Posted by: eaubeauhorn | March 9, 2008

Lumbar disk problem solution

My first message from my body that I had a lumbar disk problem was that the toes on my right foot felt funny. I thought, at the time, that it was something with my shoe, but it turned out that my toes were numb. Later on, moving boxes of books around, I got pain radiating down the back of my leg; and then later, on a scuba diving trip lifting the tanks, the pain became pronounced. I, being a macho type, decided I could just live with it. I remember being on the tennis court swinging the racquet and having a pain like burning electricity going from my back down my leg.

Finally I reached a point where I was having difficulty walking and went to a neurologist. He did a cat scan. When it came back he said he could not read it because it depended on fat deposits along the nerves and I did not have any. Well, my reaction to that was…..he should have been able to tell that up front, since I weighed all of about 102 pounds at a that point and had a BMI of about 18. Gee, doc, where is your IQ? In your right pinky? But I digress. He assigned the problem to lumbar #5 and ordered a week of bed rest.

During the bed rest, the pain went away after a couple of days, and I jumped up, saying to myself, “I’m cured!” Only to have it re-manifest as soon as I tried to do anything. So….back to bed. After the week, I went back to work but asked for a workstation that allowed me to stand up instead of sitting. Sitting was bad and caused me a lot of pain. Within about 18 months this particular episode was over and I could do normal activities without pain.

Of course, this re-manifested time and time again. Finally my supervisor told me about his wife, who had a really horrible disk problem that had kept her on the couch for three solid months. She found a local physician’s office that had a VAX-D machine, and after a series of treatments with that, she went back to work! So I investigated that. VAX-D is a machine that stretches you, literally. If a disk is protruding out of where it is supposed to be (between vertebrae) and impinging on a nerve, you get sciatica. If you pull the spine apart just ever so much, it allows that disk to go back where it belongs, and it stops impinging on the nerve. Your sciatica goes away. So I did the VAX-D treatment; not the entire series but quite a few less because I felt that was enough. It really, really, helped, and I was able to resume normal activities on a regular basis.

I did learn though, that I couldn’t do things I had once done and expect no consequences. For example, I could no longer lift my piano and expect to have no consequences. I could no longer lift anything really heavy and expect no consequences. I suppose that is the price I have to pay for getting older. So I sweetly ask the nearest guy for help, and they fall all over themselves to do so. Damsel in distress!!

Recently I had another flareup of the sciatica and could find no causal factor; I had a vacation scheduled and did not want to go to it with a back that was mis-behaving, so I went and did a single VAX-D treatment. The doctor suggested that VAX-D was not for acute problems but for long-standing ones, but I persevered and took the treatment. Big mistake; I should have listened to the doctor. I ended up in the worst pain I’ve ever been in, requiring hydrocodone (interesting stuff, not something I’d want to take any longer than I had too) and missing a full week of work AND my vacation. But since that two weeks on the couch, I’ve not had a problem and am once again enforcing myself to not do any lifting that I “think” I can do but have evidence that I cannot do. At 58 I guess I’m allowed to be a damsel on occasion, requiring the assistance of nearby white knight types.

Conclusion: perhaps if I had done the entire series of VAX-D treatments in the first place, I wouldn’t have continuing disk problems. And maybe not; no way of telling. But I do highly recommend VAX-D to anyone who has ongoing sciatic problems, if the problem appears to be one that VAX-D can help. I had a physical therapist tell me that he thought my real problem was something they call “flossing,” in which a nerve is trying to slide through a channel in bone that is too small for it. Could be, but the VAX-D really, really helped. Chiropractic, for the record, did not help with this problem.

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