Cowles Mountain October 13, 2014 Trip Report
© October 2014 Adam Helman
"Miraculous Recovery"

I have lumber spinal stenosis that presents as sciatica below the left knee. I have been unable / unwilling to climb anything for nearly three months - hoping that a combination of exercise and chiropractor "adjustments" will suffice for a return to normalcy.

On Friday the chiropractor added to my regimen lying upside-down on a tilting chair - this is inversion. Actually, the chair is tilted somewhat less than 90° as I hang by my feet for ten minutes with brief rest periods.

Last night I performed tasks before retiring for 30 consecutive minutes, standing and walking, without leg pain.

This afternoon I exercised on my home treadmill, walked up and down the local hill, stood wearing a heavy backpack and more for 90 consecutive minutes - without leg pain.

Encouraged, I visited the chiropractor to share my windfall. Although I did not anticipate it he "adjusted" me - and then specified 15 minutes on the inversion table.

On leaving his office it's around 4 p.m. Not wishing to wait until morning for testing myself on a mountain I hastily prepare my pack and drive to nearby Cowles Mountain for another assessment. The traffic is heavy, and I think this is unusual for a Sunday late afternoon. Then I recall it's actually Monday of the three day Columbus Day weekend - and I have unwittingly joined the evening rush hour traffic.

I begin the hike just before sundown, with a moderate-sized daypack and without having taken any pain medicine. My 900 feet of gain over 1.5 miles is pain-free clear to the summit.

I am most gratified by this observation, and perform the evening prayers, in Hebrew, appropriate for the current Feast of Tabernacles. My tattered sunhat serves as yamulka (ritual Jewish skullcap).

Many hikers are about, many speaking Spanish as some major hispanic communities are close-by. I must have appeared strange, facing east and mumbling into a tiny book by headlamp...

The descent is also pain-free, and I return home around 8 p.m. for a nice evening meal and more.

It's suddenly clear that I can resume mountain climbing without resort to injections - let alone surgery. The combination of home exercises and chiropractor visits has worked well.