Ted talks are at the top of the list when it comes to expert advice on Science and Technology delivered in a way that everyone can understand. Here’s my Top 5 talks from medical and engineering research leaders who discuss the root causes of back pain and how to alleviate (or at least cope with) a sore, achy or damaged spine.
Author - discpain
Well, actually more like one year and two months as my surgery date was late June 2015 but really…who’s counting at this point? Recovering from my third surgical procedure has been a long and bumpy ride but each week is slightly better than the last.
After six years of research and over 600 interviews, author Cathryn Jakobson Ramin has released what I would describe as the laymen’s comprehensive guide to navigating the murky waters of back pain remedies. As a human guinea pig, Ramin explores dozens of treatments from acupuncture, chiropractors, osteopathy, to finding the perfect office chair, all in an effort to relieve pain from herniated discs and degenerative disc disease.
Ramin’s exhaustive investigative research uncovers some of the dubious motives at the centre of traditional healthcare modalities, and provides statistical data that backs up her claim which strongly suggests that those with back pain need to think twice before signing up for multiple sessions of chiropractic / physiotherapy treatment, epidural steroid injections or far more invasive procedures such as spinal fusions. Though some of these treatments may help, her advice is to start with the far more obvious routines such as exercise, constant movement, and innovative often un-reported practices such as Rolfing, Feldenkrais and the Alexander Technique. Oh, and my personal hidden gem in preventive spine-aching office furniture…something called the Locus Workstation.
Ramin says that “People in pain are poor decision-makers” and her book helps us understand the real limitations of the medical systems approach to back problems and that most overlook the obvious solutions such as diet and exercise. She points to Stuart McGill’s encouraging results on the “Big Three” exercises that many back pain sufferers can do daily to increase their chances of rehabilitation.
Buy it Here on Amazon: Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting On the Road to Recovery
To put it plainly, getting fitted for custom orthotics was a complete game changer for me. After suffering for years simply walking or standing still, in late 2005 I finally made the connection between pounding feet and an aching, inflamed back. I needed to keep my arches supported and more importantly, I needed shock absorption for my spine.
It took me decades to realize that inflammation could be controlled by something other than ibuprofen. In 2008, on the advice of my naturopath I started exploring natural remedies for a tired, burning back. After closing the medicine cabinet and raiding the kitchen, here’s a list of homemade cures with real medicinal properties and minimal side effects.
To fuse or not to fuse, that is the question I’ve been asking myself for years. After two decompression surgeries and persistent pain from pinched nerves, I’ve started to explore the more drastic option of lumbar fusion.
In September of 2011, I underwent a Laminectomy at L5/S1 to decompress a pinched nerve root. After the operation, my neurosurgeon told me that the pain and weakness in my lower back and leg, which I had felt for most of my life, was most likely caused by congenital Spinal Stenosis which he noticed while performing the surgery.
Over the years, my back has had some ups and downs making household tasks extremely challenging. Specifically, cleaning the bathroom which usually requires intense pressure to wipe away built-up dirt and grime in often awkward positions, has turned into a torturous routine that has the potential to wrecks me for days. Read More
In late May of 2015, I distinctly remember laying on the floor of my condo watching Youtube videos on my iphone. I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t really move without horrible nerve shocks shooting down my right leg into my ankle. And while I lay there I just kept watching self published videos of people recovering from a discectomy. These videos gave me some comfort in knowing that surgery could stop the excruciating Sciatic pain I was enduring. So, I would like to thank these five people who took the time to tell their story of overcoming herniated disc pain through surgery.
I just passed the 6-month mark of my L4/L5 Discectomy so I thought now would be a good time to discuss my progress. Just a quick recap before getting into how things are today: In early June 2015, during a routine tying-of-the-shoe I badly tweaked my lower back. By the next day, a crippling Sciatica had set-in which confined me to a bed for weeks. Luckily, I had an up to date MRI so an Orthopedic surgeon quickly diagnosed a herniated L4/L5 and I was wisked off to the operating room for a lumbar Discectomy. Fast forward six months and here I am, resting fairly comfortably typing out an update.