Physical Therapy

My Ordeal With Sciatica (part 4 of 4)

By Zak Klemmer


I had to find a substitute for taking Ibuprofen because to undergo surgery taking an NSAID drug like Ibuprofen will interfere with clotting. So I had the scripts filled and started to take those two drugs. I started to have all the side effects listed in the product disclosure.

I had the injection and afterward I had the same symptoms in both legs – I now felt numbness in both legs and feet. And I still had the back pain periodically. It was now seven months past October 2003. I felt defeated because my condition had worsened.

I had to find an answer as my memory was still fresh of having the ability of riding my bicycle 10 miles without tiring. I saw an ad for spinal decompression that was offered by another chiropractor. Since it was not covered by my insurance the expense was out of my own pocket. I had about 50 of the decompression treatments but my progress was very slow.

Now I did have excellent insurance but medical treatments under my HMO was decided by the medical group that my primary care physician belonged to. Under the insurance there was a six month waiting period to change medical groups to have the same condition covered. After I decided not to have another spinal injection I could change medical groups. During this time I came to know my father’s doctor from taking him to his appointments. I quickly learned the difference in the quality of care between the two.

I discussed my condition with my new doctor and she referred me to a physical therapist. The physical therapist taught me stretching exercises, primarily working my core: abdomen and back muscles and my legs. He advised me to join a gym so as to strengthen all the muscle groups to support my spine.

We had to put my father in a nursing home, at 96 he needed more care than I could give him at his home. Soon after I was offered a career position in Tucson, which I accepted and was then able to move back to my home in August 2005. The stretching exercises helped to improve my condition. I had fewer symptoms of numbness and the occurrence and severity lessened over time. I did procrastinate joining a gym until September of 2006. After I finally started weight training, within a few months at the gym I noticed a great improvement in my condition; I had regained strength in my legs. I could sprint across the parking lot to get out of the rain where before I had trouble walking up a 6% grade.

I have very few symptoms now as I can use a seated leg press and lift 300 pounds with my legs; I started at 90 pounds in September 2006. The bottom line is that one must take responsibility for one’s health- disinterested parties such as the medical establishment will not put your interests ahead of theirs- so you must look after your own self-interest first.

Action steps:

1. Create a Vision for yourself.

2. Write a plan of action, prioritize.

3. Live the plan as if you have become your vision.

4. Find mentors

5. Do it now!

“Motion creates the self.” –Nathaniel Branden

So get moving!



I am available for personal consultations, for an appointment you can reach me at: 520.977.0141

See you on Success Road!

Zak Klemmer

2 responses to “Physical Therapy

  1. Hi Zak, I’ve been reading all of your series here and am glad that you finally received some relief. You make a very good point about one taking responsibility for their own health and not relying on the medical industry for all of it. After all, they are a business like any other.

  2. Thanks! Imagine a system where one has no say regarding medical treatment and accountants decide if you are worth saving.

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