Hello Steve Lockhart back with you again,
thanks for joining me for my next review, The video that I am going to review today
is titled, ‘One minute exercises to improve posture and reduce back pain’. Which of course are the things that everybody
with back pain is trying to achieve. I’m looking at lots of videos and you can
see from the screen behind me that there are many many videos out there using stretching
programs as a way of dealing with your back pain, and I have a bit of a problem with that
to tell you the truth. I found in my experience that stretching to
try and reduce pain, it just doesn’t work and it’s really just a big waste of your
time. But that’s my opinion so let me explain a bit of the logic to you and see what you
think. Now the first thing I would say is that stretching
and exercises have been the go to therapy programs for back problems for 20 or 30 years
now. It seems that everybody – Physiotherapist, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Doctors,
Personal Trainers – if you tell them you’ve got pain or back pain, lower back pain it
is always stretch! …’you need to do these stretches’.
The thing about that is, that after all this time and all these people doing all these
stretches, the problem is still there and it’s getting worse.
So logic tells me that if this was the solution for a back problem, we would’ve seen the
results by now and people would be running around without their back problems, but that’s
not the case as I say. So that’s really the first part of the logic.
I did write an article on stretching that I’ve posted in my blog so I encourage you,
if you want to see more of the details or more of my opinion, go to the blog on my website,
just go to page 4 of the blog and you’ll see that article and have a read and feel
free to comment. I’m always happy to have a discussion with you.
Now there will be people who will say that they had back pain and did some stretches
and it worked for me, and I would say that you would be in the minority.
You probably didn’t have a long-term, chronic back problem for a start, and if you do get
some relief from stretching you may have found that you were helping your body compensate
for any imbalances ‘or problems that existed and you really just buried the problem into
your muscle system and there’s a good chance it will come back at a later point.
You might even be someone who tells me they get back pain every few months but that stretching
gets rid of it. Well you don’t really get rid of it, because if you did it wouldn’t
be coming back all the time. You’re burying it into your body and that’s fine if that’s
all you want to do but the reality is, if you leave that situation go for many years
it’ll be a lot harder for you to get rid of the problems using that technique.
So my understanding of it is that back pain is not a problem with flexibility or mobility
around that lower back and hips area, and that what these programs are targeting, that’s
what they’re trying to get you to, they’re all doing the stretches and exercises to try
and make the lower back more flexible and your hips more flexible and improve your mobility.
That is where the symptoms end up, and that is where you feel your back pain, but it’s
not where or it’s not what is causing it ok.
So my way of thinking or my way approaching it, is let’s deal with the cause of it and
then the tension and stiffness doesn’t build up in that region where you are feeling it.
So what is the cause of it okay because it is to do with your posture, the way you are
carrying the load of your body and gravity. So you want to be carrying the weight of your
body and gravity in a very straight way and if you’re doing that, you’re not causing
your muscles to react and trying to hold you into a good posture and against what your
body might be doing. Your causing your muscles to stiffen up and
your joints to start getting compressed which is what happens when you don’t carry your
body weight and the load of your body weight and posture and gravity in a nice balanced
position. And if your pelvis, for example, has a bit
of a tilt or a fall to one side then your weight is going that way and the muscles in
your lower back will react, in your legs and hips they are grabbing, trying to brace that
way, and this is what causes you pain. So if you can correct the way your body is
carrying your weight and carrying the weight of gravity, then everything can relax, and
you’ll get your mobility and flexibility back.
Now the other point that I’d like to make is that when you look at these programs and
these videos online, the people we will require you to have a decent amount of flexibility
to do some of these stretches, for example the one where you are lying on your back and
you pin your shoulders to the floor and you need to lift your knees and roll your hips
over so that your legs are lying on the side, so getting a real twist on your lower back.
And in my experience people that have any sort of back problems long-term, they don’t
have that sort of flexibility. They are unable to get their knees to the
side like that, they don’t have that flexibility, they maybe get their knees a quarter of the
way or half the way, before it all locks up and it’s too tight.
And in this position you’re actually holding your muscles and not able to just let them
go and let them release. So the exercises work okay, you’ll get that
flexibility if you’re fairly young and you have that mobility and healthy flexible body,
but the reality is back pain sufferers aren’t like that and I’m guessing most of you watching
this video aren’t like that. So the exercises sort of defeat the purpose
themselves. I would say these type of exercises, providing they’re not really pulling on
your joints or spine, they’re better to be doing them as a preventative exercise during
or after your exercise program or after sport as a way of trying to ward off the shortening
of your muscles and to keep some sort of relaxation and mobility in your muscles.
You see, what happens when a person does have a back problem and has it for any length of
time, is the muscles in the body that are causing this, get very contracted but in a
permanent way, they’re not functional, like a muscle function is, it contracts and it
releases and acts like a pump to push blood and oxygen through.
So if your muscles are contracted and staying like that, then they are not functional and
they’re not even getting the benefits of exercise and stretching that you’re trying
to do. If your muscles are stiff and contracted and
you’re doing weights for example, you’re not going to grow that muscle because it’s
not functioning you’re more likely to be loading the joint that the muscle supports.
So if you read the article in my blog you’ll see all this a bit more clearly hopefully,
but the thing you need to learn here is that there are better ways to spend your time to
get relief from your back pain than trying to do mobility exercises and stretches that
work on your lower back and hips which is the site of the symptoms.
And I would really go as far to say that any therapy that you are paying good money for
where the person tells you to go away and do stretches and exercises to try and deal
with your back pain, you’d be better off finding somebody else because they don’t
really understand where the cause of the problem is coming from.
So many times I see people in books or on the Internet or wherever, saying that the
cause of low back pain is this tightness in the quadratus lumborum muscles or around the
hip Glute minimus or Glute medius muscles or wherever.
That is where the tightness ends up. They get affected by the problem which is causing
the back pain, they are not the cause themselves. So as soon as a person says or starts talking
to you about dealing with that tightness by doing stretches and exercises, my advice would
be look for a better therapist. Look for a therapist who understands why the
problem is ending up there. It’s looking at your whole body, finding the dysfunction
in the muscles in your body and treating them to bring back the correct posture and to bring
back balance into your muscle system. Okay, so moving on from that I have a tip
or a technique for you to do that will help you with your back problem and will help you
with your mobility and flexibility and will help you build a bit of strength in there
that will protect you from the pain you’re feeling, and that is in the water.
Now I like the water because it takes a lot of your body weight and gravity weight away.
When you’re in the water your weightless pretty much. It’s the same as when you have
a back problem and you want relief and you lie down. You’re taking the weight off your
back, you’re taking the weight of gravity away and your back pain will ease in many
cases. So the water is a great place to work out,
to do your exercises to help improve your tone and strength and mobility and flexibility.
The exercise doesn’t involve swimming, it doesn’t involve putting your head under
water, it’s very simple to do and all you need to do is find a body of water that is
deep that you can’t touch the bottom and you’ve got some good clearance for your
feet. And I suggest you get a pool noodle, which
is a long foam tubular flotation device, or you can use something else that keeps you
floating and with the noodle you place it under your arms so you can rest on it into
a floating upright in the water. And then in that position just do a forward and backward
kicking action like a scissor action with your legs.
So you let your whole body relax and move in the water and you just let your legs kick
through and pull back and you just go through that like you going for a lovely long run.
But you haven’t got the pounding and you haven’t got that stress on your back and
the weight you’re carrying with gravity. So you’re getting some fitness, you’re
getting some tone into your muscles and that movement will help improve the flexibility
and mobility in your lower back. And it’s very important to try and do it
very evenly on both sides, because ultimately with a back problem you are trying to build
balance back into your body, you know correct your posture, so that your pelvis is straight,
your shoulders are straight and your spine straight in the middle.
If you have that, nice straight angles, and then you put the weight of your body and gravity
on top of that you won’t have pain. Because your body is able to support that at the ultimate
strength and if you do have pain and you are straight and even like that, then your problem
is simply strength, and this exercise, or lack of strength, so this exercise will also
help that. So I really recommend you try and do that
one 30 or 40 minutes every day and it doesn’t have to be forever, because once you get yourself
into a better condition and you start treating your back pain in a better way, and you get
rid of the problem, then you can move on to the exercises you prefer.
This is more of a self therapy technique and you can combine it very well with the other
self-treatment techniques I point out in the other videos, the reviews that I’ve done.
So if you’re watching all the reviews you’re going to see a series of different self-treatment
exercises that you can put together and get a lot of relief, or get a lot of help in putting
your body back into a nice symmetrical balanced position, like the muscle system and good
posture, and you will be surprised how little pain you will have if you can keep your body
like that. Okay there are lots of things to do, it’s
not just one or two, it is a full body approach and you need to go through the process to
get rid of your pain. But what I like to try and do is tell you
the things that are going to waste your time, things you’re spending good time on that
aren’t going to give you a long term benefit, when you could be spending that time on things
that will help you long-term, Okay. So one other thing I would like to cover is,
you know with people that do exercise or sport or whatever and I tell them that stretching
is a waste of time and you’re really not getting a lot of benefit from it, there are
just a couple of stretches I recommend you do but the rest there is no point.
They always say to me, well if I don’t stretch how do I keep the injuries away, how do I
keep my body loose and flexible, and that is a whole story in itself.
I recommend you go and have a read of the free book I give away on my website which
will explain all of that stuff for you. It’s far too much for me to start going through
here but there are lots of things you can do to actually improve your flexibility and
muscle condition and health and the thing that I encourage them to have a look at is
a program that I developed which I call SLM yoga.
Now I actually developed this quite intuitively, without going out and focusing to try and
do it. It’s a program that is done largely on the
floor. There is a strength component at the beginning to help build a nice straight strong
lower body that acts as a foundation for your spine and your back, and it’s a program
that re-educates your muscles to be able to switch on and switch off again.
And as I’ve said, a lot of the problem that happens with people that develop pain and
get into chronic pain, is the muscles become dysfunctional.
So this is about trying to re-train those muscles to switch on and off again so they
start functioning properly, but to do it in such a way where you’re working the same
muscles on both sides of your body at the same time.
There is also a component where you need to connect your nervous system with those muscles,
so once a muscle becomes contracted and shuts down the nerve doesn’t actually fire it
or it doesn’t connect with it and so if I told you to try and switch that muscle on
or try and activate that muscle that was like that, just by concentrating on switching it
on, you wouldn’t be able to do it because you’ve lost that connection between the
nervous system firing the muscle and the muscle itself.
So the idea of the SLM yoga is to re-train that, to reconnect the nerves with the muscles
and to reactivate the muscles function, evenly on both sides of your body, and as you can
appreciate that’s what will bring you back into balance and that’s what will help get
the muscles functioning again, and then release and give you your flexibility and mobility
back. But, people are at all different stages with
their back problems so some people ‘s muscles have been deteriorating for a very long time,
some people not so much, some are older, some younger some are healthier, some are fitter,
all these different myriad of things that come into play and that’s why I encourage
you to have a read of the free book and get a bit of a grasp on that.
But also if the yoga in itself is not enough to bring all the muscles back and to rebalance
everything and activate it, what it will tell you is where your problems lie, because you
will correct a lot of the dysfunctional muscles in your body but you may find there’s one
spot or a couple of spots which aren’t able to be corrected, you can’t bring them back
with this alone, and then you step into the other areas, other things that I’m going
to show you, and this will bring those areas back and then everything will start to connect
and flow again. So have a look at this, the link is on my
screen here. So if you’re someone that’s in pain or you play sport or you do a lot
of exercise, I really think that the SLM yoga style of releasing and balancing your body,
will be much more effective at taking away your pain, niggles or even preventing injuries,
than stretching is, so check it out anyway. I hope you found this review useful and you
got some good information from it, I really encourage you to do that water workout exercise.
I’ve given it to lots of people over the years and all have come back and said how
fantastic it is it is it is a little bit hard to get into the water, but well worth it and
other than that, combine that with the double ball technique that we covered in a previous
review and I look forward to seeing you next time at the next review. Thanks very much.