paul and have found some relief in the past four months.

Yvette



Chris Badgett wrote:To Paul and all those who see are suffering from pain like this from the sacrum to the neck.

I have experienced similar pain and found relief in the most unlikely places.

I would encourage you to have an open mind and check out a condition call TMS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tension_myositis_syndrome



Feel better soon!

 
K Putnam
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I'm a dumb dumb for not mentioning this before. Have you tried kinesiotaping? It's the colorful tape you see on athletes? Properly applied (it's not athletic tape randomly taped on), it can do wonders for instantaneously decreasing muscle tension and the pain associated with it. It lifts the skin, immediately improving local circulation and decreasing pain. It can also inhibit or support muscles as needed. With such an extreme case as yours, you'd want someone who is a) well-trained and b) you can give feedback to if it changes the discomfort in any way. The nice thing about tape is that you can always just take it off. It stays on for 3-5 days, sometimes longer if you're not moving much, though I just had a piece stay on for a full week and I finally took it off myself.
 
gardener
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Hi,

I hope Paul, you are doing well. Sucks when something awful and appearringly random happens to someone whose nice and does good stuff. I also feel like I had shown up late to dinner here. I saw this "meaningless drivel" topic about radiculo-something today and thought, that's ridiculous, and went to look at something about gardening - and then thought I'd look anyway (as I hunch anxiously over my computer screen). Uh, yeah- not so ridiculous at all. Regarding the muscle spasm part: Muscle spasms can HURT. Consider labor - that's right giving birth is kind of just an elaborate series of muscle spasms that results in the ejection of the womb and child from the mother's body. Anyway, I had a non-painful one in my neck. Apparently these things run in my family but it took like 3 months of me feeling like I couldn't breadth and slowly transitioning to a liquid diet before we figured it out. Muscle relaxers were my savior for a while, in the beginning, especially when it acted up. Since then, I transitions to stretches and meditation and massages and breathing techniques and exercises and conscious muscle control, and reducing life stressors... at least that's what I found with my little issue. Also, when we hurt, we tend to tense, which is why these things can be a vicious cycle, even non-intentionally. Well, like I said, I'm late but I'm glad Paul is up and around and doing better and looks like he found his way to some sort of muscle-relaxy thing. Hope things continue in the positive direction.
 
pollinator
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Sorry if this repeats others,

Disclaimer, I'm not a licensed physician, and wouldn't want to be, consult with an MD ..

Dr. Christopher put together an all purpose formula BF&C, which stands for bone, flesh, and cartilage. https://www.drchristophersherbs.com/products/bf-c-formula-bulk https://www.drchristophersherbs.com/collections/types?q=Herbal%20Ointments%20%26%20Massage%20Oils (It is now called complete tissue repair)

One of his more famous students, professor cayenne http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20160616-5020 put together a liniment and the two used together have become known as the dynamic duo

I have personally used the two externally very successfully with numerous skeletal issues over time, torn muscles, back pain, etc

The technique is simple, use the BFC oil or ointment on the area, then the cayenne heat (I prefer the olive oil extract), then to keep it from rubbing off and to concentrate the effect, wrap in plastic- saran wrap, an old plastic bag, whatever, and leave it for a few hrs.

It will cool at first, then heat up

some people may experience a skin irritation esp if they don't first apply the bf&C, at any rate, any severe reaction just use regular olive oil to clean the area, in fact, if you wanted to ease into it you could dilute the heat formula with olive oil, although that is likely not necessary.

There are lots of reasons why these formulas work so well together, lots of reasons why they each work very well on their own.

BF&C is a shotgun type formula, it has herbs that dissolve calcifications as well as drive out parasites, with comfrey as the main ingredient to speed tissue repair.

cayenne contains lots of calcium (low calcium intensifies pain and muscle cramps) as well as capsaicin which is a primary pain reliever.

without going into too much detail

I often do the BF&C as a tea or make a syrup with glycerin (get the original formula with comfrey) to supplement external therapies.

As far as diet, a vegan diet, note that high protein is just as acidic as refined sugars and depletes blood calcium which ends up weakening bones, even with a calcium rich diet and should be avoided. It is possible to have both calcifications and deficient calcium in the blood at the same time, even though that sounds contradictory--

 
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Gokhale, Gokhale, Gokhale! Until I found Gokhale, I had no idea what good posture was or how to go about achieving it. Why it hasn't gone viral is a mystery to me, but it's probably just a matter of time. The tag line for Gokhale is "The Weston Price of Posture". The basic philosophy is that posture is a way of life and not something you do to fix the damage you do day to day by using your body. Instead, it is a constant practice or habit that makes daily activities including physical labor constructive instead of destructive. That's freakin' great because we all hate doing exercises and they rarely work anyway. You can do exercises too in order to regain function and speed things along, but the core of it is how we stand, sit, lie and work. Gokhale has changed my life on many levels. It requires an attitude adjustment along with the posture adjustment, but that's a good thing. The video below is eye opening and a good introduction to Gokhale. You can get a long way by just watching whatever videos are out there and then decide to take a class if one is available. In Paul's situation, I'd probably just take the class if there is one available locally, which there very well may not be as they are very careful about selecting teachers and training them well. I haven't taken any classes and I've improved tremendously. Whether it fixes all of his problems or not, it is a good start for anyone. From pictures and videos, Paul has a head forward posture which throws everything all to out of whack. I had that too and am still correcting it. Good luck!

BTW, pronounced "Go Kale"



 
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Location: Cerro Negro de Nicoya, Costa Rica
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Turmeric is a powerful anitinflamatory, antibiotic & antidepressant.....and combined with ginger even more so. If you can get the fresh roots is best, but if not the powder is great too (powder mixed with black pepper is 2000 X's more powerful. I grow it and use it and give it away to anyone who needs it. Turmericforhealth.com Has more information plus sites where you can order organic powder from.
 
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Fasting is nature's surgery. I am working my way up to a 9 day fast. I'm currently on day 3 of a 6 day fast. I hope to complete a 9 day fast before the end of the September. I've heard that injured animals don't eat until they are well again. It seems like a good "permie" type solution.

Hope I'm not too late with this input and hope Paul heals up well.
 
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Location: Orange County, California
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I have a suggestion for long term recovery.

In a previous incarnation I was a computer programmer. This as you know involves long hours sitting at a desk in a cubicle doing intensely mind bending work. One of my contracts was with a very small start-up. The “office” was the guest bedroom in a house. There were desks for the owner, the engineer and the programmer. The cat was not told nor did he entirely approve of a company moving into “His!!!” room. The chair I was to use was the cat’s chair. Just ask him. So… my first unofficial job was to negotiate with the cat. I found that if I shooed the cat out of the chair I got scratched and when I came in the next day my desk was trashed. I then found that if I was polite and gently lifted the cat up, sat down, put the cat in my lap and petted him a minute or so before I started work I earned the cats approval. This turned out to be the most stress free programming job I ever had. It is hard to get work stress when there is a contented cat purring in your lap. And a cat can be a very good listener when you need to try out an idea or to vent.

My suggestion is get a cat that will let you share his chair.
 
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Location: Massawippi, Quebec, Canada.
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I know all about lower back pain; and the worse part about any pain in general is not having anyone to relate to. So I feel for ya, Paul.

Those large work-out rubber balls are really good for back issues - but you really need to spend time on them (10-20 min, at least a few times each day), stretching and doing various movements, roll over them back and forth, place your hands on the ground and roll your shins over the ball so you get into a folded kneeling position with your upper body folded over your thighs like they do in India or wherever it is; then go backwards until you are (nearly) balanced over your stomach on top of the ball, squishing it; it should always be a flowing movement and not abrupt or block-like movements; but even just merely rolling over onto them with your stomach feels great and it really stretches the back if you do it right (have a couple of strong woofers pull hard on your legs and arms while you are on it after you have stretched on it a while, before getting off and the G force (gravity - a theory, folks!) compresses your back again - I would get two of them if I were a giant.

Apart from those big squishy rubber balls, the BEST stretch I do is to stretch from side to side. Stand strait with feet at shoulders' length apart, stretch your arms upwards while keeping your stance, then visualize the side-to-side plane as though you were butcher slicing through your own body with a giant cheese slicer cutting your body right in half so that you have the front half and the back half - now bend exactly sideways within that plane, over one leg (the other leg can lift off the ground a bit to help you balance out) - SLOWLY - so that your arms slowly move like the hands of a clock from noon to 5PM-6PM (if you can). The leg that you bend over ought to be straight so that the only main pivot point is really your hip bone. Visualize each vertebrae stretching the spinal cartilage so that each side of your vertebrae opens up the opposite side that you stretch towards, starting at your sacrum, lumbar vertebrae etc. right up to your head where by this time your head/arms should be at 5PM. Then - SLOWLY - bend back up in reverse, but again visually starting with your sacrum. Then to the other side. Do this maybe ten times each side, a few times each day. It takes time to do; each side should take you 2-5 minutes - longer if you're really into it. You'll see how you will feel after just one complete stretch - don't try too much at a time. After a few times you should start to really feel AMAZING right after each stretch, if not then it is not the right stretch for you. IF IT IS EASY YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

Another thing, besides spas and being in the water, swimming hard, or just floating there for an hour like a dead carcass... is to get yourself a workhorse and a few pillows, place it legs' length away from a railing or picnic table, then bend over it with your stomach over the padding/pillows located on the top of the horse while placing your heels (wear boots) under the railing or picnic table and slowly straiten your back out with all of your weight mostly between the top of your hips and stomach (feel around for a good spot; you should be able to balance your body over that spot) on top of the horse (I recommend a steel horse for you, Paul; make sure it's not a rusty old thing that will break in half and stab you in the torso before hitting ground). Try sets of 5-10 at first bending down over the horse - SLOWLY - with your arms extended, hang there a while, then flex backwards back up strait (horizontally); do that a few times a day with a little opium and you should be fine.

PS - If y'all are wondering why I edit stuff so much it is because the NSA is cyber harassing my grammar and changing things like "do" to "to", "knowing" to "nowing", "mutt" to "butt", "where" to "here"... but, hopefully I am just paranoid.

Cheers.
 
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Hello, first time poster, long time lurker.  I hope Paul is doing better, there has been no update for some time.  I have read the entire thread and I have $ .02 to add as I have had much success at not having surgery.  For immediate inflammation/pain relief a hot bath with epsom salt and castor oil to which one may add a nice essential oil of their choosing.  For ongoing relief Inflama-Rest by Source Naturals contains a lot of excellent anti-inflammatory herbs that have been previously mentioned and some that have not.  It is available on Amazon.  My issues were greatly ameliorated by these home remedies along with seeing a competent massage therapist and later the same day a healing chiropractor.  I find horse liniment (contains arnica and comfrey) mixed with castor oil to be an excellent muscle rub.  I also take a shot of lemon juice morning and evenings followed by copious amounts of water.  The apple cider vinegar/honey drink is very good also at removing the uric acid crystals that form around damaged areas and cause pain.  I am not a doctor, this is just what worked for me after being in a car accident and whiplash combined with deteriorating/bulging discs and pinched sciatic nerve.  Excruciating.  I am much better now. YMMV.  I hope something works before you have to opt for surgery.
 
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Location: Laurentians, Quebec (zone 3b)
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'herbs for back pain...', a very comprehensive aritcle by Jim MacDonald, and in particular this section about Mullein Root:

mullein verbascum thapsus

Mullein is mostly thought of as a “cough herb”, but is, like Solomon’s Seal, among the best musculoskeletal remedies I know of.  While both the leaf and root can be used, I have the most experience with, and am partial to, the root.  To be honest, I’m not entirely sure that Mullein works by affecting synovial fluids, though this is Matthew Wood’s hypothesis: “It has a moistening, lubricating effect on the synovial membranes… so that it is hydrating to the spine and joints. It is often indicated in back injuries. People think they are untreatable and incurable, but an increase the synovial fluids will make the spine more pliable and comfortable. The vertebra will slip back into place more readily, pain and inflammation will decrease and the condition will get better."  So, that’s his thought.  What I know of mullein root (Matt uses the leaves) is that it is one of the most effective means of addressing back problems caused by or resulting in misalignment.  Whether or not it’s working via lubrication, Mullein Root has helped me immensely when my spine’s been kinked and I couldn’t straighten up, and I’ve repeatedly seen it work well for clients and students as well.  It seems to be most effective before the muscles react to the misalignment, and I’ve seen and experienced numerous instances where a single dose allow the person (occasionally myself) to just straighten right up.  I think it is specific to misalignment resulting from herniated discs, as well as in treating sciatica resulting from misalignment.  In acute cases, with all the nerve and muscle reactions that go along with them it need to be used more long term and supportively with other herbs, but after the acute phase has past and the back is no longer in “crisis” mode but still weak and not wholly stable, Mullein Root on its own can be immensely helpful.  I think of it among the most essential remedies to restore spinal strength and integrity.  5-15 drops is a good dose; you can also make a tea from the roots.
 
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I am a chiropractor, go to a good chiropractor, If I could I would treat you, I know I can help you out.
 
Posts: 80
Location: PNW zone 7
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I'm not aware of an update on Paul's back.
How's he doing?  Anyone know?
 
paul wheaton
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I know!  

The initial symptoms are pretty much all gone.  Once in a while I will have a little bit of pain in my arm or hand, but I can work through it.  

When I was first getting out of bed I had some pain in my right leg.   It is less now, but it seems to still be around.   I can walk around for a bit before it starts to get yucky.   Standing still seems to make it the worst.   I worry that there is junk touching my spinal cord, so being in a little pain is good, but I shouldn't do too much at once.

We went to the Thomas Elpel class this last weekend.  When we went outside and walked around I brought a chair.   When we got to the end of the day, I waited while Jocelyn brought the car.  

If I had lots of coin or if insurance actually did what it was supposed to do, then I would get another MRI to find out what the exact story is.  As is, I'm just going to make the best of it.  
 
Carma Nykanen
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Atsch. .. enough symptoms to keep you in check, but progress.

A sliver of bright side.

If ANYONE ever gets spine trouble there's a heap of gems listed here to refer to!

So with all your push for forward momentum, don't underestimate the need to take care of the cog so that the wheel can turn

I hope you can take advantage of the generous offers here!

In increasing health. ..
 
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Hi Paul
What a wealth of good thoughts and suggestions. I have nothing to add but my own best wishes for a full recovery.
Thank you for the gift you have given us in this forum. I have not posted often, but read voraciously.
All the best
Lcc
 
pollinator
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Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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Have read several times over the past 20 years of people visiting Mexico to get MRI's at 1/10 the price. Weird situation. Don't know if it's still like that or not.

In the 90's and up 'til about 2010, I regularly read reports from boating people visiting below the border. Regarding medical, 95% reported excellent care, both routine and emergency. Haven't kept up since then.

Due diligence recommended, of course.

Rufus
 
Posts: 245
Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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Detox the pain away......



Everything else is just a bandaid. Though some bandaids work better than others.

I know you're a very smart individual Paul, and if this topic is approached with an open mind then I know that you will be astounded at just how good you can feel.  
 
Posts: 72
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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I am wondering what if anything worked for Paul?  

I am in my third month of weekly chiro, massage and acupuncture treatments dealing with what sounds like the same type of pain, but lower back, butt and leg (nope not sciatica).  Simillar origin, nerve compression causing muscle spasm that radiates down the limb, in my case to the toes.  Self diagnoses (and the chiro) is perifomis syndrome.  When it is not bad, it is just pins and needles from spine to toes, when it is bad, there is no description, but death would be gladly welcomed...fortunately I just remember that this too will pass....  But in three months I have not had a single day without hours and hours of non-stop agonizing pain.  Already taking tumeric, fish oil etc.,  Naproxen, Robaxacette, codiene etc., ice and heat (heat at least makes ME feel cosy.  Have to say though, the addition of acupuncture seems to be offering the most freedom from the worst of the pain, even whole half days, recently, where I feel normal.

So just to say, l literally feel your pain...did anything work?  Awaiting results of my CAT scan at this time.
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 26715
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I had a traction device that would do amazing things in 20 minutes.   I was allowed to use this three times a day.  Each time, I would then do my exercises.   In an hour or so, the pain would gradually come back afterward - but I could get up, exercise and do a few things before going back to bed.  



https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000II85YC

The first time I tried it, I wept because it made things so much better.



It takes the better part of an hour to get to missoula for a doctor's appointment and this thing made it ten times better:



https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0042BYG3U


 
When I was younger I felt like a man trapped inside a woman's body. Then I was born. My twin is a tiny ad:
100 Chestnut Trees for 299$ or 50 for 195$ + Free Shipping & more
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