Re: Relation between heel spur & calcium channel blocker?

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Posted by Barbara on August 24, 1998 at 23:41:00:
Dear Bruce,
Thought you'd be interested in the following.
If interested further, call GoldenRule Ent. at 1-800-701-1959
for they have been monitoring this for over ten years.

Here is the testimonial I promised to send you, sorry for the length, but we send our testimonials unedited and with the sender's permission.-Barbara
Date: Mon, Jun 8, 1998 9:48 PM EDT

Please do spread it around. Post it on the internet if you'd like.

> Marty what a wonderful testimony, thanks, would you mind if we shared this
> with others.

Bone Spur Testimony

Anybody who is diagnosed with a bone spur problem, also anybody who has back or sciatic pain that doesn't respond to physical therapy may be helped by this letter.

I have had occasional back problems for most of my adult life. (I'm in my fifties.) I could go months or even years without a problem, then I'd bend down to feed the dog (or do something similar) and my back would go out, causing me months of pain and/or discomfort.

During one of those periods 20 or so years ago I went to a doctor who gave me a series of back strengthening exercises. I'm not very "exercise oriented" but I would do them occasionally, mostly after a minor back-pain incident, and they seemed to speed up the healing process.

One of the exercises on the chart was not recommended for people with sciatic pain. I was unable to do this exercise, making it obvious that I had some kind of sciatic sensitivity in addition to my weak back. (Sciatic pain is a pain that runs down the back of your leg.) In thinking back, I had always had at least a minor discomfort that ran from my buttocks and down my thigh. I just never thought much about it until a year or so ago when it flared up and became more persistent and painful. This seemed to be full-blown sciatica, unrelated to my back (or so I thought).

My current doctor sent me to a physical therapist, but after weeks of trying various things, the sciatic discomfort just kept getting worse. It was difficult finding a position to stand in or to sit in to relieve the pain. I discovered that straight back chairs were my best bet for taking the pressure off the sciatic nerve (or whatever was causing this pain) so I went out and bought a bunch of used old wooden straight back chairs, one for every room in the house.

I was walking in a weird, ultra upright position in order to minimize the pain. Finally the physical therapist realized that nothing she could do was helping me and she recommended several back specialists, one of which I went to.

The new doctor ran me through some tests and concluded that I probably had a pinched nerve or a spinal bone spur that had caused a nerve to become inflamed. This was the first time I had heard the term "bone spur." She put me on a regular regimen of super-sized ibuprofen to relieve the inflammation and she sent me to another physical therapist who was going to try to come up with an exercise that might possibly take the stress off the problem area, allowing the inflammation to go away. I was told that this whole process sometimes worked and sometimes didn't.

On my own I did some research into bone spurs and learned some interesting things. It appears that the body needs a lot more calcium than most people think. Calcium is not just for strong bones and health teeth and all those things we think in terms of. EVERY function of the human body requires calcium, and when there's not enough calcium to go around, the body will sometimes leech it out of our bones! This is what causes bone spurs to occur...little bumps or protrusions in certain bones. Typically, we don't notice these eruptions unless they're in a place that impedes us in some way, like on the heel. But they can occur anywhere, even on the spine, where we have thousands (millions? I'm not a doctor) of nerves threading through a series of very narrow openings. If a bone spur erupts in one of those tiny spaces you get a pinched nerve, and depending on where that nerve runs, you'll have pain that won't necessarily be localized along your spine or your lower back. It can run down your leg, as in sciatic pain. Or it can even manifest itself in other areas.

Now, I didn't think that this was my problem. I've always taken a lot of vitamins, and since I consume hardly any dairy products, I would often chew on Tums (or one of those calcium rich mints).

This is getting to be a very long letter so I'll cut to the chase. Weeks more of physical therapy and an expensive M.R.I. confirmed my doctor's theory...I had a bone spur AND a pinched nerve on either side of one of those little spinal conduits.

MEANWHILE...after reading about bone spurs...learning about how properly absorbed calcium can conceivably reduce or even "melt away" bone spurs...and coming upon a testimonial letter on the internet (similar to this one but, mercifully, much shorter) recommending a particular calcium/magnesium formula made by Shaklee, I put myself on a calcium/magnesium regimen as recommended by the Shaklee distributor. (Sounds strange, but I was desperate, and physical therapy was getting me nowhere. My doctor's conclusion: operate or learn to live with it.)

I was taking 16 pills a day, every day, and after around 45 days I began to feel results. At this point I had once again given up on physical therapy. Also, I found I could ease up on the ibuprofen. After that things happened rather quickly. After 60 days of the calcium magnesium therapy I was dramatically improved. After 120 days I'd say that I was back to normal, but that would be an understatement. The mild sciatica that I'd had my entire life was gone! Today I take 3 pills with each meal...9 a day...and I haven't had a new back incident since.

A few caveats. Calcium is not easily absorbed by the body. The type of calcium used by Shaklee (dicalcium phosphate...a form of calcium I haven't seen in any other supplement) in combination with the other ingredients in the Shaklee pills (magnesium oxide and vitamin D) is apparently more useful to the body than other calcium formulations on the market. After what it did for me I would not use or recommend anything else.

That's my story. If you have any questions I can be reached at my email address:

Marty Pekar

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