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spinal stenosis

Lauriel
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spinal stenosis
Your book is so beautiful.  The photographs and drawings as well as the prose all help in the process of understanding the 8 steps.  I am currently about to begin Step 5. 

Everything I've read makes so much sense and others have obviously benefited from reading and following the steps.  However, I'm not finding the same success and I'm wondering if it's because my diagnosis is spinal stenosis (L5 area).  I noticed that on your web site you indicated that surgery might be necessary for this condition.  How will I know whether I will need surgery?  In other words, how soon could I expect relief by diligently applying the steps?  I have ordered the stretchsitting cushion and am hoping that will help as well.  At this point, the pain ranges from 0 - 9 on any given day. I would love to get relief without surgery if possible.  How long will it take for the steps to make a difference if they're going to?
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09/10/2008 - 8:36pm
Do you have lateral or central stenosis? Lateral stenosis should respond very readily to stretchsitting, stretchlying and the inner corset (which you report you are doing now). How confident are you that you are doing the steps accurately? People vary a lot in how well they can learn from the book. Where do you live? Are you able to take our course either in Palo Alto, CA or one of the other cities we are visiting? If that is not possible, you might try posting some video on Youtube for me to look at - that has worked well for other long distance students. It is certainly worthwhile, especially if you are considering surgery. Surgery should be a last resort.
Lauriel
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I don't know whether it's central or lateral stenosis.  The MRI report reads, "At the L4-5 level there is marked prominence of the facet joints and ligamentum flavum.  This leads to severe narrowing of the thecal sac to 4mm.  The L5-S1 disc is unremarkable."

I live in Mobile, Alabama, so nowhere near Palo Alto or the other cities.  Do you have DVDs of the techniques?  I had an epidural today, trying to postpone the need for surgery as long as possible.  I'll meet with a physical therapist on Wednesday and plan to take your book with me to show what I've been doing.  Maybe she can help me with the techniques.  Before my back issues flared, I practiced yoga regularly (daily for 45-75 minutes). My main concern now is finding a way to keep from losing ground physically. Thank you for the offer to look at a Youtube video to check my technique.  You are so generous to be willing to do that.  If I can't get help locally, I would be grateful for your perspective.

Thank you for all you're doing to help those who suffer with back pain. I really appreciate being able to learn from someone who has already helped so many.  I'll keep reading and practicing and hoping! 
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So this is central canal stenosis. Pain in cases of central canal stenosis also responds to the techniques described in 8 Steps, but in a less direct way. I would approach this by trying to improve the general architecture of the region (restore length, circulation, disk height, etc.) In my experience, this can help more than one would expect.

My general rule of thumb is that if it hurts less some of the time, it can hurt less all of the time! Keep searching. At worst, you want to improve your posture so that if you need surgery things are stacked in your favor and you won't do any more damage subsequently. But I've seen many people not have to go on to have their surgeries.
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