Saturday, April 14, 2012

Welcome Relief for Low Back Pain

Mr. Winkler's immediate relief of pain, which had bothered him for some time, was also a joyful experience for him. His understanding of the condition and recognition of the value of selective exercises has maintained his total health, as well as his total relief from back pain all this time.

Mr. Winkler's letter:

December 21, 1988
To: Dr. Fereidun (sic) Batmanghelidj
2146 Kings Garden Way
Falls Church, Virginia 22043

Dear Fereidun (sic):

I am pleased to detail the events leading up to and following your happy suggestion to me in Tehran in 1976 regarding back therapy.
My first experience with back problems came while I was pushing a manual lawn mower up a rather steep hill at my residence in Washington, D.C. in 1971 or 1972. This had followed some months of unsupervised exercise during which I had undoubtedly strained my back. Following the lawn mower incident I saw an orthopedic specialist who, following X-rays, diagnosed a ruptured disk. he set forth a course of exercise which I followed for a while and then gave up. He also said i must sleep on my side in a fetal position or on my back with one or two pillows under my knees.

I arrived in Tehran in the spring of 1973 and shortly thereafter began regular swimming. This helped but I still continued to have sieges of several weeks to several months when I was in considerable pain, was unable to lift anything and gradually got relief through a back brace and restricted activity. During these sieges my body was quite twisted.

It was during one of these attacks that you and I were together at a dinner party and, noticing my twisted condition and obvious discomfort, you suggested a different approach. I told you that I was sleeping only in a fetal position because of the doctor orders. You drew some skeletal diagrams on a piece of paper and advised me to try sleeping on my stomach with a pillow under my chest and another pillow under my thighs. I recall telling you that this totally contradicted the directions I had been given and that I was concerned lest I really damage myself. In any event when Peggy and I went hoe we discussed your counsel and she said something to the effect of  "What can you lose, since you are obviously in terrible pain?" So I tried your method.  I could only remain in your rather uncomfortable position for about 45 minutes and was, of course, unable to sleep  in the position. You had told me this probably would be sufficient. it was. The next morning I was fine. Since then I have had fewer and less intense back sieges  (although I was once again diagnosed following X-rays  by a different Washington orthopedic physician as having a ruptured disk) and each time I try a short period on my stomach with pillows under the chest and thighs. It seems to work. I do credit swimming - four to five miles each week - with a significant contribution to my back situation but whatever the reason, I am able to carry heavy suitcases during the frequent trips we take and am uninhibited by my back.

Sincerely ,
Gordon Winkler.

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