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Hi all,

I haven't logged in in a while, because, well, I haven't riden in a while. I've been fighting a pinched lower back nerve (sciatica) that makes it painful to lean over handlebars without copious vicodin. I'm 37, and am NOT going to go recumbant if I can help it.

Anyways, anybody suffer from this? I've had the MRI, and am going for a cortizone shot next week, which will hopefully let me better do my physical therapy and get me back on the bike during the unusually warm winter. Any tips or ideas.

Cheers,

-Bob
 

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Here's what I've done so far!

Hi,

I have the same problem, although I'm about 10 years older than you. Here's what I have done so far:

1. I went to doctor about 5 years ago. They gave me anti-inflamatory medicine. When that didn't work, I was sent to physical therapy. I was able to walk and ride OK after a month of physical therapy, but I could still feel it sometime when it is cold out. I also had to do daily stretching exercise that seem to help.

2. Two years ago, I was doing alot of physical work to get my house ready for sale. The problem came back big time. I couldn't even sleep with my leg hurting. I went to the doctor, and he gave me anti-inflamatory again. Along with doing my normal stretching exercise I learn in previous physical therapy, it went away, but I still can feel it sometimes.

3. One week ago, I was pulling my son's trail-a-bike with my mountain-bike on a ride. When I tried pick-up our bikes from the wrong side, I hurt me back badly. Again the problem came back. I'm on anti-inflamatory right now.

4. I went on a free consultation with this chiropractic office. They use a machine called the DRX-7000 to stretch and restore your back. They told me it was FDA approved with an 85% successful with no re-occurance ... but the cost is high ($4000-$5000). My insurance only covers $1000.

I'm still trying to deciding on whether to go for it.

Anybody know anything about this DRX-7000?

Thanks!

Frogger
 

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Acupuncture Worked For Me

X ray's disclosed arthritis in my neck. I had excruciating pain that eventually made it nearly impossible to move. The doctor prescribed Vioxx for the rest of my life. I immediately left his office and made it to an acupuncturist.

I went to three sessions over a month, experienced total relief at the end, and have had no recurrence in over six years.
 

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Stretcher

the DRX-7000 to stretch and restore your back. They told me it was FDA approved with an 85% successful with no re-occurance ... but the cost is high ($4000-$5000). My
Frogger said:
Hi,

I have the same problem, although I'm about 10 years older than you. Here's what I have done so far:

1. I went to doctor about 5 years ago. They gave me anti-inflamatory medicine. When that didn't work, I was sent to physical therapy. I was able to walk and ride OK after a month of physical therapy, but I could still feel it sometime when it is cold out. I also had to do daily stretching exercise that seem to help.

2. Two years ago, I was doing alot of physical work to get my house ready for sale. The problem came back big time. I couldn't even sleep with my leg hurting. I went to the doctor, and he gave me anti-inflamatory again. Along with doing my normal stretching exercise I learn in previous physical therapy, it went away, but I still can feel it sometimes.

3. One week ago, I was pulling my son's trail-a-bike with my mountain-bike on a ride. When I tried pick-up our bikes from the wrong side, I hurt me back badly. Again the problem came back. I'm on anti-inflamatory right now.

4. I went on a free consultation with this chiropractic office. They use a machine called insurance only covers $1000.

I'm still trying to deciding on whether to go for it.

Anybody know anything about this DRX-7000?

Thanks!

I had a friend try it and he unfortunately fell into the category of not a long term success. I have two bulging discs in the L4-5 area and did three rounds of steriod shots last year. They did not help - only temporary relief. I added a Rolfer to my physical therapy routine and that has made tremendous gains. In January I added a chiropracter and am happy to say that the combination of the two have made a world of difference and I am on my way to a recovery. My chiropracter passed on the machine because he felt that he could achieve similar results through existing techniques and equipment.

Good luck to you. Back pain sucks.

Frogger
 

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Yoga and stretching

indianabob said:
Hi all,

I haven't logged in in a while, because, well, I haven't riden in a while. I've been fighting a pinched lower back nerve (sciatica) that makes it painful to lean over handlebars without copious vicodin. I'm 37, and am NOT going to go recumbant if I can help it.

Anyways, anybody suffer from this? I've had the MRI, and am going for a cortizone shot next week, which will hopefully let me better do my physical therapy and get me back on the bike during the unusually warm winter. Any tips or ideas.

Cheers,

-Bob

I had the same problem last year with much the same treatment. MRI, oral steroids which pprovided relief temporarily then got an epidural injection into the leaking / bulging disk. Had to have this dome twice but it gave me enough relief to get my act together. All it does is buy time so make sure you do some good stretching, yoga works great for this, try the down dog stretch (like a cat stretch) also strengthen your core....
Good luck brother, hang in there.
 

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BS the DC
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Here's my take as a chiropractor who treats back problems all day, every day

Bob, it doesn't seem that you have a simple case of sciatica. It seems you have a disc bulge laying up on a nerve. I'm not the biggest fan of steroid injections. Why? Because they often don't work and when they do work, the results often only temporary. I find oral steroids work almost well as injections, but they are much cheaper and safer. That said, they can offer a window of opportunity to progress with your therapy ... if you're getting the right therapy. Most chiropractor and physical therapist do similiar things for disc injuries. But most don't do traction. I'm a BIG fan of traction. I encourage you to find a doctor or therapist that has a lumbar traction unit ... but not a DRX-7000.

The DRX-7000 is a BIG RIP-OFF! It is an overpriced traction device that costs the doctor $100,000+. In return, you get a lot of marketing hype and a big bill ($4000-5000) to help the doctor pay for this overpriced machine. The DRX-7000 is no better than other devices costing MUCH less. Traction is covered by most insurance and you should not have to pay extra for it.

Traction works well for a lot of people with disc problems. 85% success rate? That study was done on a well selected group of patients. Success rates are high, but, obviously that depends on the severity of the condition. I could have a super high success rate if I only took the easiest cases. No re-occurance? Expect re-occurances. But if you responded well to traction before, you'll probably get quick relief from a follow-up visit. I find almost all disc patients have to follow up occasionally. It takes a couple of years to fully heal a disc injury. As those two years progress, re-occurances are much less frequent.

Acupuncture? I've seen it work a number of times. My adviceto those intersted is to try a few (6) treatments. If it's going to work, it usually works rather quickly.
 

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I had sciatica about a year ago, very excruciating. If I were sitting down and happen to sneeze I'd get a shooting pain from my hip to tips of my toes. You've never seen anyone stand up so quick after I figured that out. :p In the car I was screwed. :)

Went to a chiro and got immediate relief then it would come back with less severity but still hurt big-time. Proabably had 10 to 15 visits. It went away after about 7-8 months. Wouldn't wish that on anyone.
Weird part is that I was still able to get >40 mile rides in. When I got off the bike, though, fuggedabouit. :eek:
Lou
 

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What the Hell is going on
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Surgery route

I had a herniated disc about three years ago. After about 6 months of intense pain (even vicodine couldn't dull the pain so I could get some sleep) I decided to have surgery. My doctor said there was/is a 98% success rate with my type of condition, but being the fatalist that I am, I knew for sure I would fall into that 2% category. Long story short: surgery was a success. I only wish I hadn't wait 6 months. I am flexible and fine with a doctors prescribed lifting weight restriction of 40 lbs.

Surgery may not be for everyone. I, for one, I'm glad I had it done.
 

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Found a Much Cheaper Place

bsdc said:
Here's my take as a chiropractor who treats back problems all day, every day

... Most chiropractor and physical therapist do similiar things for disc injuries. But most don't do traction. I'm a BIG fan of traction. I encourage you to find a doctor or therapist that has a lumbar traction unit ... but not a DRX-7000.

The DRX-7000 is a BIG RIP-OFF! It is an overpriced traction device that costs the doctor $100,000+. In return, you get a lot of marketing hype and a big bill ($4000-5000) to help the doctor pay for this overpriced machine. The DRX-7000 is no better than other devices costing MUCH less. Traction is covered by most insurance and you should not have to pay extra for it.

Traction works well for a lot of people with disc problems. 85% success rate? That study was done on a well selected group of patients. Success rates are high, but, obviously that depends on the severity of the condition. I could have a super high success rate if I only took the easiest cases. No re-occurance? Expect re-occurances. But if you responded well to traction before, you'll probably get quick relief from a follow-up visit. I find almost all disc patients have to follow up occasionally. It takes a couple of years to fully heal a disc injury. As those two years progress, re-occurances are much less frequent. ...
Thanks for your advice. I did some research yesterday, and I found a place that uses the DRX-7000 but only charge $1500. They apparently had their machine for more than 2 years and treated many patients. Apparently, they already gotten their money back for their high cost machine ... so they are willing to make less. My insurance should cover most of the cost.

I assume the DRX-7000 do a decent job ... although way over-priced at $4000-$5000.

Thanks again!

Frogger
 

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find out EXACTLY why you have the sciatica

there are several reasons for radicular back pain
is it a herniated disc?
is it foraminal stenosis
is it more a pyriformis problem?

asking what worked for others is only possibly relevant to you if the exact same thing is the cause

what everyone suggested could help in fact might--steroids can help, facet nerve blocks can help, traction can help--although many people can't tolerate the weight required to help the disc in your lower (lumbar) back. accupuncture can help.
often times a conservative approach with an anti inflammatroy medicine, proper rest, and then the proper physical thereapy for stretching and strengthening will resolve it.

you need to make sure you understand exactly what is causing your problem--if your doctor told you your nerve is pinched or impinged--then something is doing that--find out exactly what and talk to him/her or another doctor about options in your case.

for what it is worth i had sciatic leg pain--was unable to sit to drive more than 20 minutes at a time at one point. for me it was simply doing proper stretching of my hip and back after working out.

good luck

jim
 

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bsdc said:
Here's my take as a chiropractor who treats back problems all day, every day

Bob, it doesn't seem that you have a simple case of sciatica. It seems you have a disc bulge laying up on a nerve. I'm not the biggest fan of steroid injections. Why? Because they often don't work and when they do work, the results often only temporary. I find oral steroids work almost well as injections, but they are much cheaper and safer. That said, they can offer a window of opportunity to progress with your therapy ... if you're getting the right therapy. Most chiropractor and physical therapist do similiar things for disc injuries. But most don't do traction. I'm a BIG fan of traction. I encourage you to find a doctor or therapist that has a lumbar traction unit ... but not a DRX-7000.

The DRX-7000 is a BIG RIP-OFF! It is an overpriced traction device that costs the doctor $100,000+. In return, you get a lot of marketing hype and a big bill ($4000-5000) to help the doctor pay for this overpriced machine. The DRX-7000 is no better than other devices costing MUCH less. Traction is covered by most insurance and you should not have to pay extra for it.

Traction works well for a lot of people with disc problems. 85% success rate? That study was done on a well selected group of patients. Success rates are high, but, obviously that depends on the severity of the condition. I could have a super high success rate if I only took the easiest cases. No re-occurance? Expect re-occurances. But if you responded well to traction before, you'll probably get quick relief from a follow-up visit. I find almost all disc patients have to follow up occasionally. It takes a couple of years to fully heal a disc injury. As those two years progress, re-occurances are much less frequent.

Acupuncture? I've seen it work a number of times. My adviceto those intersted is to try a few (6) treatments. If it's going to work, it usually works rather quickly.
I've had sciatic problems over the last 3 years, not as bad as your's Bob, but bad enough. I did the doctor route and that helped a bit, but it took months before I was pain free. I started seeing a chiropractor a few months back for some ART (Active Release Therapy) for my patella femoral syndrom. Then, about 8 weeks ago my back went again and I decide to have my chiropractor look at it. He did some adjustments and some ART and that helped a bit. I then heard about another chiropractor, through my gym, and I decided to see her. She looked my over and did a number of strenght tests to figure out that I definitely had a disk problem. She performed traction on my back by strapping my legs to the end of the table and dropping that end down. At the same time she presses against the vertabraes above that damaged ones and my back is stretched. After one session I noticed pain relief and and increased felxibility. My first trainer session was night and day for me. The amount of power in mt left leg was unbelievable (the left one was the problem). I've had one more session and things are progressing nicely. I still have a bit of pain at times, but I can function like normal and I can ride. My chiro isn't using some fancy machine and I'm getting results. I'd try the chiropractior route before I did anything else. If they treat it properly you should see results pretty quickly.

I use to be pretty skeptical about the chiropratic field, but I am sold now...

Rich
 

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BS the DC
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rbart4506 said:
I've had sciatic problems over the last 3 years, not as bad as your's Bob, but bad enough. I did the doctor route and that helped a bit, but it took months before I was pain free. I started seeing a chiropractor a few months back for some ART (Active Release Therapy) for my patella femoral syndrom. Then, about 8 weeks ago my back went again and I decide to have my chiropractor look at it. He did some adjustments and some ART and that helped a bit. I then heard about another chiropractor, through my gym, and I decided to see her. She looked my over and did a number of strenght tests to figure out that I definitely had a disk problem. She performed traction on my back by strapping my legs to the end of the table and dropping that end down. At the same time she presses against the vertabraes above that damaged ones and my back is stretched. After one session I noticed pain relief and and increased felxibility. My first trainer session was night and day for me. The amount of power in mt left leg was unbelievable (the left one was the problem). I've had one more session and things are progressing nicely. I still have a bit of pain at times, but I can function like normal and I can ride. My chiro isn't using some fancy machine and I'm getting results. I'd try the chiropractior route before I did anything else. If they treat it properly you should see results pretty quickly.

I use to be pretty skeptical about the chiropratic field, but I am sold now...

Rich
ART is a good therapay, but it certainly won't help a disc injury. The first doctor should have been able to diagnose you and apply the right treatment like the second doctor did.

The treatment you describe is called flexion/distraction. It is unique to chiropractic. It is a form of traction.
 

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Guidelines

My advice, which pertains to everyone on the list is to check the qualifications of whomever you see. The best example I can give is in NY. There are two levels of qualification for acupuncture, licensed and certified. Licensed means you have 4 years of training, certified means you are an MD who has taken a weekend course. However when you call up an MD they will often say that they are "licensed to practice acupuncture," not that they have an acupuncture license.

Remember that an MD gives wide latitude in terms of treatments, they can practice chiro, acu, massag and nutritional therapy with no real training. Depending on your state Chiros may also be able to do acupuncture with the short course.

It is best to check the qualifications on your own. I am sure that your state has an Office of Professions that you can check the qualifications of whomever you see.


I have a friend who was convinced by an optomitrist who was claiming to have qualifications as an MD and a nutritionist as well! You can also ask how long the practitioner has been doing their given technique and what was their training, but you are more likely to get a line of bull.

The main thing is to get someone truly qualified to work on you.
 

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I agree, a good diagnosis is key. You have to know what is causing the problem before treatment can be effective. I first developed sciatica in 1992 and have been battling it ever since. Mine is caused by a bulging disc and arthritis. Steroid injections can work to temporarily relieve the pain and get you on the road to recovery but they aren't a cure. Whatever the cause it is always useful to stretch and strengthen both your back and your abdominals. I've found the most effective routine for both stretching and strengthening to be Pilates. I also have found anti-inflammatory medication(nsaids) to be effective, but only if taken on a routine basis. Taking them while you hurt and discontinuing them as you feel better just keeps you on a roller coaster. Some don't tolerate regular doses of nsaids because of stomach or liver problems. Your doctor needs to know and approve of this regimen and monitor your liver functions.

Since I've been paying attention to stretching, strengthening and taking anti-inflammatories on a regular basis my back has been good.
 

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bsdc said:
ART is a good therapay, but it certainly won't help a disc injury. The first doctor should have been able to diagnose you and apply the right treatment like the second doctor did.

The treatment you describe is called flexion/distraction. It is unique to chiropractic. It is a form of traction.
That was the problem with the first, he never really diagnosed anything, so I tried another and had better success....About the flexion/distraction?? Whatever it's called it sure has helped me...All I know is that I like to avoid taking medications and injections whenever possible. Most of that stuff has side effects that end up creating other problems...
 

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Hi Lou - Glad to know you're still doing well. How do you like this nasty-weather-on-the-weekend cycle we've gotten into? I haven't been on the bike in a couple of weeks.

bsdc - are you bombarded with sales pitches for various modalities like my husband is? If I read the post above correctly and the chiro was charging $4000 for a course of traction....I'm stunned.
 

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I went through miserable back/leg pain for two years. Was diagnosed with herniated discs, was told I'd never ride a bike again, etc. PT and chiro didn't help. Docs wanted to cut me up. Then I read this book and I was riding two weeks later. That was eight years ago. I can ride my hardtail over root-infested trails with no issues.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446392308

Good luck.
 

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Before

indianabob said:
Hi all,

I haven't logged in in a while, because, well, I haven't riden in a while. I've been fighting a pinched lower back nerve (sciatica) that makes it painful to lean over handlebars without copious vicodin. I'm 37, and am NOT going to go recumbant if I can help it.

Anyways, anybody suffer from this? I've had the MRI, and am going for a cortizone shot next week, which will hopefully let me better do my physical therapy and get me back on the bike during the unusually warm winter. Any tips or ideas.

Cheers,

-Bob
You spend money on the DRX-7000;
You have steroid injections in your back;
you have your FIRST back surgery;
You buy a recumbent;
Read these books. If they work for you, like they did for me, you will be able to ride pain-free again without having spent more than $25. If the plans laid out in the books don't work for you, all you are out is $25 and some time. There is nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

I have been there and done that. Excruciating pain, NSAIDs, steroids, accupuncture, chiropractor, even made an appointment for injections. I thought I would never be able to ride a bike again. I posted my problem here, like you did, and received the answer I am giving to you. Read the books with an open mind and they may well be the cure to your pain.


Healing Back Pain : The Mind-Body Connection by John E. Sarno $10.49

The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain by John E. Sarno $11.20

Get at Amazon.
 

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moneyman said:
You spend money on the DRX-7000;
You have steroid injections in your back;
you have your FIRST back surgery;
You buy a recumbent;
Read these books. If they work for you, like they did for me, you will be able to ride pain-free again without having spent more than $25. If the plans laid out in the books don't work for you, all you are out is $25 and some time. There is nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

I have been there and done that. Excruciating pain, NSAIDs, steroids, accupuncture, chiropractor, even made an appointment for injections. I thought I would never be able to ride a bike again. I posted my problem here, like you did, and received the answer I am giving to you. Read the books with an open mind and they may well be the cure to your pain.


Healing Back Pain : The Mind-Body Connection by John E. Sarno $10.49

The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain by John E. Sarno $11.20

Get at Amazon.
I've been posting the Sarno link here and on other boards for six or seven years. It's cool to hear when it works for other people (though it's pretty obvious from the hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon).
 
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