Most helpful positive review
175 of 176 people found the following review helpful
Nubax actually worked for me... thankfully!
on January 1, 2011
I don't usually do reviews, but in this case I'll make an exception. For the record, I have no association or relationship of any kind with any of the companies, including Amazon or Nubax, I'm just a consumer who bought this product, and I'm willfully sharing my experience.
WHY I BOUGHT THE NUBAX
What led me to buy this product is pain and fear. I'm in my late 40's, and have suffered with chronic back pain for close to 10 years. Every 8-16 months I would go through a period of debilitating back pain, which would last 3-6 weeks. My family doctors always wrote it off as muscular, based on X-rays, and they always simply prescribed pain killers and muscle relaxers.
About 4 months ago I woke up one morning virtually unable to move. My lower back was so painful I couldn't even walk. My family doctor phoned in the prescription for the usual pain medication and muscle relaxers. After a week or so, the pain subsided slightly, enough to let me walk, but the problem wasn't going away this time. Worse, it was starting to affect my entire right side, including my shoulder and my right hip and leg. I was scared. That led to an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. At first his opinion was lumbardosis, but I pressed for facts not guesswork, and he sent me for an MRI. The results were very surprising, to me and my orthopedic surgeon; three herniated discs in my lower back (L6/L5, L5/L4, L4/L3), very clearly visible in the MRI. This explains my chronic back aches.
So, the doc prescribed physio-therapy, daily exercise, pain killers and muscle relaxers. His advise was do the exercises, and when I feel pain coming on take the meds. He further told me that there is no getting better. My only hope, provided I do the exercises religously, is that it won't get much worse. In his expert opinion, there is no way to reverse the damage of herniated discs. More concerning, he told me it was likely that it will get worse, and that I will eventually need epidural injections in the spine. GREAT!
That's where my journey to find some long-term relief began. I surfed the web and talked to people, and eventually came to believe that traction was the best option. That led to two choices, inversion table or home-based traction devices like the Nubax. I was a little hesitant about inversion, I'm not very keen on hanging upside down. So I decided to start with the Nubax instead.
Now, bear in mind that I had been doing daily back exercises for 2 years, and after my last episode of debilitating back pain I was in worse shape than ever before. The worst pain was getting up from a sitting position, and standing or walking. The day the Nubax arrived I was unable to stand or walk for more than 10-15 minutes without having to sit down and stretch my back to relieve the pain.
I immediately started using the Nubax, two to three times daily, 3-minutes at a time. At first, I could feel some limited relief, but nothing earth shattering. I wasn't sure I would keep the device. After about 2 weeks of continued use I experienced my first back crack (more like a little crackle), and suddenly my back felt a little better. This was very encouraging. After continued use I had another crack every five to seven days, each time I felt like I had taken a step forward in pain relief. Now, after using the device for approximately one month, I truly feel like I've made significant progress. I'm not healed, by any stretch of the imagination, but for the first time in years I now feel like there is some hope that I won't be crippled in my old age. I can actually stand and walk for more than half an hour now, with very little pain. I can push it to an hour if I do a little stretching to keep my back loose. In fact, during the Christmas holiday I stood for several hours cooking the holiday dinner. This may not seem like much to most people, but it was a heaven-sent gift to me. The progress I've made so far was certainly worth the price of the device.
I have discovered some things that can make using the Nubax a little better, easier. Maybe these will help you.
1- Wear loose clothing, or wear as little as possible on your torso. I prefer shirtless. The clothing can actually restrict your movement and limit the stretch you get. Belts also get in the way and will pinch your skin as you use the device, so take them off before you start.
2- Use a timer, and try to stay in the device for two to three full minutes each time. I use the countdown timer function on my blackberry, but an egg time or any timer with a bell or chime will do.
3- If you don't have a carpeted area where you can use the Nubax, use a folded towel or blanket under your knees so it is more comfortable. Make sure it is not too thick and that it doesn't slip, otherwise you'll find yourself slipping forward as you use it.
4- At first I found the device awkward to use, and it was very uncomfortable, even painful, on my shoulders. I then developed a technique where I position the back of my upper arms against the pads, with my wrists on the handle bars. This takes the pressure off the shoulders, and greatly reduced (not eliminated) the pain on my shoulders.
5- I use the Nubax two or three times daily, every morning after I do my back exercises, and then again as the very last thing I do before I go to bed at night (this is recommended by the manufacturer). The stretch before bed is vital because apparently it lets your back stay loose throughout the night without gravity compressing your spine. When time permits, I use the Nubax when I get home from work or at midday if I'm home.
6- Concentrate on loosening your back while you use the Nubax, and try to concentrate your stretch on your lower back. It took me while to get it right, and music or an iPod may help. You'll notice yourself slowly sinking lower and lower throughout the exercise as you loosen up.
7- Drink lots of water, apparently it helps to hydrate your discs in your spine, and improves disc healing (I was told this by a chiropractor and by my orthopedic surgeon).
Like most people have noted, the device itself is pretty simple, and the total sum of the materials is probably not more than about $50. It's not flimsy or anything, but certainly could have been made with heavier and better materials. Furthermore, the design could likely be improved and the whole device could be made to be more ergonomic and comfortable. That is the reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 4. But, with that said, I am glad I bought it, and I intend to continue using it for a long time, maybe for the rest of my life.
A word of caution to anyone reading this. Don't take this, or any other testimonial, as fact that this device will cure your ailment. My experience is my own, whether real or imagined, and there is no assurance that you will have the same experience as I have. No one can guarantee that you will feel better from using this device. My only suggestion is that you evaluate this info, along with other research, and decide for yourself if you think this device can help you. Honestly, I haven't even thrown out the box yet, in case I change my mind. But that is very unlikely now.
I hope you find this review useful, and more importantly I hope you find relief for your back. There are few things I know of that are worse than a back pain.