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How to conquer back pain at home by yourself...
-HOW TO GET RID OF BACK PAIN-
by Scott Carrell
Mr. Knoxville, 1985
personal trainer since 1982
It has been said that back pain is as common as the "common" cold. I
don't know if that is true, but at age forty, I can testify that lower
back pain has been my handicap since 1981. After herniating a disc
during a workout, I have suffered three to four crippling "blowouts"
every year for over twenty years running--UNTIL LAST YEAR.
Today (June 28, 2003), my back has been pain-free for one year. This
has not been an accident, but rather the result of quite a bit of
research & testing.
First let me say that I'm not a big believer in drugs or surgery; each
of those solutions seem to create its own set of new problems. Having
a logical & analytical (and also quite skeptical) type of mind, I
don't find much credibility in magnets, herbs, or even chiropractic.
I think I can keep my story shorter if I boil it down to this. I have
found that back pain, along with most other muscular-skeletal pain,
derives from one of three basic postural conditions. Most people
suffer from at least one, and many (like myself) suffer from two. See
if you can determine your own, and remember: your back pain CANNOT be
solved UNTIL you properly classify your postural condition:
WEAK SPINAL ERECTORS & TIGHT HAMSTRINGS/ABDOMINALS
1. Visually, this posture looks like Jeremy in the cartoon "Zits."
This person appears to have a flat, perhaps even non-existent,
backside because the hips are thrust forward. The shoulders are also
usually slumped forward.
2. Pain is usually felt from bending forward, being too long in the
car, or sleeping on the belly. In extreme conditions, its impossible
to straighten the back while sitting or standing. The problem is
solved with two stretches and three exercises—about 20 minutes daily.
TIGHT HIP FLEXORS & WEAK ABDOMINALS
This is easy to see when someone is wearing a belt. Looking from the
side, you will see his/her beltline slopes DOWNWARD TOWARD THE
FRONT--in other words, their belt in the rear is higher than their
belt buckle in the front (In Condition 1, the belt slopes the
opposite, or is at least level).
This is very obvious with men that have a pot-gut hanging over their
belt; the same scenario is sometimes created temporarily by a woman's
OTHER CLUES: your feet point out like a duck; your knees are
stiff-straight; your pain is LESSENED when you bend over forward. In
extreme conditions, you lean forward, sometimes more to one side.
The hip flexors are muscles high on the front of your hips which you
use to kick your knee up in the air.
This back pain is solved with one stretch and two exercises.
This is a weird one, very common with most of us, which piggybacks on
#1 and #2. Most of us have a leg and shoulder on one side of our body
that are stronger than on the other, often unrelated to left- or
right-handedness. This same strong side, however, has a WEAKER spinal
erector and oblique (waist-twisting) muscle. The result is that your
lower body and torso twist in opposite directions--sometimes subtly,
Here's what to look for:
1. Most of your back pain (and other "random" joint pains) is always
on the same side;
2. You can tolerate sleeping on one side better than the other;
3. You wear out one shoe quicker than the other (look at some OLD
4. When you are VERY RELAXED, you (or more likely, someone else)
notice that one shoulder is always higher than the other;
5. While standing, you notice your feet point more to one side
instead of straight ahead, OR, you are always heavier on one foot than
6. While sitting or standing, you find it easier to twist yourself
around in one direction than the other;
7. While sitting, you put more weight on one buttock than the other;
8. While hamstring stretching, one leg is much tighter than the
This condition is ingrained since childhood, though the problems don't
usually show until adulthood. My eleven year son, very strong and
erect, complains of right knee pain, and he said, "Look, Dad, you're
right--" and showed me that his right heel was fifty percent more worn
than the left.
Condition 3 is tough to whip 100% (I'm still working on mine), but the
pain relief shows quickly. Three to four exercises required daily.
REMEMBER: IF YOU SUFFER A COMBINATION OF CONDITION #3 AND ALSO #1 OR
#2, YOU MUST RESOLVE CONDITON #3 FIRST.
I must confess that this program is my livelihood; I have five
children to feed and my wife is a stay-at-home-mom. If you decide to
use my program, I send VHS videotape to teach you the exercises. The
cost is less than $200, and its guaranteed to work, or I will send
back your check--its that simple. But we both have more to gain if
the program works, yes?
All exercises are standing, sitting, or lying on the floor. No
weights, sets, or repetitions. It isn't a fitness class; we are
trying to develop "holding" strength in key postural muscles in order
trick your body into holding itself in a different posture. Its
actually fun to watch it happen!
For more information, feel free to email me at:
12613 Buttermilk Rd.
Knoxville, TN 37932
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