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Old December 14th 04, 03:29 PM
David
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"RC SAILS" wrote in message
...
All

Thanks for your remarks. This is obviously a very active, lively and
supportive group and I very much appreciate your immediate and extensive
responses! I think I came to the right place. ;-)

For background, I suffered a ruptured L5-S1 disc a year ago October (in

the
normal course of work as a sailmaker and rigger of sailboats),

subsequently
undergoing a microendoscopic discectomy to relieve pressure on the primary
right leg nerve. At this point the disc is completely degenerated, the
adjacent vertebral surfaces are now bearing upon one another and the

associated
nerves cause pain whenever I move incorrectly or sit or stand for periods

of
time without moving. I will have an artificial disc replacement procedure

done
as soon as the FDA approves the one I have chosen (ProDisc), but in the
meantime (possibly as long as 6-8 months) I'm dealing with pain and would
rather invest in other avenues of relief besides drugs so I can continue

to
work and sleep more normally.

I must currently do at least an hour of exercise a day (and stay fairly

mobile
all day) just to stay relatively pain free, but the pain is increasing and

if I
skip a day or don't do the full hour I pay the next day. I do
stretching/flexibility and back-strengthening exercises, 20 minutes on the
stationary bike and 30 minutes powerwalk, just to feel almost human.

Multiple
intra-spinal steroid shots have given little or no relief, but I am

learning
better posture and lifting technique! :-)

In my original post I was referring to the portable, non-motorized

inversion
tables which have a collapsible, A-style-frame that supports a tilting

flat
surface for the upper torso and extension bar with apparatus to restrain

the
feet. This table has adjustability for speed and balance when rotating

the
support surface to the inverted position, multiple (or infinite) degree of
inversion capabilities (depending on model) and restraining strap to

prevent
over-inversion. Most models come with simple foot/ankle restraint bars,

padded
for comfort, but several have extra options, including ankle boots (which

seem
to offer more comfort) and extended/curved handles to bolt on at the apex

of
the frame, perhaps to allow new users to regain an upright position if

they
haven't adjusted the balance correctly. Prices (USD) range from $150 to

over
$400 for home use models. The better ones appear to be available on eBay

for
something over $225. So far in my research the model that seems to have

the
most positive feedback and appears to be the best built for the money is

the
Teeter Hang Ups F5000.

Approximately 75% of the personal comments I have read in various forums

about
the efficacy of inversion therapy are positive, with the negative coming

from
overweight users or those who may have less than well-designed equipment

or
tried door-hanging equipment rather than tables. Many have claimed

permanent,
long-term relief from spinal problems (in addition to a plethora of other,
non-structual-connected physical issues) as well as other interesting,

positive
side effects. I'm not jumping on this bandwagon assuming anything other

than
a way to get some temporary relief a few times a day (working out of my

home
has it's advantages). I know my disc will not magically regrow itself at
this point, especially since this was a rupture rather than a herniation

and
the disc shows up black on all films. I'll be perfectly satisfied just to
make it to the operating table and a new robotic disc in a few months

without
disabling pain.

The Bioflex unit looks like exactly what I'd like to get, in that it is
simpler and quicker to enter/exit than the ankle-suspension units and

would
give only the traction I'm looking for, i.e., spinal column, without

needless
concerns about ankle or knee joints or circulation issues. Unfortunately,

this
unit appears to be somewhat overpriced (compared to more complicated
ankle-support units), even in Australia, and doesn't seem to be exported

at
the moment. If a US manufacturer came up with a similar unit I'd be
interested. I'm sure shipping costs from Down Under would be prohibitive.

As several of you appear to own and use inversion tables, I'd appreciate
hearing your individual takes on the make/model you currently use

(including
the Bioflex) and whether you have had a good or bad results or experience

with
it or others. I'm also interested in specifics on what I should be

looking
for or watching out for in construction and design details.

For the record, the intent with my original post was to locate any site

which
had reviews of various units so I could compare them prior to purchase.

So far
I've only found the one (epinions.com).


Your comments about back machines are valid. My company actually designed
the Bioflex unit and we began manufacturing it in Australia 12 years ago.
Just recently we started making it under licence in China so as to be able
to export it world wide economically. There is a Canadian distributor at
the moment - none in the USA at this stage. I can arrange for you to get one
from Toronto at dealer cost. Suggest you reply to my private address