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Are these exercises different?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:30 pm
by pfola
Hi, new here, just discovered and checking this site out.

I've had pretty complex low back problems for over 15 years, with one disk surgery in '89, and have mostly managed pretty well since with stretching and exercises. I aggrivated things March 05 (looks like same disk as previos surgery) and have been unable to do a lot of my favourite back exercises that work out the stiff joints and muscles, or even walk and swim for over 10 minutes at a time, without flaring up pain.

What I'm curious about is whether the exercises in the 'Rebuild your back' program are in any way different to the normal standard ones we get from physio, yoga, back books etc, the classics like knees to chest, pelvic tilt etc which with my disc troubles seem to aggrivate more than help. I've seen just about every back book there is, and so many of them have pages of exercises I cant go near and I am reluctant to buy another one. Maybe many who are helped by this are having their first back exercise experience (but please do correct me if I'm wrong on this!)

Also I'm unable to lift so unable to work and really $$ struggling.

Just wondering if anyone out there can say 'I've seen a lot of books and this one truely was different, and was the first that really helped'.

One thing I could do (if this is ethically ok) is make a very small donation, and check it out for myself with the promise that if and when it was clear that the material in the book was helping I'd come back with a bigger donation as a thank you.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:36 am
by randolph
Hello pfola!

Lots of good questions in your post ... and since no one has responded yet, I thought I'd comment ... though I want to make it clear, considering your medical history (including an operation) I'd want a good doctor to talk with. Considering your $$$ difficulties, do you qualify for a state medicaid insurance program?

The RYB program is the first self-treatment back rehabilitation program I've used... so I can't comment on any differences in Dean's exercises with others you're familiar with. I did, however, do lots of research on what is available on the web, and in books ... and in my opinion, this website stands head and shoulders above anything else I found, for these reasons:

First, little medical intervention is necessary for most back problems and that's my kind of program: something I can do for myself, and something I can keep on doing to minimize the possibilities of later injury (that's a BIGGEE). I really like the idea of being unplugged from the medical folks who seem to want you to be dependent on them forever. (And that's one thing I really like about Dean - he's one of those rare people who wants to teach people "how to catch their own fish, not buy fish from him forever").

Second, Dean's info not only teaches me what to do, but WHY I do it, and encourages experimentation with the exercises to see what works. Again, that places a lot of responsibility on me, and that's rather scary in the beginning (especially when the pain is so bad and the ignorance is so huge), but with understanding comes the confidence of knowing I'm really on the mend.

Third, this site is one of those rare medically related sites that isn't an advertisement that teases with a little info in the hopes you'll plunk down LOTS of $$$ to get more; all the info is right here in the books / articles, the forum is hugely encouraging / informative, and the links to other helpful resources are really helpful. Even if this info is duplicated elsewhere, I find it a privilege to support something with so much integrity.

Lastly, if the money is really tight for you, I'd like to buy the books you need to download for you. I'm not sure how this could be done, but there's no good reason why your temporary shortage of funds should prevent you from using the RYB program if it could possibly help you. How about it, Dean, is there some way I could simply donate the $$$ and pfola can download the info?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:33 pm
by Dean
Thanks Randolph for the great post.

pfola has downloaded the book and said he'd give it a try.

My thoughts in reading his post was that he needed to know he could go farther than he'd been pushing himself before. There's no anatomical reason why a person shouldn't be able to bend fully in all directions once you rebuild your back.

If my book helps him do that, I will consider it a success and I hope he will, too.


Are these exercises different?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:12 pm
by pfola
Thanks for your comments and for the offer Randolph. I wrote this before Dean's reply.

Actually I decided to make a small donation and have got the Rebuild your Back book. I figured that even if I didn't get much new back info out of it, the approach was so novel and ethical for an internet site (only ask for a donation and set up an open public discussion forum, I've never seen that before!) that I felt it was the right thing to do to give some kind of support.

And yes, from what I've looked at it is an excellent synthesis of back wisdom and rehab. To be honest quite a lot of it I've seen before (I've been researching on and off for over 15 years) but it's put together really well and there are some new insights and variations on movements which I'll have to look at closer. It may be the best guide for the typical bad back sufferer that I've seen. I'll have to see over time how much I get out of it. And for the typical back aches and pains back I agree, the medical doctors are next to useless, as are many 'alternative' treatments.

Trouble is I think I may be one of those 5 or 10 percent that has a more complicated scenario, and may need some medical intervention. A recent MRI does show disk material and scar tissue displacing a nerve at L5 where I have a hot, electric ball of pain that is quite different to the muscle aches that I can usually stretch out on my own. Everything seems to all be clenching up in that area too, and I know that in theory one should be able to exercise and rehab it out (and many people seem to be able to do this), but my reality has been that most exercise flares an aggrivated nerve root more than it helps. This really is a problem becase the exercise works great for tight muscles but for many movements I just cant go there because of nerve pain, no matter how much I try. I've done lots of the starter stuff like McKenzie manoevres (lying on stomach and arching backwards from low back, or Elbow raise and Cobra in this book) that in theory is supposed to pop disk material back in place but hasn't eased things much to this point.

Anyway, Dean this site is a great service and I'd encourage anyone who has a typical back problem to check it and the book out. Hopfully I can eventually be a success story too. I'm a big believer in taking charge of your own back through appropriate exercise, it's helped me enormously in the past and I was doing really well up until this past spring.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:52 pm
by randolph
hello pfola!

Glad to read you're going to give the RYB program a try! :D

As to whether you're one of the unfortunate 5-10% who won't improve with the program ... there's only one way to find out, and you certainly won't lose anything if that turns out to be the case after 6 months of doing the exercises. At least you'll know you gave it your best shot.

But I wouldn't be so sure you won't get stronger, more flexible, and pain free. My own experience: the first two months on the program I was constantly doubtful. Day-to-day things seemed the same ... but week-to-week, discernable improvement. Nerve damage (perhaps your problem?) heals really slowly. After three months on the program, I know it'll probably be several more months before I can walk as much as I want to pain free... but the improvement is steady. Each week I'm more flexible, can do more before the pain flares and tells me "get down fool", and need less time down before I can get back up again!

So patience. (and have some good books to read! :) )

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:22 am
by Dean
Thanks for the great feedback, pfola. I'm glad you liked the book. Keep us posted on how things turn out.