Low Back Pain & Sciatica - A Personalised Treatment Approach
From my vast experience of treating many clients with low back pain and sciatica, I have undoubtedly come to believe that many people suffering with this condition are more than capable of treating and resolving this pain themselves, as long as they know what to do and what to look for. It is for that reason that I wrote my book Low Back Pain & Sciatica - A Personalised Treatment Approach.
I have had many success stories from those who have read my book and put my approach into practice and some have been kind enough to jot down a few (and some many more) words to be used as testimonials. I have copied the testimonials below for you to read...
"I had never suffered with low back pain or sciatica before August 2008. I got up one morning and my back 'went'. At this stage, the pain was just in my lower back, but I was bent in two and having problems standing up and walking. I saw my GP and was told I had a 'slipped disc' and then given a course of steroids as well as painkillers. As a result of this, the pain seemed to ease from my back, but it just developed into Sciatica with a tingling sensation down my leg! Standing up was a problem and at the same time laying down and moving in bed was painful.
After 8 days of injections I then looked at the steroids packet and it said on them to not take them for longer than 3 days! I was not happy with my GP anyway and bearing in mind he was now on holiday for 1 month, I thought I would go it alone and see if I could work something out (he had only suggested surgery anyway!)
The steroids caused plenty of other problems, as I am recovering from an eating disorder and the steroids were significantly increasing my weight, which in turn was triggering my eating disorder (injections made me put on 16 pounds and two sizes...in 8 days!). I was beginning to enter a viscous cycle and was feeling really down! My pain was so bad that even when I could begin to walk, I had to use a cane to do so.
At this stage, I was being told many things to do, but did not know whether any of them were any good. One thing I was told was to go swimming, as this is supposed to be good for your back. However, if my pain was 2/10 before entering the pool, it would shoot up to 8/10 after 30 minutes of swimming... this couldn't be doing my back any good I thought.
Another one was replacing my bed, I was advised to so this, as my bed is quite old... but I could not afford a new one & also it felt as if I was lying in a good position.
Finally, I was also told to lose weight (a difficult comment to take on board when you are an ex anorexic & bulimic) however, my problem was that I was in far too much pain to exercise in order to lose weight... I felt trapped.
The things I found worse to do were walking & cooking (two things I cannot avoid in my daily routine) and I did not know where to turn to get myself better. I decided to look on the internet to see if there was any help on there.
Fortunately I came across Paul Boxcer's website and his book Low Back Pain & Sciatica – A Personalised Treatment Approach.
I read through it and decided to put into action all of his recommendations. So much of it made sense, in particular the section on Old Wives Tales and Do Not Replace Your Bed. It was reassuring to know I was already doing some correct things, as his book confirmed that I should not be swimming at this stage & also that there was no need to replace my bed (by adopting the positions he suggested, especially placing pillows in the correct positions helped, along with being careful with regards to what I was doing of an evening). My sleeping improved dramatically as I could move in bed and sleeping was no longer a problem.
I had been given a diagnosis of a slipped disc by my GP and yet Paul's book was telling me the likelihood was it was not a slipped disc which was giving me my pain. At first, I was not sure Paul's exercises would help by themselves but I believed that if something 'slipped', it could go back into position by itself just strengthening the muscles around it.
I felt I had to email Paul to ask a few questions... I did so, and following an email or two back & forth Paul had reassured me to stick with the book and what it was recommending. As soon as I started performing the exercises, I could feel my pain begin to get better, a few exercises helped particularly, some gave immediate relief.
My confidence was growing by the day, with my pain getting better and better and the tingling virtually gone. I was now able to do more and more.... this was doing wonders for my mind as well (although I must confess to not always doing the exercises as regular as Paul suggests, which I would always feel guilty about as they are so easy to do and take so little time). One of my main problems now was muscle stiffness as opposed to pain, I just needed to keep up with the stretches I had prescribed myself from Paul's book!
Paul's book also reassured me that although weight can be an issue with regards to low back pain & sciatica, it is not necessarily the cause of all pain if you are overweight. This made me feel a little less anxious with regards to my weight, though I did still want to lose some, something I had wanted since before my eating disorder.
It was only about 10 days after buying the book & I was now out cycling and jogging with my dog. The running side of things made me laugh, because I was always being told & reading everywhere not to run, yet it felt so good to do so, the day after a long run I'd walk like I had never had back problems. I was just doing what Paul's book always recommends and that is "listen to your body". It was due to me taking that approach that I hadn't returned to swimming yet. I did eventually go back to swimming, I just didn't feel confident to do it earlier, probably because it had increased my pain so much before!
Within a month of having purchased the book, I was now training for a 5K run! I was still getting the occasional little bit of pain, but absolutely nothing like I was suffering less than 4 weeks beforehand, more a 'feeling' than real pain. Very different to when I could not even walk without a cane and was being recommended surgery.
I felt so good, I even dared book up my usual hiking holiday in the mountains for the following spring, something that at some stages I thought I would never be able to do again (and was even told I would never be able to do again unless I had surgery!) as it involves walking for the majority of the day.
I was still getting the occasional niggle if I overdid things, but just by performing a few of the exercises in Paul's book would soon see them gone.
From here things just got better & better, I have now been away on holiday, put up a regular eating and training schedule and got into high impact activities like cross-fit, power lifting and cross country running... actually I am considering doing a triathlon. Why, because I can, because my back is not a problem anymore... it is back to normal, how things used to be and actually way better!
I have also lost 50lbs (from 210lbs to 160lbs) and just feel GREAT! I definitely have never been in such a good shape)
I could never have done it without Paul's book and the most important thing I have learnt from his book, is that ultimately it is me who healed my pain, not someone else, pain killers or steroids (from which I think the most I got were nasty side effects).
Taking charge of my own health is very empowering, I have never felt so good or been so fit!"
Your book gave me back my life. When I bought your book, I was living in constant pain, I wasn't able to do my normal life, not even a small walk. A few days after I started reading it, and started the exercises, I was able to walk, sit, sleep, etc. a little bit better and couple weeks later I started to regain my normal mobility. Right now, about 4 months later, I do my normal life thanks to the knowledge I acquired reading and putting into practice your book.
Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and giving me a life without sciatic pain.
God bless you and I will be forever grateful to you"
"Your eBook has helped me get through my pain. I am able to sleep better and adapt in my everyday life. My pain was after sitting and sleeping, I couldn't walk. It taught me to stretch my muscles before bed and after doing so I had a better sleep and less pain in the mornings. I tested it and it really worked. I thank you for making a book that really works.
"A great book. What drew me to it is the author's interest in why some people respond to particular treatments while other's don't. The result is a real collaborative effort between the reader and the (very knowledgable) author to help you figure out what causes your pain and what can be done about it. Essential.
"I wholeheartedly recommend Paul Boxcer and his excellent resources. Since having a bad dose of sciatica over 2 months ago, I have been following the exercises Paul recommends in his e-book and have been very happy with the results. I still have improvement to come but really believe, as Paul says, that my lower back is going to become strong so that I no longer have ongoing problems.
Paul's material is very easy to follow with excellent explanations of all the exercises and very helpful information on the whole exercising process.
Not only does Paul provide this material but he is very available to answer questions and give helpful feedback. I have been amazed at the time he has put into answering my many questions and really appreciate his willingness to follow up in this way.
Thanks, Paul, for such amazing and helpful information and for the wonderful service you provide.
"Your tips on stretching and sleeping positions did me a great deal of help. I have been getting better by stretching, putting my wallet in my front pocket, using a lumbar pillow when I have to sit, avoiding aggravating activities, and using an exercise ball to strengthen my involuntary back muscles, and I have been working on my posture, I am bothered much less by the pain now. Thank you"
and the following day...
"Paul your course, site, knowledge, and willingness to help brought me relief from a very painful and life-slowing problem. Most are willing to take your money, but don't care about help. Thanks again"
One of the best things you say is that you CAN get better! When I went to Hospital physiotherapists, I left there without any confidence that I would resolve this problem. It was all about a one for all exercise program with no thought for anything else. But your book gives a person hope & belief that by thinking through what's gone wrong and avoiding making it worse you can heal it. You explain what TYPE of back pain you have and therefore what things you should or shouldn't do to improve/stop worsening it. I enjoyed the Old Wives Tale section where you answer some of the more wackier views on low back pain but there are plenty of other chapters that really make you think about your problem in ways you never previously thought of.
All in all, your book includes discussion of ideas that you won't find in other books which sets it apart, so thanks very much for the help you've given and best of luck,
"My name is Luis Miguel and I am 18 years old and a professional ballet dancer. I have suffered with back/buttock pain since I was 14 years old, the result of trying to kick the ball too hard while playing soccer. Straight away I felt something 'go' in my buttock area, as if it was too tight. However, I was just a young boy and was not worried about it.
Four years later and I did not know what to do. The pain was getting worse and it was impacting upon my professional career as a ballet dancer. I had done everything I could and everything the professionals asked me to do... sometimes it would help a bit, but only for a little while. Nothing ever helped 100%.
My pain was now primarily in my buttock area, although I did also feel it in the hip as well. Being a ballet dancer, stretching and strengthening was a very important part of my routine, unfortunately though, I was finding it too difficult to practice much and perform my routines due to the pain I was in. Warming up would help my pain a little, but not completely... I was getting desperate.
I had been told many different things as to why I was feeling the pain I was and why it wasn't getting better, including that I had one leg longer than the other... but nothing was helping.
My next step was to research myself, as it seemed the medical profession could offer me no more help.
After going through many websites I found Paul Boxcer's and his book Low Back Pain and Sciatica 'A Personalised Treatment Approach'. I had read some of Paul's articles on the internet, but was still not too sure whether to buy the book, so I subscribed to his 5 Day Course first, to see if I thought his approach would work for me. The course was fantastic and I learnt a lot from it and already began to see my pain ease. I just had to buy the book and was so glad I did... I am now pain free for the first time in 4 years!
The book was so easy to read and I was guided through an assessment and treatment procedure as if Paul was there with me. It allowed me to work out why I was suffering with pain, what was causing it and more importantly how to get rid of it. For me, my Gluteal muscles were too weak, and my Piriformis and Hamstring Muscles were too tight (if that sounds as if I know what I am talking about, I do not know that much really, only what I have learnt from Paul's book). I then carried out the correct exercises for this problem and it was not long before I was dancing pain free again, for the first time in four years.
Thank you so much Paul."
I suffered with low back pain for many years on and off; my job consisted of heavy manual handing which did not help and as a result, my back 'went'. It took me about an hour to get out of bed every morning, as when I moved the agonising pain in my lower back was unbearable. I was unable to dress myself properly, bend to put my socks on and I could not get in and out of the bath, the pain was all too much. All of this caused me to take time off work which I could not afford.
Suffering with the low back pain, I decided to go to my doctors who prescribed me diazepam to relax the muscles. I was also told to take pain killers and sent to see a physiotherapist. I received treatment from the physiotherapist and was given exercises to do at home. The treatment that I was receiving went very well. I would say when I started there my back was about 20%, that being really painful on moving, but with treatment my low back pain improved somewhat up to about 70%.
However the treatment stopped, there were no more exercises or advice that could be given and the rest was up to me. I carried on doing the exercises, only every now and again, and I started doing things that were aggravating my back (not that I realised at the time). I finally gave up on the exercises. Consequently my back started to get really painful again. I also had to give up work, which I really could not afford to do but I had no other choice. Once again I went back to my doctor, who sent me to see a consultant. The consultant sent me on a program of back to fitness, which was 3 gym sessions, 3 hydro sessions and more physio, the pain slowly started to subside again.
I then saw one of the doctors from the consultant's team who gave me some exercises which really aggravated my back. I told him that they were painful, he then told me that they would be but I was to do 10 a day increasing to a 100 a day for the rest of my life. Of course when I came away I thought I had better give it a go, which I did and my back got worse so I gave them up. In fact when I went to the phyiso I explained what the exercises were and that they were painful to do, she said 'she would not given them to someone with a good back, let alone someone with a bad back'. My physiotherapy finished again and my back was still painful. All the physio sessions now seemed a waste of time, as I was now about 50% and yet my back had got up to 70% with the first physiotherapy treatment.
Realising my back had been much better at the first physiotherapist department, I had to do something, but what could I do? I decided to do some of the exercises that I could remember and I also decided to search the web for lower back pain and came across Spinal Health Care. There were many sites but this one caught my eye.
I do not like giving credit card details on the internet, but the site seemed very professional with good testimonials, so I thought I could trust it. At first I subscribed to the 5 day low back pain course, and I am very glad I did.
I started to read the 5 day low back pain course, and do some of the exercises, which started to improve my back. If I encountered any problems on the way there was Paul's e-mail support which was very helpful. Any questions I asked were answered and explained, so I decided to buy his eBook.
I still had to see the consultant, but I had now been reading Paul's book, and worked out that my problems were mechanical, yes! The consultant also told me this. He said that I was nice and slim, not over weight and therefore I was not putting any undue pressure on my back. He also said that for my age it was wear and tear and I would suffer some pain. He also said that I would have to grin and bear it, this made me more determined to do the exercises on a more regular basis because I knew I could do it and I knew the exercises were working.
Paul's book has been brilliant to have and it has now resolved my back problem. It has explained a lot, it provided me with encouragement and to think positive, it made me realise I was doing everything wrong.
I now know that when I got to 70% at the physiotherapist department that there was nothing more that they could have done, it was up to me to carry on doing the exercises that I was taught.
Paul's book has explained and described everything well and with the illustrations it is so easy to follow and understand, it has helped me and I wouldn't be without it. It made me start to listen to what my body was telling me. It was down to me to keep up the exercises, and make the changes to strengthen my muscles; I have gained so much from Paul's book.
Fitting in exercises was hard to start off with, but I set aside time. With Paul's expert advice, and with all the hard work I put in, my back is now better which is brilliant. It worked for me, if at any time I get a slight pain I go back to the book and do some exercises, not that I have had to do that in the past year.
I could not have done this without Paul's book. All what he says is so true, things like listen to your body and you'll know what to and what not to do, and much, much, more. I can't thank him enough. I am so grateful I came across his web site, as reading and doing the exercises from his book gave me back my freedom, enabled me to do the normal everyday things, come off the tablets and go back to work.
Thank you Paul
I wanted to say thanks for your concern about my progress. After using your e-book, my lower back pain has been eliminated. The book is very good to explain why I am having pain and also identifies the necessary exercises to remove it."
"Many years ago I was diagnosed with sciatic pain down my right leg and into my calf muscle & toes. The pain was very intense and I was only able to get through the day on prescription pain killers. I decided to visit a physiotherapist and was given al lot of treatment, but I never really gained any relief from the pain. Back to the doctor I went.
The doctor said I would probably need surgery based on x-rays and he gave me only a 50 - 50 chance of being able to walk properly afterwards, let alone run. Before committing me to surgery though, he wanted to try cortisone injections first. I spent a night in hospital and received three cortisone injections over about 36 hours. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I then had a week or so off work to recover. Luckily it appeared to work and I only suffered a little pain from then on, typically when I was tired. I used to manage this pain quite easily with mild pain tablets, or when I was younger, a jog around the block. This may sound very dramatic, but is true.
Things continued like this for about 10 years or so, until June 2008, when I began feeling sciatic pain down my left leg and into my toes. I went to the doctor and he said straight away, based on what I had told him, that I had S1 Sciatic pain. He prescribed some pain killers and anti-inflammatory tablets and gave me a referral for physiotherapy. I didn't want to go through the same ordeal as previously so I looked up Sciatic pain on the internet, just to work out for myself how my pain may have started and to also see if I could treat it another way. I wanted to avoid surgery and cortisone injections at all costs.
It was by searching the internet that I came across Paul's website spinal-health-care.com and his book Low Back Pain & Sciatica – A Personalised Treatment Approach. I had a good look through his website, as well as many others on the net, but I came back to Paul's. I decided to subscribe to his free 5 Day Course. I thought it was well written and I found it easy to understand with a good combination of non technical words and easy to follow diagrams.
I am not big on sending my credit card details on the internet but decided that Paul's book was worth a try. The cost was far less than physio and hospital. I thought I would give it a go as I had nothing to lose. I subscribed and immediately received the eBook via e-mail. I was surprised that Paul actually sent me a personal thanks for subscribing and then offered to answer any questions I may have.
I read the eBook from start to finish and then worked out my diagnosis and what exercises were needed for that diagnosis. Over the next few weeks I sent many e-mail questions to Paul and he responded timely and professionally to them, offering advice to assist me with my pain.
There were occasions when I hit a bit of a plateau, and I then began to wonder whether the pain would ever go completely, but Paul offered me support and guidance. I admit I actually went to see a physio at one point, but he just said that I was already doing the right exercises and it was a pleasure to see someone doing the right thing for their back... that visit cost 4 times the amount of Paul's book, I never went back again.
I was very conscientious with regards to my exercises, performing them at least twice per day, but usually three times. Without doubt they worked and I could feel the relief after having done them. It was not just that though, I also took into account the little things I needed to modify with regards to my daily activities... as sometimes it is the little things which can make a big difference.
I have never been that flexible, but the stretches helped me overcome that problem. They were difficult sometimes, especially the Piriformis stretch, but I could feel they were helping and therefore continued with them. I could also really tell the difference when comparing the stretches on one side to the other. As the pain eased and I was confident with the stretches, I then moved on to the core strengthening exercises to provide my lower back with stability.
Slowly but surely my pain eased away. It was definitely not a quick fix, which I had with the cortisone injections, but then it was also nowhere near as painful either. Paul's approach aims to integrate itself with your own body's healing process and it therefore take the view that if you are aggravating your pain in any way, you are interfering with that same healing process. Consequently, you need to modify something. With this knowledge, I had the comfort of knowing it was me & my own body's healing process which had not only healed me of my pain, but also addressed and removed the cause of my pain as well.
This is opposed to the cortisone injections I had years before. These did not resolve my pain 100% and were ultimately just addressing the signs & symptoms of the problem, not the cause. OK, so I received about 10 years of being nearly pain free, but the underlying problem was just waiting there to rear its ugly head again.
My pain went from being excruciating to painful to a niggle and ultimately pain free! I was unable to walk pain free let alone run. I was also concerned at the prospect of further cortisone injections or even surgery. I can now walk for 8 hours plus each day and running is no problem thanks to Paul, his book and his support.
I am a Police Officer, so walking and running is a big part of my daily routine. I am not super fit by any means, however the advice and exercises recommended to me from Paul's book, along with his personal guidance, I am now pain free each and every day.
I still use the exercises in Paul's book and have had no return of the sciatic pain what so ever.
Thanks very much Paul."
"Your book is very beneficial for my case and I find it very interesting especially where you explain why we feel the pain and how the body works. All the exercises are very well explained and it is really good. Now I understand my back pain and I am exercising every day. I still feel some small pain in certain movements but this is nothing.
Everybody should have this book at home.
Thanks very much for your help,
and then three days later...
"The pain is disappearing slowly. I feel it only if I make some strange move.
Since I am exercising every day following your book I feel like a bird.
Thanks once more,
"As someone who has experienced a few months of severe pain in my back, hips, knees and legs, I would like to thank Paul's Book for the advice and exercises.
I credit the exercises with virtually curing my pain. It is not a "quick fix". There is none of the "magic" often offered on similar sites.
Low Back Pain & Sciatica - A Personalised Treatment Approach is the place to go if you are willing to be responsible for the health of your back and are willing to do a relatively small amount of work daily to get and stay healthy.
Although I said that it is not a "quick fix", I had more mobility and less pain within a few days of starting the program on the site.
I now have much greater mobility and only occasional pain.
I have purchased the full book and am confident that as I continue to work with the process, I will be pain free and flexible again.
Paul has been extremely supportive. But more than that, he has been very professional and has advised me to consult a physician before commenting on some of my problems.
Probably the most important thing I have learned through Paul is that it is my back and I can choose to keep it healthy. If I want to be pain free, it is up to me, but Paul will support me all the way.
"Thank you so much Paul for this excellent course. I had been really struggling to get to the route of what was causing pain in my hip and down my right leg, with tight feelings in my knees and behind my thigh. Your simple to follow and very practical course helped me to understand better what was causing my discomfort and how I could help my body with the healing process. Thank you too for the personal contact and interest. It is very rare to have that.
May your business grow from strength to strength as you continue to help so many.
I still have a high degree of mobility in my old age (75) and despite a slight increase in the intensity of Rheumatoid Arthritis in my extremities and in my lower back, I can lead a normal life. I attribute this in no small way to the exercises outlined in your program but also in my determination not to succumb to the disease and become a pill-swallowing paraplegic.
Over the years, I have come to realize that, a) the disease is incurable, b) chronic, variable in intensity but gradually worsening with age, c) can only be held in check by constant activity and carefully programmed exercises.
The prolonged ingestion of pain-killing pills can lead to all sorts of undesirable side-effects and should be reserved for only the most acute types of pain – toothache etc.
I am an active member of a hill/mountain walkers' club and take all my holidays in Crete and the Canary Islands where I can enjoy both scenic and therapeutic walks. I am a keen radio Amateur and can still handle a soldering iron and tools to construct my own test equipment etc. Together with the normal gardening tasks associated with a large garden I can claim to lead a normal middle-aged, active life.
My early-morning back pain is still with me but is very largely attenuated, to negligible perception, by the exercises in your program. I am truly indebted to you for introducing me to the value of exercise in the fight against rheumatoid arthritis. I wish you great success with your book as I am very sure that it will help anyone who is fortunate enough to read it and practice its recommendations.
"Hi Thank you so much what you have done for me and my family.
My English is not very good and I have found that some books are very difficult for me to read and comprehend, this did not apply your book (Low back pain & Sciatica- Personalised Treatment Approach)
It has been written so good for people like me (English is the second language to me)
There are fantastic explanations of the function of the lower back, why I got pain and the different nature of inflammatory and mechanical pain.
And unbelievably proper exercises helped me to go back to work without an operation.
I KNOW HOW TO LET MY BODY HEAL ITSELF.
Many, many thanks.