Anything actually work for low back pain?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by heycal, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. mikeespinmusic

    mikeespinmusic Rookie

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    This is my specialty. In your case, work your glutes for the sake of your back.

    And the neck pain is probably caused by you being too dominant with two muscles - Levator Scapulae and Upper trapezius. They're located either side of your neck. You need to work on pulling motions more to work your middle and lower trapezius more. Those have probably gotten weak due to the dominance. Make sure as you do pulling motions, that the upper traps and levator scap don't fire or "bulge out" when doing them. You're working on muscles that are located below these.

    As I can't physically see what you've got hurting you. That's the best I can say to help for now.


    Here's a post I was helping out someone with :) - Please read through it.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=452565


    Excerpt
    ---I'll try and sum it up quick for you.

    Slow and controlled movements are the key. Slow down all your glute exercises especially on the way back to the starting point. (e.g when you do a push up... you go up, then down.) Focus on going slow and controlled on the way down.

    Look up plenty of core stability exercises about keeping neutral spine.

    And of course balance work is good. Standing on one leg with your eyes shut is a good start. Also in your case, stretch your quads and calves more. Dont bother stretching your lower back or hamstrings.
     
  2. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, I may. I first want to try one though if possible. Hopefully I can find a store that lets me give one a whirl? One test run would probably tell me if it's something I'd hate or love.

    Thanks for the input. I can certainly believe problems exist in the trap area. One thing that bothers me is that I can't seem to find good ways to work my biceps or even shoulders without feeling that tug in the back of my neck/upper back. I even feel it with light weights once I approach failure and fatigue sets in. (Rows and chins don't bother me the same way for some reason).
     
  3. mikeespinmusic

    mikeespinmusic Rookie

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    dam...I guess that indicates how light load you'll need at first. There is one way to really go at it to help with that problem. But you're not gonna like it. Trigger point therapy. This is sometimes needed when its beyond reaping the benefits of stretching. And its sometimes even done to program the right neural patterns for a movement (correct muscles firing). Whats not fun about it is that it involves pain. The brain will shut down muscles in sections when they're in pain and thats the trick to it. You can do it by yourself to some degree but during a movement or exercise obviously another person will need to be doing it.

    Hopefully there might be some google stuff available on it. Let me know if there isn't. Long story short, you're basically jabbing a set of keys or fingers into a tight area and holding it until the pain fades away (muscle loosening off) and you have to keep at it day by day until you don't need it. Its more tricky when you're trying to correct a movement pattern like in your case :S

    For your back pain, there's always the possiblity that you may need to loosen off your ITB band (side of leg) with a foam roller. ITB friction syndrome can easily go unnoticed.
     
  4. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    heycal, sorry for coming late to the thread and not wading through all the posts but simple question you probably answered on page 2: is the pain in the midline (over the spine) or on either side of it?
     
  5. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I like the feel of trigger point actually, but seems rather complicated to perform correctly on oneself.

    LuckyR, the primary pain is in two places: 1) a near constant soreness/stiffness pretty much directly on the spine around T12-L1, which is sometimes momentarily excacerbated by certain movements like bending. 2) A more tender, only occasional muscle spasm like pain a few inches to the right of the spine in the lower thoracic upper lumbar area, the kind of thing where if you press it too hard I will jump half way across the room in pain.

    I also experience some upper thoracic soreness from time to time (not to mention stiffness in traps and neck area), but the main problems right now are lower.
     
  6. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Thanks. It seems like pain #2 is bothering you more, but I am more worried about pain #1. Pain 2 is likely muscular in origin (esp given your use of the word "spasm") and since this is a Tennis Forum, is likely from overuse/injury. As you are probably aware there are two popular theories as to why that happens and thus what the treatments are. The first is that your back muscles are weak and so you need to do back strengthening after the acute pain is over to prevent future episodes. The other is that your back is too strong (in comparison with your abs) so do back stretching and ab strengthening. I have had much, much better luck with the second regimen.

    Pain #1 is likely neither bony nor muscular, due to your age, lack of significant trauma and location. Sounds either of disc, cartilaginous or ligamental origin. I have no particular experience there.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I totally agree with crunches, pushups, planks and such + tennis :)

    Also, don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but:

    a) Do you have a hard mattress? I got the hardest in town== best investment in the house

    b) Do you sleep with a pillow between your legs? There are special ones, but any would do.

    c) Do you sleep on the side? Never on your tummy, nor on you back...

    Shoes? Gel, air etc.

    Get out of the chair each half an hour or so; go for long walks at lunch etc.

    Good luck!
     
  8. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Pain number 1 bothers me more, in that it's near constant. Pain 2 seems to come and go somewhat, or at least, often doesn't bother me unless someone touches it too hard. (I think my abs are pretty strong, and, like the other pain, could be posture related.)

    MRI's show disc and arthritis stuff up and down the spine, so I assume it's related to that.

    I've tried everything but the shoes here.
     
  9. mikeespinmusic

    mikeespinmusic Rookie

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    Please don't strengthen the lower back (erector spinae) muscles. And please don't do crunches for abs. This is now out dated. Too much lumbar flexion is bad for the intervertebral discs (water membranes) I can't think of sources off the top of my head here. But constant lumbar flexion is what makes a bad thing worse. Think of it like biting into a hamburger. The stuff inbetween gets pushed out the back and thats the majority of ab work.


    Pilates with slow and controlled exercises emphasising the glutes is what I strongly recommend first.
     
  10. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I would agree. Keep of flexion untill you are free of acute pain.
     
  11. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I get the 'avoid the flexion' thing. But don't strengthen the lower back muscles? Why not? It seems many back programs out there include some form of back strengthening.
     
  12. Dear Djordje

    Dear Djordje Rookie

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    Gotta flip that mattress once in a while; it works like magic!
     
  13. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Yes. Turn head end to the feet end.

    If you play tennis and stuff like that, your back is probably reasonably strong. It is more about not misusing, imo.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  14. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    So everyone from Egoscue to Yoga to Pilates to PT's who commonly include back strengthening exercises for back pain are all wrong?

    You may be right about this. I don't play a huge amount of tennis unfortunately, but I do work out. And many of the very types of exercises that are often prescribed for back pain sufferers are ones I have already been doing for years as a preventive and part of a core strengthening fitness program.

    So, if my back started hurting five years or so after I started doing bird dogs and alternates supermans, etc, what would make me think I could cure the pain just by doing more of the same exercises?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  15. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    zero gravity

    Anyone had any experience with those fancy zero gravity chairs?
     
  16. mikeespinmusic

    mikeespinmusic Rookie

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    The first two muscle groups that compensate for weak glutes are the hamstrings and the erector spinae (low back extension muscles)

    They're already going to be pretty strong. Working them will only cause them to be even more dominant over the weak glutes.
     
  17. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    heycal, I just responded to your email. Let me know if you have any questions.
     
  18. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    [QUOTE/]So, if my back started hurting five years or so after I started doing bird dogs and alternates supermans, etc, what would make me think I could cure the pain just by doing more of the same exercises?[/QUOTE]

    Isn't that Einstein's definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result...

    And if you're going to look down that rabbit hole, maybe a question you should consider is what if it isn't your back?

    Because if you've been treating the back and exercising/stretching the back; you've got all these tests and gizmos for your back, and it's still not "better", maybe it's time to look elsewhere in the body.

    You sound like an intelligent person, and you've been given some great advice from really smart people on this board (whether or not you've been following I don't know), and have hopefully seen some good medical professionals about your back. Don't you think if it was "just" your back, that you or they would have figured it out by now?

    I wish you luck in your search to relieve your pain.
     
  19. acura9927

    acura9927 Semi-Pro

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    I use one almost everyday, I swear by it. Had BP from my desk job and I hang upside down 15-30 mins each time. It works period.
     
  20. mikeespinmusic

    mikeespinmusic Rookie

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    Another possibility for back pain is Ilio Tibual Band Friction Syndrome (ITB Friction Syndrome)

    A foam roller using trigger point therapy concepts can help with this a lot too.
     
  21. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    What do you mean? What else might it be besides my back?

    Here are the known facts: I have back pain. I've had bad posture my whole life. MRI's of the spine show various issues known to cause pain, from arhritis to herniations. I've consulted a few different MD's, and not one said "Hmm. It's a mystery to me why you're in pain". (And none had any great advice beyond improving posture and PT).

    Given all that, what alternate theories for why I'm feeling pain in my back might me or some medical professional come up with?

    (I did read John Sarno's book about back pain being all in your head, but alas, it didn't take...)

    Finally tried one for 5 minutes at a store the other day. Felt okay, but didn't notice anything much afterward or the next day.

    When did you know it worked for you? I'd still tempted by it.

    Played around with one at the gym the other day, rolling on an area of my right glute i often feel a pain in. Felt pretty good, but didn't know what I was doing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  22. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Meanwhile, for the last 10 days I've done the exercises recommended in the back pain section of Pete Egoscue's book "Pain Free". Don't notice any difference unfortunately.

    Thinking of trying the "Foundation" stuff next.
     
  23. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Your symptoms are in your back. What if the cause of your symptoms was elsewhere in your body?

    For example, pull down on your shirt by your waist towards the floor. You can see and probably feel a little tension by your collar and neck, no?

    So you can treat the neck (symptom)all you want, and you might get a little relief, but unless you find the cause (the pulling down by your waist) in other areas which may be pulling onto the neck, you'll never fully resolve the issue.

    That's also what I meant in my last post. You've gotten all this great info from the professionals and others. They all seem to have it figured out what's wrong with you. All except what to do to resolve your issues.

    I'm sure that your pain that you feel is real.



    I doubt at this point since your condition is chronic, that any one modality will be a "miracle" cure. Everyone will be different and what works for someone may not work for you.


    That's part of my other point about the definition of insanity. All these exercises, what if it wasn't exercise that you needed? Maybe you'd need more of the soft tissue work that a foam roller can provide. Feeling good is always a good place to start. There are plenty of youtube videos on how to use a foam roller.

    I'm not claiming to have answers or to know better than what people have told you or what you've been feeling, I'm just maybe nudging you to look at your issue from a different perspective.
     
  24. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Easy Answer: Sleep on the floor for a couple months, you won't like it,
    but it will work.
     
  25. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    What perspective would you suggest I look at it from?

    Your post seems to imply in several places and in several ways that there is something suspicious or unusual about my situation.

    You do realize its incredibly common for people to have stubborn back pain for long periods of time, right? Seems like I'm one of millions who suffer or have suffered from chronic back pain, and not any sort of unusual head case or someone suffering from some weird physical condition located elsewhere in the body.

    I mean, just by reading this thread alone you'll hear the stories of several people who battled this problem for a long period of time and tried various things before they found the right treatment or program to improve their condition (or only had it improved through time alone, as in Morten's case.)

    If it were a guarantee, I'd do it in a second. But reluctant to spend sixty days sleeping on the floor only to conclude "Well, that didn't work..."

    It's tricky to decide what to do when you've got a couple of dozen different remedies you can try, and none are guaranteed to work for everyone. That's part of what's frustrating here.

    I will add 'sleep on the floor for a couple of months' to list of things I can try sometime. Probably some other things I'll try first though. After finishing ten days of back exercises from the "Pain Free" book by Pete Egoscue without improvement, the next one up will be the Foundation method that someone recommended in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  26. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Dr John Sarno has been treating patients with back problems for years..His theory is that a lot of back pain is real but self induced with TMS..Here is a good review of his book.The Mind Body Connection

    "Sarno's book helped me understand the cause of my back pain, but I was left with no clear steps to take to get rid of the pain."

    "Be warned -- there's no actual treatment plan in this book."

    "He doesn't tell you how to heal it (as the title suggests), but rather tries to drum into you the idea that you may, indeed, have his syndrome. After which you discover that the only way to heal it is through workshops/videos/personal consultations."

    "There's not one thing about his program. I certainly wouldn't have purchased it if I knew this wasn't his actual program, just a sales pitch for it. This was a waste of money."

    While other reviewers' critiques consisted of (inaccurately) boiling the method down to something like "If you're in pain, ask yourself what you're angry about and you will be healed."

    Well class, if you will kindly turn to page 70 in the book, as the table of contents suggests, here you will find the step-by-step method outlined under the unambiguously titled chapter called, "The treatment of TMS." Here are the steps, edited for brevity, for those of you who missed it, or haven't quite got the hang of learning how to read yet:

    © 1991 by John E. Sarno, M.D. Text quoted under fair use copyright law. No infringement is intended.

    The treatment program rests on two pillars:

    1. The acquisition of knowledge of insight into the nature of the disorder.

    2. The ability to act on that knowledge, and thereby change the brain's behavior. So, one must learn all about TMS. What actually causes the pain, and what part of the brain is responsible. Then one reviews the psychology of the disorder. The fact that we all tend to generate anger and anxiety in this culture, and that the more compulsive and perfectionistic of us generate a lot.

    3. What one must then do is develop the habit of "thinking psychological, instead of physical." I suggest to patients that when they find themselves being aware of the pain, they must consciously and forcefully shift their attention to something psychological. Perhaps, something they are worried about. A chronic family or financial problem. A recurrent source of irritation. Anything in the psychological realm. That sends a message to the brain that they are no longer deceived by the pain. When that message reaches the depths of the mind - the unconscious - the pain ceases.

    4. Talk to your brain. What one is doing is consciously taking charge, instead of feeling the helpless, intimidated victim which is so common in people with this syndrome. The person is asserting himself, telling the brain that he is not going to put up with this state of affairs. And it works. Patients report that they can actually abort an episode of pain by doing this.

    5. Resume all physical activity, including the most vigorous. Though it is often difficult, every patient has to work through his or her fear and return to full, normal physical activity. One must do this to liberate oneself from the fear of physical activity, which is often more effective than pain in keeping one's mind focused on the body. That is the purpose of TMS, to keep the mind from attending to emotional things. As Snoopy, the great contemporary philosopher once said, "There's nothing like a little physical pain to keep your mind off your emotional problems." I suggest to patients that they begin the process of resuming physical activity when they experience a significant reduction in pain, and when they are feeling confident about the diagnosis. One has to confront TMS - fight it - or the symptoms will continue. Losing one's fear and resuming normal physical activity is possibly the most important part of the therapeutic process.

    6. All forms of physical treatment or therapy must be abandoned. Conceptually, prescribing physical therapy contradicts what we have found to be the only rational way to treat the problem. That is, by teaching and through education, invalidating the process where it begins - in the mind.

    7. Review these 12 key thoughts at least once a day:

    1. The pain is due to TMS, not to a structural abnormality.
    2. The direct reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation.
    3. TMS is a harmless condition caused by my repressed emotions.
    4. The principal emotion is my repressed anger.
    5. TMS exists only to distract my attention from the emotions.
    6. Since my back is basically normal, there is nothing to fear.
    7. Therefore, physical activity is not dangerous.
    8. And I must resume all normal physical activity.
    9. I will not be concerned or intimidated by the pain.
    10. I will shift my attention from the pain to emotional issues.
    11. I intend to be in control, not my unconscious mind.
    12. I must think psychological at all times, not physical.

    Patients are then urged to give this information an opportunity to "sink in," to be integrated, to be accepted at an unconscious level. Conscious acceptance, though essential as a first step, is not sufficient to reverse the TMS.
     
  27. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    From the perspective that possibly your back pain may have other factors that may be contributing to you not being able to resolve things to your satisfaction.

    Did you not understand my pulling on the shirt analogy?

    From the perspective that how many exercise based treatment programs will you attempt before realizing the possibility that maybe it isn't exercise that's what's needed to resolve things to your satisfaction.

    From what I've read about your complaints and findings, I don't find anything unusual or suspicious. Which is my point that if nothing seems unusual, but yet my pain persists despite me doing logical treatments, maybe you should look elsewhere? Try something else?

    I'm aware of the statistics of the general term "low back pain".

    While I believe there's always a mental/emotional component to any sort of chronic pain, I never said you were a head case or have a weird physical condition.

    There's never any guarantee with any kind of therapy modality for pain. If there was, there wouldn't be those millions of people suffering.
    But I can sympathize with your reluctance and frustration.

    You've already been told and you can feel that you've got bad posture. Isn't it possible that some aspect of your bad posture can be impeding the success of the exercises that you're trying? If exercise is even the answer?

    There was another thread somewhere in these forums where someone was complaining about pain/discomfort/numbness in their hand or elbow. Someone with similiar complaints mentioned that doing trigger point release on their shoulder blade region had successfully resolved their symptoms.

    Isn't it possible that there may be something related like that in terms of your back pain? Finding the pain, but looking elsewhere for the cause.
     
  28. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I read Sarno's book and it was good and somewhat helpful. I will try one more time to help those with back problems. Buy the course at lose the backpain.com, and say goodbye to your back problems.

    I was having back pain that at first it was once a year, then twice, then 3 times a year at least. I would go to my doctor get anti inflammatory' prescription and after a week it would go away.

    But it would come back and I knew I could not be living on the drugs. So I researched a lot on back pain and purchased some books and courses. None worked that good until I purchased the course from lose the backpain.com.

    That was 10 years ago and have not had any back problems that stopped me from playing tennis and needing prescriptions.
    I do still need to do the course at least 5 days a week to stay pain free. Which takes about 5 minutes a day and can be done right in your living room.

    The only time I have any pain that is more than just some normal stiffness is when i forget to do the exercises for to many days in a row.

    Believe me I have no profit to gain from this, but when something works this well and is very simple and inexpensive I want other people to benefit as I did.

    Because I know first hand how much chronic back pain can ruin your life. If anyone here try's their coarse I would like to hear how it works for you.
     
  29. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I'm certainly open to trying something else, hence me starting this thread in the first place.

    As the posters in this thread can attest, sometimes many different programs or treatments -- almost all them 'logical' -- must be tried before success comes. This also includes many exercise based programs that I have not tried yet.

    But your advice is sounding something like "You've already tried 4 out of the 2 dozen exercise or PT based approaches recommended for back pain. Don't you think you should assume the other 20 exercise or PT based ones you haven't tried yet won't work either, and do something entirely different?"

    To which I'd say, No, not necessarily. The answer may still be an exercise based solution. Or it may not. But I don't see how you think I'm going about all this in the wrong way, or from the wrong perspectives. Believe me, I'm open to non-exercise based solutions. In fact, I was hoping I was going to be one of those people who claim they got better just from reading Sarno's book alone, but no go...

    What complicates matters is the sheer number of approaches, sifting through them and figuring out what and when and how and for how long to experiment with them: I mean, one can hardly try Egoscue, Yoga, Sarno, Pilates, Trigger Point, Gluten Free diet, foam rollers, Foundation method, Losethebackpain.com, The 7 minute back pain solution, a new mattress, a flipped mattress, sleeping on the floor, a nada chair, gels in shoes, a back brace, etc, all at the same time, ya know?

    I've been in similar position before with tennis elbow. Hurt for about a year. Tried all sorts of things. Finally improved after a long time, though I'm not sure why it did.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  30. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Take this up with RogueFLIP. He seems to suggest it won't work for me since it is exercised based.
     
  31. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    heycal,

    Here is a thing that you may want to keep in mind. To improve your lower back pain or other nagging injuries, you would really need to focus on correcting your posture first. We need to look at your body as a whole.

    I'm not sure what type of resistance training you are doing now but it is difficult for your body to perform the way it is intended to function with an imblance posture...in other words, it may even hurt you indirectly long term. A great analogy I like to use is to imagine your car having a bad wheel alignment, your front tires will wear out unevenly and eventually would be damaged and will need replacement much sooner than their life expectancy...(lower back, knees etc). The bad news is our body parts are not like tires, we can't just go buy a new set from the store so we need to make out last. Even if you have your wheel alignment done, you would still need to do it again every so often because we can hit speed bumps or pot holes and knock our alignment off balance again.

    Your body works pretty much the same way as far as needing to be balanced and aligned. If you are sitting, sloughing, flexed hips and having your neck forward looking at computer all day. You are off balance as you may already know and that is a main issue right now. Luckily you don't have any major damage to your lower back but if you do not fix your posture now it will eventually cause more problems.

    I am not sure if this is an option for you but I would consider hiring a certified personal trainer in your area who specializes in Posture corrective (Corrective Exercise Specialist by NASM would be a big plus) at least for a couple of sessions. He or she can help you design your resistance training program that will help you long term. For that alone may even improve your lower back/neck pain. If having a qualified trainer is not an option, I'm sure there are many other resources out there...books, on line info etc.

    Definitely adding in the 4 four minute Foundation training video exercises 2 or 3 times a day would be great but I would cycle through these basic exercises two or more times per each session depending on how you feel. So your total each session should be about 10 mins. I would at least buy their book first before starting the 12 mins routine. You need to make sure that you have mastered all the basic movements so to be sure you are able do the movements without compensation and creating other issues. I really think the book would be helpful for you. The workout break down to 3 different levels...basic,moderate and intense workout. I started with a basic workout with 5 different exercises and cycle through them 2-3 times and kept it under 15 mins. They recommend to stay on the "basic" for 2 weeks but I stayed on it for at least a month. They are challenging but I really feel such a difference afterwords. I would do it first thing in the morning because I felt it increased my body awareness and helps me turn on all my switches on the right muscles and programed my body to move well through out the day. I would do it a couple more times through out the day. I was in so much pain that I was having a hard time getting in and out of the car. I was improving pretty quickly but was not completely pain-free for couple of months. I am now pain-free for the past 6 months and I credit this to the Foundation training. My tennis elbow even went away and I believe that with my new stronger and better posture helps me to engage more of my upper back/rear delts when I hit with one handed backhands taking stress away from my elbow. I'm only in my mid 40's and to stop being active is not an option Lol.

    Also the back of the book has a nice Foam roller workout which is really helpful.
     
  32. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, powerofchoice. I appreciate your input on all this.

    I intend to start the foundation stuff tomorrow. I will report back on how it goes.
     
  33. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Heycal, I tend to agree with power's post that posture can be a major factor in correcting chronic pain, not just for the lower back.

    Does his tire/alignment analogy make sense to you?

    Did my pulling on the shirt analogy make sense to you?


    You don't see how because I wasn't trying to tell you that you were doing anything wrong. I was just trying to see if you could see your situation in a different perspective, that's all. "Different" and "wrong" are not the same.
     
  34. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    They pretty much are the same. If there was nothing "wrong" with the way I was going about things, you wouldn't suggest a "different" way, would you? But whatev...

    Yes, it did.

    And I've always believed posture plays an important role in this stuff.

    In any case, I do appreciate your posting your thoughts on all this.
     
  35. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Well, then I'll apologize because my intention was not to make it seem that I thought you were wrong.

    If those analogies make sense to you, then I guess in some round about sense I have made my point.

    I'm not sure I would have stayed the course if I was in your situation...

    But I respect your persistence on the path that you've chosen, and I've said before I can sympathize with your situation and frustration.

    I wish you luck on your journey and I hope you find what you're looking for.
     
  36. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I'm not sure what you're talking about. I don't know what course I've stayed on, or what path I've chosen. Please enlighten me?

    Aftering trying the Egoscue method for 10 days, I'm going to abandon that course and try a new path: The Foundation method.

    What other course or path might you suggest I choose instead, or would you choose if you were in my position? Please talk in specifics, not just recommend "a different perspective" or something.
     
  37. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    I probably would have gone to a manual based therapy approach sooner.

    Knowing that I had bad posture and chronic pain, finding a manual therapist whether that's a PT, OT, massage therapist, chiro or what have you that understands the relationship between them, would look beyond my symptoms and try to find the cause of my symptoms in a more global fashion.

    Listen to what my body is telling me. Hmmm, doing these exercises didn't seem to help.

    Wait, doing that foam roller felt good...perhaps I should see how I can use that to maybe help me.
     
  38. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I have been going to a PT, who is doing some hands on stuff. Don't know if they have the magic answer either. (And very leery of chiropractors -- just seems kind of scammy to me. And already blew a grand on worthless accupuncture for my neck issues awhile back).

    As for the exercises that didn't seem to help, did you miss the part that said I stopped doing most of them? I've tried a couple of different methods (McKenzie, Egoscue) and stopped them when it seemed to me they weren't working.

    As for the foam roller, that did feel good for a specific tender area of my right glute, which -- by listening to my body -- I don't think is connected to my back pain.

    Also, not sure if "feeling good" from a treatment is necessarily a good guide for success anyway. Ice and heat feel good (as do the McKenzie exercises and many other stretches), but don't solve the problem.

    I think the global problem I have is posture and arthritis related. I don't think any smoking gun is going to turn up at this point. (I remember one doctor saying something like "You've got a bad back. It's common and not the end of the world. But nothing much is gonna change that. Life your life, and take anti-inflammatories for the pain". I'm hoping she is wrong about not being able to 'change' that.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  39. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    There is no magic answer. There are no guarantees.


    I'd be curious to what the PT's "some hands on stuff" is. Joint mobs? Massage? Soft tissue mobs? I guess I'm not really asking you specifically as I don't expect you to know their classifications of "manual therapy".

    Let me venture a guess of how a typical PT session goes for you. Please of course, add/delete/correct anything I missed or am wrong about.

    15-20' of heat/ice with/without e-stim
    5' ultrasound
    5-20' of "manual therapy" to symptom areas. Which I'll include passive range of motion, manual stretching, joint mobilization, massage or soft tissue mobs, muscle energy techniques, ART or any combo.
    30-45' exercise in the gym. Exercise for core or back stabilization or generalized strengthening conditioning geared for back pain.
    5-10' stretching either by self or PT
    10' ice and or heat

    I think I'm most curious about on average the time the PT actually has their hands on you. And what they were doing to you if you had any idea.

    Oh and how many patients they have scheduled to treat per hour; if you know.

    Thanks.
     
  40. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Well, perhaps you could take note that maybe if it helped for your glut, finding out proper instructions so you could apply the same principles to your back/other areas....if not with a foam roller, with perhaps a tennis ball or a softer ball.




    What is your criteria for a good guide for success?




    Since you're aware of your postural issues, is your PT doing anything manual or exercise to address it?

    Totally disagree with that doctor's comments.
     
  41. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    The hands on stuff includes what the girl calls spinal mobilizations (basically pressing into my back while I do extensions) and myofascial release, wherein she pushes/pull my muscles apart or whatever. The session also includes ultrasound and TENS.

    I skip the ice, heat, and stretching stuff during the visits, feeling (as you seem to imply) that it is a waste of time essentially. I'm only interested in the things I can't do myself.

    Make no mistake: I'm no fan of PT or think it will do that much, but it's free and my attitude is "I'll get what I can out of it, but realize I'll probably have to solve this myself or some other way".

    PT, like everyone else, recommends this, that, or the other thing to improve posture. The usual recommendations, which I find very hard to accomplish and sustain. (Sitting properly, standing properly, sleeping properly, etc).

    I have played around with a tennis ball and self massage in the past. It can feel ok sometimes, but no cure-all.

    As for my "criteria for a good guide to success", it's pretty simple: an improvement in symptoms that lasts for more than a couple of minutes. Some sort of ongoing progress towards feeling better. (Partly why I skip heat and ice -- I'm not very interested in temporary feel good stuff.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  42. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Basically, I'm a soft tissue (fascia) guy. I strongly believe most problems have some sort of fascial restriction component to them, and without resolving these restrictions, especially in chronic pain patients, that's why problems can linger, spread, and have a hard time resolving.

    There are of course, multiple factors going into chronic pain, but strictly talking about the physical body, I believe since the fascial system surrounds everything else (nerves, muscles, organs, etc), it's the common denominator and quite often is the "missing link" towards resolving chronic pain.

    That being said, I'm not anti-exercise or anti-modalities, etc...these are wonderful tools and have helped many people resolve their issues.

    There's a big difference between your PT doing a technique or two of myofascial release and getting treated by someone who practices it solely.

    As I said before, I really hope you find what you're looking for.


    But, if you are unable to resolve things on your own, and you want to recon a different path, try researching a bit on myofascial release. There's many different ways to do myofascial release, I tend to be biased towards the John Barnes method of myofascial release.

    If by reading/researching myofascial release, if any of their literature resonates with you, by all means get in touch with a therapist and they can answer any questions you might have. I can answer any questions you have about MFR, but you'll get a quicker answer if you can get in touch with a therapist.

    But remember, not a magic pill. No guarantees. Just a different approach.

    Good luck.
     
  43. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Beds

    I don't have any scientific evidence but believe that Select Comfort adjustable air beds may offer some different loading of the hips and spine, especially when sleeping on the side, and that it may relieve back stress.

    One was recommended to us by a person with back problems as having a positive effect on her back. We got one and found that it was more comfortable and we believe that it relieves back & hip stress. Someone that we recommended it to also liked it for her back.

    If you think about someone sleeping on their side their weight has to be supported more so by the hips and shoulders because they are prominent. The hips especially elevate and that puts a curve into the spine. The degree of curvature also loads the vertebrae unevenly causing more pressure on one side of the discs. But the curvature depends on how much the mattress conforms to the hips, shoulders and chest. The SC bed has a controller to vary the air pressure of each side of the bed so that it can be adjusted from very hard to very soft.

    Disclosure - After buying a Select Comfort bed I bought some SC stock.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  44. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    All this sounds plausible from my limited experiences with it and from the reading I've done on it in the past. That said, it doesn't sound particularly more plausible or compelling than some of the other recommendations for curing pain.

    I do appreciate the suggestion, and it will certainly add it to the list of things I could try. Thanks.

    This is a different bed than the one recommended earlier in the thread, correct? (I think that was a serta comfort.)

    The challenging part of sleeping for me is maintaining a good position once I fall asleep. If one moves around while sleeping, it seems any various mattress settings would be rendered useless or worse, no?
     
  45. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    Super slow nautilus back extensions, warmup amd 1 set to failure in good form with no swinging, then put a peppermint oil lotion mixed with DMSO or glucosamine on your back.

    Ice and heat alternate. Don't overtrain, walk , have fun, strengthen your stomach muscles with regular ab crunches
     
  46. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ the glucosamine is an especially inspired touch. Since the nucleus pulposus (the herniated disk, the most common offender in lower back pain) contains collagen, why not help it grow even larger so it can compress spinal nerves even more!!
     
  47. RiggensAuroraHO

    RiggensAuroraHO Rookie

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    Sometimes nothing works. Barely worked for the past five years.

    Had open surgery when it was supposed to be minimally invasive because I used to deadlift and power clean crazy heavy so the surgeon couldn't get around all of the excessive ligament growth I developed. He cut away so much ligament to get to the disk that five years later, almost to the day today, I have scoliosis to the point that my L4/5 are touching on one side, squeezing the nerve. Going back under the knife in ten days, getting dynamic rod fusion via XLIF and AxiaLIF.

    Sheeeeeet Happens....
     
  48. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    haven't browsed the entire thread but I've had lower back pain and an inversion table did wonders. Still hurts a bit but it really worked well each time I was on it. I think most of my knee and back problems are because of my weak legs.

    When I've spent the time to strengthen the lower body everything felt great. Course I've got a little apathetic and pains have returned.
     
  49. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Hi Power, can you send me your email or phone# i have some questions on this Thanks, comeback@safe-mail.net
     
  50. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    Email sent.
     

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