Anvil or Hammer

The rack!

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on June 5, 2008

Today I got a new experience. I got traction. The basic idea is that you pull on the body from the top and bottom you expand the space between the vertebrae. In my case, this may cause some of the pressure on the spinal cord to be relieved. My PT has a special treatment table for this. It splits in the middle like a dinning room table with a leaf that could go in it. At either end of table are motors that basically drive a pair of winches. A webbed belt was put around my hips with straps toward my feet and a belt was placed around the bottom of my ribs with straps toward my head. The machine applies tension for 45 seconds then releases for 15. It’s tight but I wouldn’t say it is uncomfortable.

It was a kinda experimental for me but it’s pretty standard treatment for diagnoses herniated discs. I think it helped, I feel like the nerve is more relieved today than it was yesterday and that’s really the only milestone I have to go off of. I’m kinda looking forward to round two on Tuesday.

7 Responses to 'The rack!'

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  1. gene said,

    Traction is a very old technique to try to improve back health. Some practioners have a person hang upside down to use gravity in the reverse form. I couldn’t tolerate that. The supine position is much better.

    There are many things that are offered to be helpful. It can be difficult to know which one helps, and a gradual process for any individual to understand.

    It is good to have the problem identified so that it can be addressed appropriately.

  2. Scott Styles said,

    Hey, if they pull hard enough, maybe you’ll get taller 🙂

    Have you been able to keep your nutrition on track through all of this?

    Are you still going to be supervising at Dumbarton on Fridays?

  3. speedstudio said,

    I have an inversion table in storage (no room at my place right now) that I used to use all the time. It allows one to hang upside down and rock back and forth giving a slight pull on the vertebrae. I find it helpful.

  4. Mike said,

    The hanging version of traction was th only that I had ever heard of. This table version was pretty tolerable. From what my PT said, some people panic. I assume that some this is due to the belts being tight, then when the machine pulls, they feel even a bit tighter. Your breathing becomes shallow by necessity. If you can relax though, it’s rather nice.

    I do think that having the proper diagnosis will help a lot with treatment, it probably also makes it easier for my PT to give me a more complete picture of my recovery.

    I would take the extra quarter inch :). I was actually wondering if I shrunk a little bit as a result of this injury. Of course, I’ve never been measured with enough precision or accuracy to say for sure.

    My nutrition has been way off track. At first I wasn’t eating, then I was eating only what I could eat without much effort. Recently, with the odd schedule, I haven’t made the effort I need to. Last week I tried to get back on track. I would say I was only 40% there. This week, I’ll make another go of it. I have my salad ready to go. I haven’t really worked out what my protein dish is going to be. I have been really surprised, by how hungry I have been when I have taken my food. I don’t know if it is a matter of teaching myself that it just has to eat less or if I simply was not giving myself credit for all the calories I needed. I’ll get back to logging my weight on Monday and I’ll probably do some documenting of my diet too, just so I can get a realistic picture of where I am. Or course, thoughts are welcome.

    I missed several trips to Dumbarton, some due to pain, some for other reasons. When I have gone, I have documented it here. The last two Fridays (prior to yesterday) were missed. I was already planning on ending my supervisor run this summer anyway. My wife is starting some college classes and I am running out of online classes for my degree, meaning that both of us will be away from home different nights of the week. I figure that since neither of us can have class on Friday evening, it might be nice to start planning that evening for us.

    I’ve never used an inversion table. I assume these are the same as the Roger Teeter guy sells on TV. I must admit, I hope he changed his name or at least appreciates the irony.
    I’ve never known anyone with an inversion table, I’m glad to here it is a useful device. I have always found hanging from a pull up bar to be a nice release, especially during deadlifts. I assume an inversion table would be more of the same.

  5. speedstudio said,

    Mike: Yes, it’s the same type of deal. I was introduced to it it by a former US National Team Pole Vaulter turned coach/trainer/fighter who had back problems. Just recently discovered one in my chiropractor’s rehab center. Like hanging from a bar (which I also do) the gravity from inversion lines up and elongates the spine, increases the space between the vertebrae, which relieves pressure.

  6. Scott Styles said,

    I would be very likely to skip cooking and eat out much more while dealing with something like this. Once things are under control, you’ll be glad you put in the extra effort.

    Sounds like it is time for the supervision run at Dumbarton to end. It’s good you were able to do it for as long as you did.

  7. Mike said,

    We don’t eat out much. It’s been more of a matter of just eating from the freezer section. There’s been no meal plan just whatever was convenient. One of the major reasons I couldn’t eat out was that usually required some kind of sitting in a car or restaurant and I couldn’t do that.

    Yeah, Dumbarton has been good for me, making me show up on days when i might not otherwise. I guess it’s now up to me to get myself in there. 🙂

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