I've posted a couple of times, asking questions about my bulging L5-S1 disc. I think I may have discovered a couple of useful things that might help some others with similar injuries.
The week before Thanksgiving was a rough one. My problem is generally confined to the low back, with no real nerve involvement. So that week was marked by a flareup of low back pain. Previously I had resorted to more physical measures to try and calm the flareup - things like more stretching. In particular I had been using an inversion table, thinking that it would help. Well, to make a long story short, I've concluded that it was making me worse. I swore off the inversion table that week because inverting was causing me some discomfort. And guess what? December was a pretty darn good month. So for now I have to say that inversion hurts me - it does not help me.
The next thing I have to endorse is more walking. I can recall the day after Thanksgiving, still feeling sore, but nevertheless taking a ~2 mile walk. As the walk progressed I began to feel better, until there was no pain. I've experienced this before, by the way. So walking gets the thumbs up.
One last thing - I happened to tune in to the Dr Oz show that weekend. He was touting the benefits of "Devils Claw" for back pain. I did some reading on the web and found there was indeed some evidence to suggest it was nearly as effective as Celebrex for inflammation. No real side effects, either. So I have been taking it every day for the last month and I have not touched a Celebrex.
All in all, I can't say any of the above is conclusive evidence, but it sure does suggest the changes I have made did me some good. And of course I can't say for sure that, for instance, the Devils Claw made a big difference, but I am sure going to keep taking it. Those who do recommend it say you should take it every day, whether you have pain or not, as it takes weeks to build its effectiveness.
Anyway, I hope the above is useful. Hopefully I can keep improving with this regimen. It's been a long 2 year battle, and there have been several times I thought I had turned the corner. Maybe this time I can stay around the corner....
I have been taking 960 mg twice daily. I've read that you should try to get about 50 mg per day of the active ingredient (harpagoside) - that's about what you get from ~2000 mg of the herb. This seems to work for me, and my bodyweight is about 190 lbs.
It can't hurt to give it a try, and if you search the web for devils claw back pain you'll see quite a few references that suggest it does indeed help.