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Old December 15th 04, 04:25 AM
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On 14 Dec 2004 11:58:07 GMT, RC SAILS wrote:

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.

There are several types of disc replacement performed now in the US.
I'm investigating one myself, thanks to info provided by an EMT and a
few others at my gym. The procedure is done here in Texas.

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! :-)

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.

There are also cases where inversion is contraindicated, one being
myself. One issue is the hyperlaxity of most of my joints, but the
other is specifically associated with my collapsed disc at L4-L5.

Traction was also tried twice on my herniated cervical disc (C6) with
very painful results. The spinal rehab specialist commented that
inversion and traction are not always beneficial, despite what many
believe otherwise. In my case, with both neck and lumbar spine, both
are contraindicated. My sister has also had negative reactions to
inversion but had positive results with traction of her legs/knees.

Consequently, ;while many people find relief with inversion, it may be
contraindicated in specific or individual cases. If you haven't
already, I highly suggest you consult with your PT and/or orthopedic
surgeon before attempting and investing in a contraption.

Good luck.