Archive for the 'Health' Category

Do Doctors Understand Back Pain?

I was discouraged to come to the realization that many doctors seem to know very little about back pain.

They don’t seem to understand the biomechanics of back pain or perhaps they just don’t want to look at it.

Instead it is drugs or surgery.  Maybe they’ll recommend physical therapy. Cold laser therapy?  Ultrasound?  Are any of these reaching the root cause of the problem?  Why is the word “cure” so curiously missing from the dialog?  It seems to always be ‘treatment’ or ‘therapy’, doesn’t it?

But even if you go to a physical therapist or visit someone with a different approach like a chiropractor, are any of these people able to help you with your back pain?  Unfortunately, this is a big question mark.  I hope you can find someone who can and will.

I was surprised to find out that the doctors that I visited seem to have very little knowledge AND / OR inclination to dive in and figure out what my unique problem was.   I am still a bit shocked.

I was told a variety of things.  I was offered to see a specialist about the possibility of getting an epidural.

This is something I did not want.  I do not want drugs to mask the problem.  I thought that the underlying biomechanics need to be addressed or I could hurt myself more by ‘feeling no pain’ from prescription meds.

What I finally realized is that very few, if any, doctors exist who would be willing to figure out my problem and help me find a REAL solution that would be lasting and permanent.

Everyone had their favorite therapies, but none of them was about getting to the root cause of the problem.

If you need to look at your issue from a biomechanical perspective, I suggest Dr. McGill’s book  Back Mechanic.

It has worked for me.   In my estimation, Dr. McGill might just be the foremost authority on how the spine works and how you can get relief from your back issues without the need for surgery or superficial therapies.   He might be your best “shot” at it, after all.    Back Mechanic is his book.  

 

Dealing With Low Back Pain – What I Found Through Experience

Low Back Pain Blues

I had quite a journey trying to solve my low back pain problem.

At first, I thought I had tight hamstrings and I began a stretching routine.    This was a big mistake.   Stretching, I have found, is one of the worst things you can do when you have low back pain.  Turns out that the real problem was never the hamstring muscles.  They only felt super tight.  In fact, they were not at all.

When you have nerve impingement (something pressing on the nerves that come out of the spinal column to innervate the body), it can manifest in many ways.  In my case, it felt like tight hamstrings.  I could have stretched them day and night and not only would it have not helped, it probably would have made things worse by adding to the pressure on the low back.

Once your lumbar spine becomes pain sensitive, all that stretching may cause more PAIN!.  Ouch.   Of course, when this problem started, I did not realize that I had a low back problem, but it quickly became evident.

Another tip:  Avoid hot tubs.  Still thinking that I had a muscle problem, I thought a good soak in the hot tub would help.   In retrospect, this caused tissue around the spine to swell, increasing the problem.  I also woke up very stiff and pained the next day.   Unfortunately, I still did not realize what was going on and repeated the process the next night.

My recommendation:   Dr. Stuart McGill’s book – Back Mechanic

Laser And Other Therapies And Why They Are Not The Solution

After that painful weekend and a horrible flight experience back home, I decided I needed help.   The flight home was horrible because I had this feeling that my back was going to lock up at any time.   I kept getting up every couple of minutes in an attempt to keep that from happening.

I could not sleep on the bed that Sunday night because my back was too painful.  If I moved a little to the right or left – OUCH!  My back would hurt and not just a little.  It was a sharp grabbing pain.   I knew I was in trouble when I woke up on Monday morning.

I went to a chiropractor that an acquaintance raved about.   This chiropractor only really did laster therapy.   I went, each visit was $65.  Allegedly, and according to the doctor, I would feel better after about 14 treatments or so.   I got to 11 and realized this wasn’t going to work.   In addition, the doctor told me that he could get me feeling better but this problem would come back again.   This did not sound like the right solution and it was expensive on top of that.

Take away:  Having therapies ‘done to you’ are not going to fix your back.  You might get some temporary pain relief, but that’s not a long term or permanent solution.

You have to take charge of your own back and the best resource I have found is THIS ONE.

Lots Of Doctors, Books and Searching

After I realized this doctor was not going to be able to help me in a real way, I bounced around to several doctors.  I saw other Chiropractors, an MD and a Nurse practitioner.  I had an MRI done.  It slowly dawned on me that all of these medical professionals had no clue how to solve my problem!

I was offered an epidural – NO WAY!   I was given exercises (some of which I discovered later would actually be BAD for my back).

I was surprised. These people go to school for a long time, yet none of them knew how to solve my back pain problem – even that one profession that focuses on the spine!   WOW!!!!

I searched high and low.  I read books on back pain.  I joined membership websites run by various doctors on back pain.

I tried many therapies, etc.   It was crazy…   Why, because none of it was working and without a real understanding of what I was doing, some of it may have been hurting my back further!

Finally,  a doctor from one of the membership sites I was using sent an email talking about the ‘go to’ source for back pain  – it was a researcher up in Canada (now retired).

This researcher spent over 3 decades researching the spine and seeing clients.  His knowledge and understanding of the spine, what works and what doesn’t work, is probably the best out there.

He has written several books but one focuses on the average every day person.   That book is Back Mechanic. 

I believe that after I started reading this book, things started to change for me.   It took some time, but my understanding grew and I implemented things from Dr. McGill’s book.   My back was getting more and more under control.

I’m still not 100% better, but I see the progress.  Even if it is slower than I would like, it is working.

I’m basically pain free except for just a tiny bit of pain.   That tiny bit is not enough to warrant medicine or anything like that. My back is stronger and it is not as sensitive as I described above.   I can sleep in a bed again, instead of on the floor.   I can basically do everything I need to do.   It’s not 100%, but it is improving.  I can see the improvement from week to week or month to month.

Things were bad.  I am glad I came across the resource that has helped me.

I hope this blog posts helps someone else.    Back pain can be such a horrible thing to deal with.   It got bad, really bad.   I did not know where to turn for help.  If this blog post points you in the right direction,  I would be so happy to know that it helped someone who was desperately searching for the answers that had seemed so elusive.

Best to you

-David

PS:  The video enhanced version of Dr. McGill’s book may be helpful to you as well.

Reponse to L5/S1 Disc Herniation Post on SummitPost.org

I was reading the comments on the post at :       http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB3/recovering-from-a-herniated-l5-s1-disc-t60450.html

I wanted to respond on that site, but there is some type of  admin approval process involved.

I want to say to the folks on the forum that, after reading the comments, I have a suggestion.

Read the book:  Back Mechanic by Stuart McGill.

Based on what I was reading in the comments or the above post, many of you will have many  ‘eye openers’ when you read Dr. McGill’s book.

It has helped me tremendously.  I think it will help you all a lot too!

 

Dieting vs. Exercise: What matters more and how to balance it

Weight-loss has become a burning topic in today’s society. It is a well-known fact that a balance between regular exercise and healthy dieting is essential for any kind of long-term weight-loss plan. But, if you were forced into choosing just one method, would it be better to pump iron or would it be better to create a detailed dieting regiment.
One thing to keep in mind concerning exercising is that it can be very time-consuming. 20 minutes crunches session is guaranteed to burn more calories than a 10-minute jog, but can you afford to invest the extra time? The fact is if you want to burn a large number of calories, you are forced to spend a significant amount of time doing it. You also have to factor in the time you spend traveling to the gym, as well as getting cleaned up afterward.

The actual numbers

  • If you were to drink a can of soda, which contains as much as 150 calories, you would have to walk for at least 45 minutes to burn those off.
  • Now consider this: 1 pound of excess fat requires you to spend roughly 3,500 calories in order to burn it off.
  • In order to lose 1 inch of the waistline, you need a weight loss of approx. 8.5 pounds. Are you starting to get the picture?

Losing weight by picking exercise as a sole method is very time consuming, and not to mention less effective than by dieting. Time wise, you need to consider the choice: either not drink the can of soda at all, which you have to agree is much easier, or spend extra time on a treadmill to compensate. In essence, you need to burn more calories than you take in. Sounds simple enough but in reality, it means that you have to choose between a bar of chocolate and two hours of lifting weights in the gym, or not eating it all.

Various studies have shown that if we cut out processed sugar and saturated fats from our diet, we would be able to see the results of dieting a lot faster. If we were to put this into percentages, we could say it’s about 70-30 in favor of dieting.

What to do

A recent study has shown that obesity in children is not a result of a lack of exercise, but it comes down to poor diet choices. Another study which was conducted on 4000 adults has shown that minimizing the intake of calories has a greater effect on weight loss than simply exercising. But most of us have difficulties sticking to a dieting plan. Here is a thing you can do in order to find the middle.

Supplements

If you have difficulties in regulating your calorie intake, try using natural supplements like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/NatureWise-Coffee-Extract-Natural-Supplement/dp/B009VUZJTM

And before we get into any confusion, this is not a miracle supplement, you will not lose weight miraculously from just taking it, you will not get slimmer by sitting in front of the TV and taking it, etc. Those drugs simply do not exist. Here is what this stuff is good for.
Since we are talking about picking the exercise method to lose weight, taking supplements like these will help your body function better.

It will start looking for energy stored in your fats faster than it did before. It will also help your blood cope better with the bad stuff released in the process of fat burning. Antioxidants will contribute to the general well-being and help you get rid of toxins in your body easier.

There are many other benefits of taking a supplement like this one, especially for those looking to take better care of themselves.

Taking all of this into account it is obvious that a healthy combination of dieting and regular workouts would be ideal long term. Exercising has a positive effect on the general quality of life and should be a staple for everyone who wishes to make an overall improvement in health. But, you are still much more likely to lose weight by being careful about what you eat than about how much you work out on a day by day basis. If you cannot commit to full-time dieting, consider taking small steps and start giving up foods that are really bad for you and use natural supplements to help your body cope.

-Marko Lipozencic

PS:  This post is for information purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any form of disease, including but not limited to obesity.   Be sure to consult with your physician before changing your diet or taking up any form of exercise.

The winter is coming – protect yourself

Actually, the winter has been here for a while, but not quite. Until just a couple of days ago, the temperature didn’t reflect the date, meaning it was not as cold as it should have been. According to the weather services all around the country, that is about to change. Over the next couple of weeks, we should see a serious dip in the scales and expect heavy snowfall. I already have everything needed to combat the harshness of the cold: winter hat, gloves, and thermal boots. And thanks to my thoughtful wife, high-quality lip balm.

It may sound weird for some of out there, but I am one of those people who cannot last throughout the winter without lip balm. I spend a lot of time outdoors and without a proper protection, my lips get dry and chapped. Apart from being somewhat painful and annoying, this looks really bad and leaves a bad impression when I meet people.

The one that my wife discovered is really good and not expensive at all.

  • Beeswax
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Vitamin E Non-GMO
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil

All of these play an active role in combating the cold and protecting your lips from its damaging effects. And of course, being all organic and natural makes it suitable for children as well. The thing that stands out to me is that this lip balm doesn’t have any unnecessary ingredients and that is really not the case with other brands. And as I tend to lose stuff anyways, getting 4 in one pack also makes this a smart purchase for me. As the matter of fact, we use toothygrinsstore.com to get other items as well (dental care and supplies).

Now, I wasn’t gonna write this as a sales pitch, and believe me, it isn’t. But as some of you already know, when I like something, I usually talk to other people about it. Since this is the time for sharing the love with friends and family, this is one of the rare pieces of advice that I know for sure is good and help you guys out. So until my next post, stay warm and stay protected.

-Marko Lipozencic