In December '91, I injured my spine (both lumbar and thoracic regions) in a fall down some steps where a builder had left loose roofing felt, and like a loose stair carpet. Some twelve years later, it was finally realised that my SI joint was locked up into the wrong position. A week ago, and nearly seventeen years later, I was finally diagnosed as having arachnoiditis in the thoracic region.
During this time, I've experienced considerable weight gain, circulatory problems and oedema.
I could tell you a horror story, including tales of doctors and specialists who wrote me off as being a hyperchondriac, having psychosomatic pains, and even those who wanted to refer me to a psychiatrist when I complained of feeling as if I'd insects crawling over my back. I also had some serious side-effects from medications, and came close to taking my own life about fourteen years ago - that, I believe, due to the negatively mind-altering effects of the combination of drugs I was being prescribed. In the end, the senior partner at the surgery even told me to go away and learn to live with it!
Well, I didn't have much option, but I did find one doctor at the practice who was willing to listen and to work with me to try and find a balance in the medications that would work for me, without unwanted side effects, and who wasn't afraid to admit it when he didn't have the answers.
During that time, I was constantly being told to raise my feet to address the oedema. It reduced slightly when my weight was off my feet, but after a day of being on my feet, would be back as bad as ever again. My blood pressure was well elevated and all over the place, but rarely under 145/85.
My doctor was at a loss to know how to help me, but a couple of months ago, and when I stumbled upon and read about Andrew's IBT study, what he said about the solutes and gravity made logical sense to me, and, after consulting my doctor - when I was told that he didn't see any reason why I shouldn't try it, but to expect my oedema to get worse - I raised the head end of my bed 6" and commenced sleeping at that angle.
Within just a couple of days, the oedema in my legs had reduced significantly. Indeed, the measurement around my calves was up to 5cms (about 2.5") less than pre-IBT, and although increasing a little again during the daytimes at first, for the last few weeks there's been no significant difference between measurements taken in the mornings and evenings. In fact, I can now actually see my shin bones, and even feel the odd chip in those from injuries sustained in my teens!
My doctor really is amazed, and also at the significant improvement in my blood pressure, and, of late, I have started to notice a considerable lessening of the incidents and strength of muscle spasms and cramps in my ribcage, that relate to the arachnoiditis.
It's still early days, as I've only been using IBT a couple of months, but during that time I've also been undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, so you can imagine that, finding myself experiencing days without any back pain at all or only a little aching in my lower spine and from osteoarthritis/wear and tear after the 12 years that was affected by having my SI joint out of position, and after so long spent living with chronic and often severe and crippling back pain, I feel as if a miracle has occurred!
For the last few weeks, I've hardly taken any anti-inflammatory medication, either. This because I was advised at the cancer hospital to avoid it, if possible due to the effect of the chemo on my blood platelets, and because what I have found works best for me as an anti-inflammatory to keep the arachnoiditis under some form of control on a daily basis is simple, old fashioned aspirin or the salicylic acid based ones.
I can ONLY speak for myself, and based upon my own experience, because I don't have any medical qualifications, only experience of those conditions that I do have. (My background is, however, psychology related.)
28/07/2008 16:15:33 »
My Inclined Bed Therapy Experience.
5 years ago I inclined my bed to help with asthma and nasal problems – that worked wonderfully, I breathe quite easily now, however, over the past 28 years I have had several operations to remove and repair varicose veins, Which had recurred four times already and I was told by the surgeon that they would recur again. Both my mother and maternal grandmother suffered dreadfully with this complaint. I enjoy walking and the thought of eventually developing leg ulcers was quite terrifying to me as it would be to anyone, but my legs are fine now without even a hint of blue lines let alone lumps the size of walnuts, furthermore I have not suffered with any swelling in my legs or ankles since I began IBT.
It hadn’t occurred to me that I no longer had a varicose vein problem because that wasn’t why I’d inclined my bed in the first place, that was a brilliant unexpected bonus.
The downside of having the bed inclined is that I tried ‘Botox’ (as we ladies of a certain age might) and it only worked for about a week. The cosmetic surgeon was amazed that the paralyzed muscles in my face repaired themselves so quickly. She said I should console myself with the fact that if I should ever have a stroke my facial muscles would be back to normal in double quick time!
When I go away on holiday where I don't have an inclined bed I have noticed that my nasal passages are usually blocked for part of the morning, and I feel quite sluggish and apparently my snoring is deafening. My partner suggests that we pack a few bricks into the cases so that he can get a decent night's sleep.
Andrew K Fletcher
KIS Keep It Simple
30/07/2008 10:07:37 »
Hi Squirrel Thank you for posting these valuable observations with repeated varicose vein surgery and your experience with using Botox. Both are fascinating, when first mentioned this was a revelation for me as I have been involved with neurological conditions as you know for many years and this proves what I have been stating about nerves recovering from impact or degenerative disease using Inclined Bed Therapy.
It’s a pity there are not more people using IBT that have tried botox to confirm this, but it would provide a great method of testing and compiling a protocol for a study to confirm the efficacy of IBT for spinal injury and other neurological conditions. If memory serves me well, you had this procedure repeated and the outcome was the same with a rapid recovery more than once? I have learned of several professional therapists in the USA who specialise in Spinal Cord Rehabilitation are already advising their patients to use IBT.
It is good to learn that you will not need further surgery on your veins in the foreseeable future and this can only mean than because the pressure inside the veins which was causing them to become swollen has now been reduced. Indicating that surgery success rates can be raised considerably and therefore substantially reducing the cost to the health service and the private patients.
It is great to learn about other implications for IBT and they are very important observations in their own right requiring further investigation and a controlled study to prove or disprove them.
Thanks for your reply - yes I did have botox on more than one occasion as the cosmetic surgeon couldn't believe that it had not worked for longer than 1 week so she gave me a freebie as an apology, however this only lasted a week as well so when I returned to see her again she said she couldn't give me any more as she had already given me more than she felt comfortable with, in fact is was a dose suitable for a large man (she said) and as I am only 5'-2" tall she was worried about overdosing. Guess I shall just have to put up with the wrinkled forehead!
Thanks for the confirmation. So here we have the same response to recovery from a botox injection known to cause paralysis in the nerve endings.
What is Botox?
Botox® is a trade name for botulinum toxin A. In this way, Botox® is related to botulism. Botulism is a form of food poisoning that occurs when someone eats something containing a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin A is one of the neurotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum.
The most serious symptom of botulism is paralysis, which in some cases has proven to be fatal. The botulinum toxins (there are seven -- types are A through G) attach themselves to nerve endings. Once this happens, acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter responsible for triggering muscle contractions, cannot be released. A series of proteins, VAMP, syntaxin and SNAP-25, are essential for the release of acetylcholine. Certain botulinum toxins attack these proteins. Botulinum toxin A (Botox) affects the SNAP-25.
Basically, the botulinum toxins block the signals that would normally tell your muscles to contract. Say, for example, it attacks the muscles in your chest -- this could have a profound impact on your breathing. When people die from botulism, this is often the cause -- the respiratory muscles are paralyzed so it’s impossible to breathe.
At this point, you may be wondering why anyone would want to have a botulinum toxin injected into his or her body. The answer is simple: If an area of the body can't move, it can't wrinkle.
Yet you have indicated that you have built up an immunity to botox regaining the nerve fuction after 1 week using inclined bed therapy, not once but two times and one time using a higher than normal dose of the neurotoxin. This is astonishing and requires further investigation in its own right!
Thank you for this. I have just the person in mind that should learn of your observations. A Doctor Wise Young from the Carecure forum who is involved with spinal cord injury research. I will write to him and ask him for a comment.
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