I’ve suffered for some years from extreme back pain, which at one time quite severely crippled me, thanks to some crushed nerves and the mixture of agonizing pain and muscle atrophy that occasioned. I had some sessions with physical therapists and then undertook a systematic and persistent workout regimen, focused by my desire and resolution not to be crippled. In general, I’ve been free of extreme pain for years, until this trip to Afghanistan, when I hurt myself quite seriously, probably from a mixture of the long flights and schlepping about a great deal of weight in books and equipment. After getting back December 26 in substantial pain (especially when standing up), I started using the Spinal Stretch device that had been given to me by friends, but which I had put off using because I was not in severe pain (and I’m pretty busy all the time). Now I’ve got a very insistent incentive to put it to use. I’ve just been using it for a short time since getting back, but it seems that it has contributed to reducing the pain. (It’s hard to know how much, as I’ve also been doing lots of stretching and pushing hard at the gym to increase my strength.) Using the Spinal Stretch device is neither difficult (you just need to anchor it easily in any door jamb) nor unpleasant (and is in fact pretty relaxing and reduces the spasms that course through my back) and the theory behind it seems sound.
Anyway, it’s easy to use, doesn’t cost much, and seems to have a positive impact. And people who suffer from chronic back pain understand how destructive of normal life it is. So my advice is that it’s definitely worth a try.