If you’ve bounced around between as many physiotherapy clinics as I have, it’s possible that you’re going there just for the the whacky gear. You know, like the slightly modified gym equipment, the rack of tiny weights, the wide selection of bouncy balls, ropes, pulleys and elastic bands. Oh, and of course, the gentle, soothing pulse of the TENS unit.
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
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
Something I use daily (along with Tumeric in my smoothie) to naturally fight inflammation. It’s important to use fish oil with a high EPA of 500 or more as this is the inflammation fighting element.
So this recent Amazon purchase falls into the ‘makes my life a little bit easier’ category. I’m referring to home or office gadgets that reduce the pain and strain (on my back) of every day life. Life hacks basically. And to this end, my latest back-easing purchase is the Pwr+ Laptop Desk – a fold-able tray with built in fans to keep a laptop well ventilated. Read More
So here’s a nifty gizmo for all my back pain brethren (and sisteren?). It’s called the Nayoya Acupressure Mat and it’s basically a foam mat with 6210 plastic spikes attached to it to mimic the effect of acupuncture treatment. And here’s the story of how I scoffed, then purchased and now recommend this massage aid as it seems to relieve pressure on my back in the way that traditional acupuncture does. Read More
Alright, so….If you can look past the cheesy Bollywood actor on the packaging, Sandhi Sudha joint pain oil is one the best ways to fight inflammation.Â I’ve gone through several bottles of this somewhat smelly potion over the last three years and I reach for it any time I feel my back heating up.Â I was as skeptical as anyone at first especially since it has that snake oil marketing quality about it, but for me this is a great naturopathic alternative to taking anti-inflammatory meds.Â I’ve come to rely on it now and so I’m passing along my recommendation.
Ok, so here’s my story…with a happy ending. For those of us that suffer from constant back pain, well know, getting comfortable on a couch, a bed, a recliner etc..can be a huge challenge. And once your settled in and you’re ready to watch TV or Youtube, you really don’t want to move. And that’s the huge benefit to having a solid pair of wireless headphones that let you stay in one position without struggling to hear sound on any audio playback device. Read More
Every time I purchase a well reviewed (4 or 5 stars) product on Amazon, my faith in humanity goes up a notch. Seriously though, when a group of well meaning people come together on a forum to honestly critique a product, it cuts through the clutter of generic advertising pitches and testimonials to get to the truth which is – does this thing work or not? The Miracle Ball really does reduce muscle tension especially in the hip flexor region, where I need it the most! Read More
I winter’s up here in Canada are cold and on the recommendation of my chiropractor I purchased this Lower Back and Shoulder Heat Wrap to warm my bones during the deep freeze.Â I surprised to find how comfortable this wrap is with it’s fleece like outer material.Â Much more useful than a heating pad as you can sit or walk around in it though I usually have to tie a double knot on the strap.Â Way better than the velcro strapped gizmo I used previously to this.Â The only minor complaint I would have is that if you overheat, the flax seeds inside will burn and stink up the room, so follow the instructions by gradually heating in the microwave.