As I read the "Back Sufferer's Bible" by author Sarah Key, a great number of memories came flooding back to me. The book is of particular interest to me as I was an "end of the line" patient of Sarah Key in Sydney in 1993.
I had "been through the mill" since 1965, when a builing site accident, at age 20, fractured a number of my lumber vertebrae. I recovered and was back at work within a few months, but my back was never to be the same again and steadily declined and eventually, having no other options, underwent my first spinal operation in 1988 to remove bulging discs which were, according to the neurosurgeon, responsible for my numb and wasted left leg and severe pain. The operation did not help in any way. My condition deteriorated further and eventually, in 1991, I had a second operation to remove fragments of a remaining disc, and later, in 1992, a third operation to remove the adhesions and other products causing vertebral canal stenosis, as a result of the first operation
I had undertaken three failed spinal operations, had a leg and foot that hardly worked, was partly incontinent and my "best friend" was a steel-reinforced, heavy duty surgical corset that I believed was saving my life. I was told that I could no longer work as a builder and was never to lift or bend. I was "assured" that the majority of disc removal cases, such as mine, would eventually require a stabilizing spinal fusion. At the time I had a young family to support and felt completely "lost"
I was very fortunate to hear of Sarah Key's unorthodox back treatment regime and made an appointment to see her
My initial consultation with Sarah Key in 1993 was unforgettable. I was confronted by a bright young woman who spoke, not of "degeneration", but of "regeneration"
For somebody who had only ever heard repeated negativity from all other practitioners for years and years, ("your discs are worn out"..."dont do heavy work"..."dont lift"..."never, ever bend"..."dont take your back-brace corset off"..."take time off".."prolonged bed rest will fix everything"..."you need a spinal fusion"), it was wonderful to be swept away by this straight-talking, super-positive Sarah Key
Every single word which Sarah Key said, on that day, was so positive, so reassuring, and made so much sense. I will never forget the feelings of elation that I had on the way home in the train.
From 1993 until 2004 I did the daily exercise and backblock routine which
Sarah Key had set for me and was able to work full-time as a builder, and was able to undertake really heavy physical work. Builder mates would often say, in disbelief, "how on earth can you do that?...your back is "stuffed". I always lifted the "Sarah Key way", with a rounded back and tightened abdominal muscles and felt totally indestructible, despite having three failed spinal operations to remove discs and spinal canal debris from 1988 to 1992
I suffered a very severe financial setback in 2004, involving a large property affected by a newly-enacted Threatened Species environmental legislation. The Court action, with its never-ending delays and massive legal expenses took its toll. I lost interest in everything in my life, including my "faithful" exercises.
Around two years later, my back problems began to return with vengeance. I was unable to sleep for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time because of pain, and felt so old and stiff and full of misery. I really did not believe that any exercise could help me because, at age 61, I believed that my body and spinal regenerative capability were "worn out"... but I was wrong...very wrong.
As I read my new Back Sufferer's Bible, I found that it gave me the ability to motivate myself again. This book is able to deliver its information in such an informal and positive way that you can't help but be swept away by a feeling of optimism similar to that which you experience in a "face to face" consultation with Sarah Key
I gingerly began the exercises again the following day and could notice a definite improvement within weeks. At this time, six months have elapsed and I have almost fully regained my health and fitness
The true "lifeline" contained within the Back Sufferer's Bible, especially for those, like myself, suffering from back problems associated with disc removal, is the marvellously detailed section on the human body's potential for the regeneration of the intervertebral discs utilising production of the spine's moisture-attracting agent, "Proteoglycans"
I believe that Sarah Key is the sole practitioner, on this planet, who is prepared to "leap off" the comfort zone of mainstream practitioner thinking and talk of the "repair and regeneration of discs".
The Back Sufferer's Bible contains line drawing "figures" which are really brilliant. They bring to life the individual components of the various stages on spinal movement. By including only the structures in the drawings which relate to the relevant text, it is quite easy to visualise the role that the pieces play in assisting or restricting various movements. The detailed background information for the range of exercises makes it easy to set realistic goals. Whether you're young or old, whether you're needing a "treatment tool" or "insurance" against back problems this book will give you the confidence and understanding to "do it on your own". The book makes so much sense that I cannot understand how such a disparity of opinion exists within the realm of the various back practitioners.
Sarah Key gave me 12 long years of vigorous, productive worklife, in 1993, at a time when I critically needed it, while the others had no solutions.
Read this book!...Believe in it!...Do the exercises diligently!...and reap the rewards