This book helped me manage my back pain

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I have sciatic nerve issues from a bulging disk.

A few simple stretches, and general advice about staying in shape, got me from pain and mild disability (couldn’t sit for any length of time; could only lie down prone w/ a single sheet because the pressure of a blanket on my legs was excruciating) to getting along very well.

I still feel twinges, especially on long plane flights, but the exercise approach is well worth looking into.


Thank you. I have long ongoing sciatic issues as well. I will give the book a try.


I can’t be the only one who saw that cover and thought it was the latest from Chuck Tingle, can I?


Was recommended this book by my doctor after having issues with my lumbar spine last year. I haven’t been following the specific exercises in the book as rigorously as I should but when I do I can feel the difference. And the point he makes for posture and back support is so so important. I now have a kneeling chair at the office, a round pillow for back support at home and I go to the gym regularly. Haven’t had any serious recurrence of pain so far.


I’m in chronic pain. I dealt with it for the most part, but for like at least the last 6mo sleeping has become the most painful. It used to be sleep was a sactuary from the nerve pain in my leg. Now my lower back just throbs from soreness. It doesn’t really bug me during the day, but at night as I sleep it starts. I usually wake up at least an hour or two early from pain and may or may not fall back into a good sleep. I get up and move around and its ok. I can only sleep comfortably on my side, but now I have to like lay back slightly, so I am laying towards my back on a pillow. I never stay that way the whole night. If I try to lay on my stomach it is murder. I started doing exercises to strengthen it but so far no go. Regular pain meds don’t work. I can’t take my day meds as they don’t let you fall asleep. So I am fucked.

On the bright side I can no longer sleep 12 hours a day even if I wanted to.


Another excellent book on self-diagnosing and treating back pain is Back Mechanic by Stuart McGill, a professor at University of Waterloo. I’ve found it helpful in informing me and in holding those that attempt to treat me accountable for their methodology, or lack thereof.

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It’s not one of his better sellers.


When i saw the title, i thought, "did you lie on top of the book and work out the knots? "


Same here. Stretching helps a lot. Exercise helps too, but it’s something I have to be eased into of I’m not already exercising.

Long plane flights (and tiny rental cars) are not good at all for my back.


I herniated two discs about a decade ago and it didn’t quite heal. My doctor said I would need surgery to fuse the discs. In my case, this was the book that helped me out. I never had the surgery and I’m in no pain today. Back to or better than before the accident.

I can’t recommend one book over the other, but based on the stories of a lot of people with similar experiences, it looks like we rush to back surgery way too quickly.

A book that really helped me and my wife both is Peter Egoscue’s: Pain Free

My lower back goes nuts from time to time and if I do the few simple exercises from this book - voila! Pain goes away.
(then I forget to keep doing the exercises from time to time and… yup! back pain is back!)

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Y’all need to go to a physical therapist. They can optimize this whole process, and if you’re going to talk to surgeons anyway, you’re invested enough to do it right.

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I agree, but they take money, yo.

I pay $80/mo just for a guy to write me scripts because people on painkillers are now treated like drug addicts.


I did plenty of PT. This book helped more than much I learned in PT.

I took some pilates on a reformer sessions for a few months and that was wonderful. I wanted a reformer. That’ll come – right now I’m working on upping my cardio again.


You might find this episode of our radio show of interest.

The guests are a guy who was thrown from a bucking horse in a wilderness area and had to be evacuated by helicopter after breaking his back and ribs, and the back doctor that taught him about dealing with his chronic pain. Pretty interesting and compelling stuff about how the brain rewires itself around chronic pain.

Well this sounds like another BB inspired purchase coming my way.

Crap, I misplaced that link you had to that stretching strap, have it handy?

I still use this every night and morning. Really helps. I try to stretch and do core crunch style stuff while guarding my lumbar back, and try to work the core. Stretch the hamstrings and all out, go to sleep. Wake up and stretch again before feet touch the floor.

I felt good enough from doing that for a month that I have started in on some pretty high intensity, but low impact cardio – stationary cycling – and put together a pretty fun little rig. I’m just starting to write that up. It is the only type of cardio my back will take that isn’t a joke to get into – swimming isn’t going to be it. I tried. Swimming is an illogical but attractive option.

If I get the results I expect from a few months of the stationary biking + core work, I may step up to the reformer and try to really get some mobility and flexibility back. The reformer is maybe my favorite piece of fitness engineering. The German approach to isometric exercise.


I had chronic back pain for several years. Tried a lot of therapies: medications, yoga, chiro, massage, swimming, exercise, weight lifting, stretching regimens, electrical stimulation (TENS). All gave me temporary relief but none cured it. This book actually helped me cure the pain permanently:

I think I have that book. Should revisit it.

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