stretch exercises for back pain
Personal Training Success Story Santa Fe – Brian
Yipe! That is the sound Brian makes at the end of a class right before the wall stretch happens (L5/S1 ELDOA). This epitomizes what Brian is about. He is the ultimate dichotomy, a structured gypsy. He embraces both his mountaineering free spirit and team athlete mentality of making sure he puts in the work.
Brian graced Santa Fe with his presence about 4 years ago after growing up in Colorado, being a mountaineer for 20 some years, and working as contractor in Seattle. He has already lived a full life and wants to continue to do so, so when his back pain started up he started looking for answers.
You see after years of climbing up mountains and working with his hands Brian developed a lot of back pain to the point where he was in a lot of pain. You wouldn’t know it from his super positive, engaging, and happy demeanor but there were times when he would be down for the count for 4-6 weeks with back pain.
He fortuitously came to us when we needed some men for an ELDOA class that we were doing a photo shoot for. He was friends with the photographer and heard it was a class for back pain and was down to try anything that would fix it.
During that first class he was in shock (like everybody) about how challenging these simple looking postures were. But after the class he (like everybody) felt fantastic. He felt that he had finally found what he had been looking for and joined our class.
It has been over two years that Brian has been with us and his results have been remarkable. I’ll let him tell you in his own words, but because of that free spirit, joy and the hard work he puts in, Brian is our January Member of the Month.
1) What made you decide you wanted/needed to start a program?
My back pain was so bad that I was being knocked out of my life for 4-6 week blocks. I couldn’t do anything. This started infrequently, but was getting more frequent.
2) What did you do before?
Well, at the start I just pushed through it because it wasn’t that bad, but as time went on, it was becoming unbearable. I tried everything. I went to Yoga classes, worked out, and did those 10-pack Rolfing sessions they recommend.
3) What results have you achieved since starting your program that you are proud of? My back pain is pretty much nonexistent. I feel so much more aware in my body and I feel much stronger.
4) Do you have a favorite exercise? Least? What do you like or don’t like about them? The Frogs are really challenging, but I know that they are good for me. The wall stretch is great. I feel really good right after I do it.
5) What are some challenges or goals you are currently working on?
I would like to continue to get stronger and have more freedom in my body.
6) What do you like best about our program/ having a trainer? I love the personal attention and the fact that this program really works!
7) What advice would you give to the other SolCore Fitness members?
Just keep coming and do what you can each day.
8) What would you say to someone on the fence about joining our program?
If you put in the work this program works.
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ELDOA, Along With A Holistic Personal Training Program Will Eliminate Back Pain.Being in the health and fitness field and helping people get rid of back, neck and hip pain, I get a lot of articles sent my way for examination. And I love it! So keep them coming. I love reading about what is going on in all corners on the health and fitness field(s). I really appreciate that people are trying to learn more and are looking for solutions outside of surgery and consistent pain medications. This article is influenced by an article published in the Wall Street Journal about back pain. You can see the WSJ article here: ( http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-help-for-back-pain-1448311243 ).
A little Backgound On When I Had Back PainSolCore Fitness Personal Training Santa Fe was birthed out of the necessity. I had back pain from a pinched L4-L5 vertebrae and intermittent Sciatic pain. I tried medications (knowing full well it wouldn’t cure me), chiropractic (helped for a week or so), yoga (didn’t work and made it worse) and some physical therapy exercises that also didn’t work and made it worse. And even though I had all these failures I knew that there had to be some way to “put myself back together.”
Enter ELDOA.Because of the belief that I could put myself together, I found a program called Soma Training/Therapy, which contains ELDOA. This program completely blew what I knew out of the water and got rid of my back pain. Prior to finding this system, I did what most people did and used general formulaic answers to problems that arose for myself and my clients. But after getting hurt and seeing that this formulaic way of thinking wasn’t working, I was forced to find what would work consistently. Which brings me to the article. The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that people are realizing consistent surgery and medications are not the way. It has been said that only 1% of the people who go in for back surgery even need it. This article ( http://www.nbcnews.com/id/39658423/ns/health-pain_center/t/back-surgery-may-backfire-patients-pain/#.Vxu1iZMrLeQ ) talks about how surgery is being used as a cure-all and as a bi-product for pain medication (particularly opioids). But it’s not working. And as the article just prior states, it is really hard to see the cause of back pain from an MRI. Further, if you are looking at a person 30 years old or older, you are going to see some sort of damage to the spine. The problem is that the observed damage is generally asymptomatic and/or is not the root cause of the pathology. The idea should be to look at the body holistically, to see how multiple different factors are playing into the issue. Once you do this, you can start to think about using specific stretches and exercises to normalize (correct) the different areas that are causing the imbalanced body. And when you talk of specifics you must take into the consideration the biomechanics of the body. The initial WSJ article that was sent to me, lists four exercises that should help your back pain. However, as I stated before there could be numerous reasons that you have back pain. The exercise recommendations used in the article seem to assume that the issue is coming only from the spine. In an effort to analyze the exercises and for ease, let’s just go ahead and assume that indeed the problem is originating in the spine. Now let’s examine the exercises.
- The first, is an exercise that you execute while seated and you roll yourself over between your legs. This exercise is working with the idea that leaning forward will open the back part of your spine, which it will. But it is not very specific as to the level of the spine and as to where the disk bulge/herniation is happening. When you subject a force on the discs, you are going to be working under Pascals Law. This law states that the pressure is distributed evenly on a spherical surface (like the nucleus) and it will go to the weakest point. Meaning that in this exercise you may be trying to open the back of the spine by flexing forward and closing the front. However if your issue originates in the front that creates a problem because the pressure will go to the weakest point.
- The second exercise is performed lying on your back knees flexed to approximately 90 degrees with your feet on the floor. In this position you rock your legs back and forth. I am not a fan of this exercise… AT ALL! Here’s a little spinal biomechanics. Any time the spine is subjected to a rotational force it gets compressed. If you have some sort of pinch or bulge, a compression will make it worse. Now add the fact that your lower back is the fulcrum of the movement and you have the weight of the legs as you move into this rotational motion. Adding that force (your legs – weight and length) to the movement and you get MORE force compressing the pinch or bulge.
- The third one is called the Mckenzie press-up or, in yoga, the cobra. The idea here is similar to the first exercises in that the move opens the front part of the spine by closing the back part, “pushing” the disc back in. Since most pathologies are posterior lateral (back and to the side) it makes sense that you would want to migrate it forward. The first problem with this is, again, Pascals Law. Laws are funny like that. The second issue is whether the spine is in a good enough place and whether it has enough space to move properly to allow it to go forward. Considering most people don’t because of our modern lifestyles, it would not be a good idea. This is one of the main movements that caused me to get worse. I tried it first in PT exercises and then in a yoga class that I was told would be good for my back. Woops.
- The fourth is a standing side bend with your hand on the wall for a fixed point. A little more spinal biomechanics. When you side bend you will also get some rotation. And remember rotation causes compression which will more than likely cause the issue to get worse.