'Unfortunately, colder baths are just logistically impossible. It would completely eliminate the “accessibility” feature.'

You need a bathtub and a large freezer. Common freezer bags will do for creating ice. A bathtub thermometer is also nice. I can send you a spreadsheet gizmo that calculates the temperature of the water depending on the tub volume, water starting temp and the mass of ice. If your tub has a whirlpool function, you can use it to melt the ice faster, which makes the water go cold faster. Being inside with the whirlpool on, you can go much more intense with the stimulis. Though that's varsity level.

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Sep 5, 2022·edited Sep 5, 2022Liked by Paul Ingraham

Interesting that your “cold baths” end up being between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius. As an avid swimmer in locales short of swimming places, I have had the opportunity to find what my limit is for swimming (in a regular bathing suit) in cold water. It turns out that I find 18 degrees more or less tolerable for quite a while, but that 16 degrees is definitely too cold for me, even when actively swimming. Needless to say, it is completely different from simply immersing oneself in a cold bath (never tried it myself), but SWIMMING in cold water in the same range of temperatures might be a slightly easier form of experimentation in the “try everything” mold.

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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Paul Ingraham

My physio is having me ice my lower back twice a day (not a hardship in Toronto weather) but I am not seeing the point. (Excessive neuropathic pain of recent origin in left foot plus exacerbation of numbness and bruisy pain in left thigh).

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Aug 3, 2022Liked by Paul Ingraham

Hiya Paul. I hope PTE is feeling like a sturdy enterprise, and that it leads to an A-ha! moment or three. We, your friends, are rooting for you! 💪💛🙏

There were previously more than 2 comments on this post, but now I can only see 2. I’m new to Substack so maybe this is normal, but I wanted to alert you in case it isn’t. If not, hopefully it’s an easy fix.

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About 12 years ago, at age 56, I had an unfortunate spinal surgery. The surgeon erroneously diagnosed me as having a benign cyst pressing on a nerve at around the L4/L5 junction. (It was probably a strained piriformis muscle as I had just started playing tennis without warming up or good glute musculature). Sadly, during the surgery when he couldn't reach his target (the tiny water cyst), he chose to clip out the lamina. Tragic. Of course, I subsequently developed severe spondylolisthesis, and a whole host of related painful side effects. I couldn't walk, sit, or lie down without agony.

I spent two years in a lot of pain; the horrible surgeon prescribed oxycontin (yes, I got to go down that road). Finally I shook off the fog and took control of the situation. Like you, I embarked on a Try Everything & Anything approach. And that is how I came across Pain Science on the internet and the beginning of my road to recovery.

So you, my friend, are my hero. I weaned myself off the pain meds; found a good p.t./orthopedic massage therapist who worked on my knotted muscles and a good p.t./trainer who is a disciple of Stuart McGill. It's been a long slow slog, but happy to report that while I still am Grade II (45%) spondylolisthesis, I can run/walk/hike/play tennis, mostly without pain. I just hiked the Mist Trail at Yosemite, up and down and back again.

I believe I've emailed and thanked you before. But now that you are on your own mission, I had to write and add my two cents. During my recovery, I experienced some of the same symptoms you are describing. Still in my 'try everything' frame of mind, I tried going gluten-free. I know, I know. But I now believe that gluten (or maybe the RoundUp in all wheat products) causes inflammation of fascial tissue. When I eat wheat products, that diffuse, hard-to-pinpoint pain reappears, especially in my legs. I lose energy and feel tired. Interestingly, one of my three daughters feels the same way and has become strictly gluten-free as a result...so there's that very unscientific back-up.

Try it. Be strict about it (it's not that hard) for at least a month, if not six weeks. 'Can't hurt, might help. I really want you to get the relief that you've given me. I'll pulling for you.

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