My Back Pain Story

I started to have back and leg pain in 2003. In the worst days, I couldn't walk for five minutes; I couldn't fall asleep at night. The pain was unbearable for me. I almost did back surgery, but its side effect and successful rate pulled me back. My practice on the conservative methods I learned from China magically relieved the pain. Now, I have been pain free for several years. I can do almost all activities before I had the leg pain.

Conservative treatment vs Surgery: a Tough Choice

Pain, pain, and more pain. The pain results from a bulging disc or herniated disc cannot be imagined by people who don't have the problems. I have a herniated L5-S1 disc. The pain level is so high that I can not walk continuously for five minutes. I can not stand for more than ten minutes. I immediately feel the pain after I get up from bed. I can not fall asleep due to pain. I sometimes even wake up in the middle of the night because of the pain. Life is hopeless at that time.

Lying Flat, a Free Therapy to Relieve Lower Back Pain

I have learned this technique from my Chinese doctors, not American doctors. But from my personal experience, I have to say, it works like magic. This is the single most effective method to relieve your back pain. Doctors in China recommend to lie flat extensively for at least one month to see any effect. Lie flat extensively means lying in bed 24 hours a day except eating and boweling.

Spinal Traction, a Secret Sauce to Relieve Lower Back Pain

In US, spinal traction (also called spinal decompression) is usually provided by the physical therapists, chiropractors, or spine specialists on a traction table. It is usually provided in 10 to 15 minutes each time and two to three times a week. The maximum applied weight is about one fifth of the body weight. In China, spinal traction is considered the main technique to speed up the effect of lying flat. In addition to the above benefits, traction can provide a negative pressure on the disc so that the nucleus pulposus leaked out of the disc may be sucked back into the disc. This additional benefit is due to the more aggressive approach of the Chinese doctors.

8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back

8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back is a book authored by Esther Gokhale. I purchased the book, read it, and attended her 6 session lessons in 2009. At that time, I had already practiced my Chinese method and the pain was largely gone. However, what attracts me most is that the Gokhale method teaches the correct way of sitting, standing, walking, lying, etc. that do not cause back pain. Thus, her method can be incorporated into our daily lives so we practice and exercise anytime, anywhere.