About 4 months ago, I was experiencing severe nerve pain in my lower back and right upper leg. I was not able to walk farther than a few feet before I had to stop. When I went to grocery stores, I used my cart as a “walker” and soon had to bend over for pain relief. It was not a happy time.

This was my second episode of spinal stenosis. The first ended in spinal surgery about 5 years ago. Before the surgery, I had tried epidural injections, which helped for several years, but then became ineffective.

This time, I began with physical therapy, took pills for nerve pain and tried an epidural injection.

The pills helped, but only temporarily. An epidural injection did not help at all.

The physical therapy was initially helpful, but I still had pain. Like many people, I was doing the therapy with my therapist, but not so much otherwise.

But then I made a change!

I had all the movements printed out for me and decided to do them every day. Later, I increased the reps and sets. I didn’t go back to the therapists, but found that I was gradually going down on the pain scale.

At this point, I am about 97% pain free and have no need for pills or injections. I want to eliminate even the remaining 3 %.

I firmly believe that physical therapy may be grossly underestimated as a healing science.

Also, it seems to me that the way we heal is primarily in our own hands. The therapists are great, but it is up to us to utilize the knowledge they give us – if we really want to improve our bodies and eliminate pain.

The same might be said of medical doctors. They are great, but we must do most of the work to heal ourselves. I see my primary care physician a couple of times each year. What happens to my health lies in my hands for the far greater portion of each year that goes by. But only if I follow the instructions of the doctors and occasionally get second opinions.


There are several items from Amazon that may be of significant help, depending on what pain we are trying to dismiss. As an Amazon associate, I may use their links within my articles and earn from qualifying purchases. This has no effect at all on pricing. Each Amazon link includes detailed descriptions, reviews and other similar choices at different prices.

Neck and shoulder relaxer

Large ice pack

Vibrating roller

Resistance bands – I use these in my home physical therapy work


ACE is the largest non-profit certifier of health coaches and exercise professionals in the world.

I am not suggesting that personal trainers and other exercise leaders are the same as physical therapists, but they certainly guide and motivate those striving for fitness. ACE certified pros are expert personal trainers, health coaches, group fitness instructors and medical exercise specialists. ACE has certified 90,000 exercise professionals.

For information on how to enroll in an ACE course and what discounts currently apply, check here. Or check my ACE link at the side of my website. It is there permanently, so that anyone can view what they have to offer and what special incentives may apply at any time.


There may be a theme throughout this post – follow professional advice, but don’t think the professionals will do the work for you!

Doctors of all kinds and exercise professionals are available to help us, but we must diligently apply what we learn if we are to eliminate pain, become healthier or otherwise improve ourselves.

I often think of my college tennis coach. He could film my strokes, tell me where I needed help, or mention what I was doing right – but he couldn’t hit the ball for me. It was up to me to hit thousands of tennis balls daily in practice, while implementing what I was told to do or not to do.

Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Stay healthy!


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