MYTH & FACT ABOUT LOW BACK PAIN
Myth: “I have low back pain. I need to strengthen my lower back muscles.”
Fact: Most people with lower back pain actually have back muscles that are too strong and do not have the ability to relax them, leading to excessive compression to the spine. Power needs to be generated from the hips, not the spine.
Myth: “Ab exercises must be fancy and complicated, to work.”
Fact: Focus must be placed on position and activation rather than the exercise itself. When done correctly simple exercises become extremely challenging.
Myth: “I can hold a plank for 90 seconds. I have a strong core.”
Fact: When using long holds or high reps, most people cheat by using their low back instead of their core. Short holds done repeatedly are most effective to train the core.
Myth: “I need to do sit ups for a strong, good looking core.”
Fact: Sit ups create a massive spinal load to the disc of the spine. In fact, they actually recreate the mechanism of a disc herniation!
Myth: “Activating my core the right way just means pushing out and will make me look fat.”
Fact: We can still develop a 6 pack but it must be created over pressure. If pressure is created in all directions it actually decreases bulging in the front, side, and lower abdominal wall.
Myth: “Stretching will cure my low back pain!”
Fact: Stretching the spine is often damaging and should be tailored to the individual patient. Instead, stretching should be focused on the hips and mid back. Rather than stretching the low back, focus needs to be on stabilization training.
Myth: “My doctor said “my back is the worst back he has ever seen, I can’t exercise or I might hurt myself.”
Fact: Degenerative disc disease, arthritis, stenosis, bulges, etc can be a normal part of the aging process similar to getting wrinkles for your spine. If we unload these tissues through proper exercise and spine sparing strategies, we can lead a pain free life even with these imaging findings.
EXERCISES TO AVOID AT ALL COSTS: “NO GO” ZONE
These exercises create massive spinal loads. The risks of doing them for ab workouts, outweigh the benefits.
- -leg lifts
- -sit ups
- -V ups
- -leg press
- -hamstring stretches
- -hanging leg raise
- -windshield wipers
- -lying on back dropping knees to side
MOST COMMON LOW BACK PAIN CLASSIFICATIONS
FLEXION INTOLERANT LOW BACK PAIN
Our program helps because it avoids common ab exercises that trigger flexion intolerant low back pain.
- -sit ups
- -leg lifts
- -knee to chest stretch
- -hamstring stretch
- -sitting for long periods of time
- -sitting without a lumbar roll
- -slouching during sitting
- -Repetitive extension in lying 1-2 mins 5-6x per day.
- -Repetitive extension in standing 10 reps 5-6x per day.
EXTENSION INTOLERANT LOW BACK PAIN
Our program works because it places an emphasis on correcting the over-arched low back. If done correctly, it teaches the abs to do their job and prevent the back from arching.
- -sitting with an overly erect posture
- -exercising with “chest up”
- -ab exercise with your back arched off ground.
- -Low kneeling with rounding of low back 10 second hold x10 reps 5-6X per day (see video)
- -Standing repetitive flexion x10 reps 5-6x per day (see video)