Friday, March 04, 2011

Sciatica Report

Iris Printemps, 9" x 11"
OK on to BACKS 1st thank you PBers for sharing your personal experiences with sciatica /bad backs. BEAR and I are grateful for your kind tips, and advice.

 You might like to see the exercises we do now everyday.

2 X a day. 

Probably forever if we want to stay pain-free. We just started using 3-pound weights to strengthen the left leg a bit so it doesn't wobble. This stuff is tuff love.
 For Victor or Justine who mentioned the TENS Unit in an email. I'm getting electrical treatment with this at physical therapy.They said it would be fine to self-treat at home whenever I have pain.  Another PBer mentioned the McKenzie Method. I asked about it at PT and they said, That's what you're getting.

I'll look for this Paris a Nous book when I get there mid-March.
I don't know how much dancing I'll do but a mild jump for joy couldn't hurt thanks to your kind thoughts.


  1. Glad to see that you have a plan of action! I have sciatica also, but find that walking, hatha yoga, and stretching makes a world of difference. Except that I can't do forward bends anymore. That is a big no no now! Although I was never a huge fan of downward dog. : )

  2. ... so glad you are getting better and doing exercises, TENS and "behaving". My daughter has herniated discs due to an accident and has used the TENS, as well as acupuncture and yoga.

  3. Wonderful Carol!! I hope that this all will help your back!

    Do come and enter my Artful Offering!

    Art by Karena

  4. Work it, woman! So glad you are on a recovery trail, with awesome help and gleaning the wisdom of others who have dealt with the same issue. Paris/Vienna, here you come.

  5. How right you are about bending forward Lisa!
    Sitting on a metal bar stool is NOT a good idea either.
    Every onward Lumbar support and padded seats!
    Live and learn :)

  6. I really hope all this will help you!! I loved the picture (looks like grafite) with the yoga positions!
    My best wishes for you!!

  7. Everything you wanted to know about a bad back in one place!!
    I'm glad that you found so many resources from your loyal fans and I hope that things continue to improve!

  8. Very funny the last set of drawings!!! It looks like the girl was in a lot of pain! ha ha ha...

  9. Sorry to hear you've been having trouble. Hope you continue to fell better! Easy does it!
    Take care,

  10. Same exercises that miraculously cured my back --- I've slacked off lately, and I feel it --- but when you're conscientious about them, they're a miracle. Go to it!

  11. You posted some great exercises. I should try some for my back problems. Happy to hear that you're doing so much better and ready for Paris!!!

  12. Anonymous6:15 PM

    I am so glad -- ze back is feeling better! There is nothing like a good plan. I guess sometimes something like this teaches us or reminds us that we need to keep the exercise up -- after all -- there are still adventures to be had :)

  13. The hand-drawn exercises are new and not on the chart.
    I didn't want to forget them.
    The miserable faces were purely spontaneous and perhaps a tad realistic :)

  14. You sure have had a rough time of it, Carol. Hope the exercises help--keep 'em up! They'll strengthen your muscles to help, I'm sure. Thinking of you. Love the watercolor!

  15. I used to do that first one three times a day and it helped so much building back up the muscle.
    Annie P.s new book sounds great, thanks for mentioning it.

  16. You have successfully turned off all appetite for beautiful sweets by posting that nasty pink card with 2 you-know-how-long-the-ears-are on the front. You can make your fortune if you patent this method...
    Glad to see you're improving! (Healthwise!)

  17. I wish you a great week-end!

    Warm macarons ... OOOPS.... regards


  18. Keep up the good work. Hmm, this made me think I should be doing some exercises for my back too.

  19. Carol in TN7:43 AM

    Just wanted to share a couple of exercises that have helped me when I have had to deal with this most painful issue. Are you familiar with the McKenzie Method? The extension push-ups and also just doing lean backs and holding them for 10 - 15 seconds have helped me avoid back surgery.

    It takes a while for them to work and one has to be diligent in doing the exercises, but they have been pretty successful for me.
    You can check this method out at several sites on the internet and there is a specific video with Dr. Mike that shows a good demonstration of the extension push ups.
    Folks who have never suffered from sciatica and back problems have no idea how painful and life altering these issues can be. I like to pass this information along whenever I can to hopefully help others.
    This might not work for you, but the two exercises I mentioned have been my salvation.

  20. My Dr. (the primary, not a specialist) recommended the "TENS" Unit-
    It worked on my chronic back pain in a few days.
    I haven't needed it in 2 years. But am glad to have it anyway.
    Not expensive at all - it's as small as a phonebook- mine was covered by insurance anyway.

  21. Looks like you will be busy doing all those exercises but they are vital to back health.

    I hope weather is warm in Paris while you are there easier on your back if weather is nice.

    I am going to attempt a macaron tower for a tablescape on my blog. Do you know what covers the Styrofoam tower? Is it fondant? I am asking everyone and no one seems to know.

  22. I don't understand everything because I am speaking english so BADLY, and I hate that , but it seems you have a sciatica, I see that on your blog ?
    I hope you will be fine when travelling to Paris!
    Have a great week end !


  23. Yes, just lie back and think of pastries, dear...while you twist and turn and stretch that body!

    I do similar stretches after I've been running, but I usually have a cat or two stomping all over me while I'm on the floor.

  24. This post could have been written for me - thanks so much for posting the exercises and tips! I hope you will be fighting fit by the time you get to Paris. Wish you a fantastic trip ...

  25. Carol in TN4:23 AM

    I do hope the McKenzie Exercises will help some of the many back pain and sciatica sufferers who are PB readers.

    The exercises aren't very enjoyable and I must admit that when I am pain free for a while, I tend to let them slide---not a smart thing to do.

    So hang in there and keep exercising even on good days. Be well and enjoy your upcoming adventure with Bear.

  26. Judith on her back..4:59 AM

    The thing to remember about back pain is that it does get better!
    The bad thing, of course, is that it takes time.

    If someone had told me at the outset of my ruptured disc/ scoliosis/
    sciatica/ bursitis episode, "Oh, you'll be better in about a year "
    -- I might have contemplated jumping into the Seine! (If indeed I could have jumped...) I hope you don't have the same reaction.

    When I heard that message, though, several months had already,
    painfully, unraveled. A year didn't sound all that long! Just
    believing that there would be an end gave me renewed energy.
    Acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, hot springs, Aztec healing practice, daily stretches and exercises...I threw everything
    but the kitchen sink at the problem.

    Even a trip to Paris! (Have you found that a really strong cafe creme alleviates pain for a couple of

    All those treatments can give you the tools to grow stronger,
    straighter, and smarter about avoiding problems in the future. In the end, though, I came to believe that time is the greatest healer.
    Meanwhile, spending that time in places you love will surely help a
    lot. Have a wonderful time in Paris -- and carry a stylish cane!

    Best wishes,


  27. Glad to hear your yoga and exercises are improving your back health--please take care on your trip.

  28. "Age can be measured by the flexibility of your spine."

    A yoga enthusiast musician friend of mine passed along this little pearl some years ago.


  29. Carol C3:13 PM

    I remembered another thing that helped me when my back and sciatica were at their worst. There is a lumbar pillow that I used for a long time when I was driving, sitting, and on planes which seemed to give my back more support. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it did help me. It is The Original McKenzie Lumbar Super Roll -- 708. You can check it out at McKenzie Method OPTP. The cost is $32.65. I no longer use the roll, but keep it handy in case of a relapse----heaven forbid.
    Also, I walk at least 4 miles every morning at a very brisk pace at my local "Y". Obviously, I couldn't do this when I was in severe pain, but when I improved I began walking every day, as I had done before my discs went crazy, and this has really helped strengthen my back. Hope this will be of some benefit to you. Have a great rest of the day.


  30. So glad you are on a recovery trail, with awesome help and gleaning the wisdom of others who have dealt with the same issue.

  31. Carol,
    What a great post, full of helpful ideas and funny yoga sketches. Tens, great, need to check out the McKenzie method, esp as it sounds Scottish ;-)
    Each time I go to PT, I realise that it's also down to sitting badly at the computer (keyboard and mouse too far away and screen not at eye level). Also standing or sitting for too long periods. Seems so obvious but keep needing to remind myself and so guilty of being a hunch at the screen...
    Thanks for sharing the exercises.

  32. Anonymous11:47 PM

    I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why
    I used to love this blog. Thank you, I'll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site?


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