Please help me fix my back and fullfill my dreams!

Discussions relating to Lower Back Pain.

Please help me fix my back and fullfill my dreams!

Postby el » Tue May 02, 2006 7:45 pm

Hey,im 20 and have always been really sporty,i was a dancer and love working out but through several annoying injuries i attained a bad back,ive read the books and am currently working my way through the exercises......... ive done the basics for a couple weeks and now i have reached sit ups,i can only feel my right set of abs when i do this and my pelvis still feels lopsided...does this mean im not ready to do these yet?..how do i know when i am?
I would appreciate any help coz im sick of this and have been to doctors,chiros,the works but to no avail,since my job(modelling)requires me to maintain a healthy body.... and lets face it is a short lived career i would love to have a fitness career..... so i really need to get better!
Thanks everyone
x
el
 
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Postby Dana » Wed May 03, 2006 10:08 am

Hi el,

Welcome to the group.

I'm not sure what you mean by your pelvis still feels lopsided. Could you elaborate on that more? Is this just a feeling or is it a definite pelvic tilt that you can see in the mirror?

Also, I couldn't tell from your post if you're in the midst of dealing with an acute episode or merely trying to rebuild your back to prevent future back injuries?

If you've just recently injured your back, it's a good "rule of thumb" just to do the basics until the pain is resolved. If you're making progress with the basics and the pain is receding, then go ahead and experiment with the advanced exercises. Just take it slow.

As long as the exercise (whether sit-ups or whatever) isn't aggravating your back pain then I don't think there's anything to worry about. Just do a balanced workout and any muscle imbalances will work themselves out on their own.

Just my opinion of course.

Hope this helps,
Dana
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reply to dana

Postby el » Wed May 03, 2006 10:20 am

Hey Dana,thanks for your support,yes i had injuries a while ago which i dont think healed properly as my hamstring and abductor tore badly and healed short,i also hurt the left side of my mid back and neck and now im trying to realign it all and stretch the tight muscles,i think this is why my pelvis is tilting,it seems to be further forward on the right side since when i stand my right leg is further forward then my left,if i put them on the same level it feels uncomfortable and unnatural,do you know the best way to correct that because the book shows what to do if the pelvis tilts forward or back but how bout if it pushes more to one side?I dont push the exercises to much and i have a feeling a lot of it will ease the more i do the exercises,thank you for your help and if you have any more answers i would really appreciate them
thanks again,
el x
el
 
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Postby Dean » Thu May 04, 2006 1:25 pm

Hi el,

Welcome to our little group and thanks for the additional details. I agree with what Dana is saying and I think you are correct that a lot of your troubles will ease the more you do the exercises.

What you are dealing with is sometimes described as "short-leg syndrome" or simply "muscle imbalances" depending on who you talk to.

As I'm sure you realize (from reading your post), it isn't because one leg is actually shorter than the other, but that - due to your accident - some muscles have been injured, they healed, the resultant scar is shorter and stiffer than the original tissue and thus is pulling you off-kilter.

What you are basically wanting to do is increase the range of motion of (literally the length of) the muscles and other soft tissues that have been injured. If you've ever been a cheerleader or done any gymnastics, you probably recall how difficult it was to try to do the splits the first time you tried. That "posture" was very uncomfortable.

But by stretching a little more each day, you were eventually able to slowly train your muscles and joints to adapt to the new range of motion. As I explain in my books, to increase range of motion you need to hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.

So for your hamstrings, for example, just hold the hamstring stretches for a minimum of 15 seconds (with 30 seconds being ideal) once every day until you can comfortably stretch them equally for both sides.

In dealing with a forward tilt, or in your case a variation of the forward tilt, the ultimate goal is to achieve neutral position, or a normal posture. Increasing the range and flexibility of the short muscles will eventually allow this to feel more comfortable and natural. Then you simply need to practice it and make it part of you, just as you would practice walking down the runway or striking poses during a photo shoot.

With a little hard work and determination I'm sure you will be able to do this completely on your own. Probably within 2 to 4 weeks, give or take.

However... you may want to consider going to a physical therapist or Sports Medicine Clinic that specializes in the type of rehabilitation you are trying to accomplish. (I know you've already tried this somewhat according to your first post.)

A good therapist will work with you one on one, he or she will be able to take measurements and evaluate your progress in ways that you can't do on your own. And, the really good ones will be able to design custom exercises just for you to help you "re-learn" neutral position.

That's something a one-size-fits-all book just can't do. :(

I'm a do-it-yourselfer, and my books are written for like-minded people, but sometimes a little professional help can go a long way. Try it on you own for a while and see how you do. But if you don't feel you're making the progress you desire, ask around and find out who the professional athletes and colleges are using for rehab. in your area.

If you lived in California I would recommend the S.O.A.R clinic in Redwood City, CA. but there are good clinics all over the country. Someday I hope to have a complete list of them here on the site.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress,

Dean
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Postby el » Thu May 04, 2006 6:28 pm

Dean tou are quite literally my saviour!!!!!!!!!!!I seem to be progressing well,i live in new york,know any rehab places there?
But after all the crap from chiros its good to finally be able to treat myself and understand for once the logic behing this!I will keep you posted on how im doing but again......THANK YOU(i actually cant stress that enough!)
el x
el
 
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Postby Dean » Thu May 04, 2006 9:10 pm

Thanks for the kind words el,

I wish I did know of someone in your area. However, with all the sports franchises and universities in your area, a little asking around should help you locate some good choices.

Also, you could try calling the S.O.A.R clinic in California (their web site is listed on my "References" page) and they may be able to recommend someone. Worth a shot, anyway.

Tell them you're looking for someone who follows Dr. Saal's philosophy of treatment. (It's his clinic.)

Maybe you'll be able to recommend a clinic or PT for my list.

Take care,
Dean
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Postby Dana » Fri May 05, 2006 12:52 pm

Hi el,

Thanks for elaborating more on what you're trying to deal with. I'm glad Dean jumped in and answered your questions because I was a little unsure what exactly to tell you.

As usual, he came to the rescue with some good sound, common-sense advice. I think the recommendation of finding a good sports medicine professional is a good idea. After all, despite what most people might think, models are athletes too. It's not easy to stay looking good and work those long photo shoots is it?

Not that I've ever done it, but it is every girl's dream is it not? 8)

Good luck with your career and I hope you'll keep us up-to-date on your progress.

Dana
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Postby el » Sun May 07, 2006 12:06 pm

First off thanks dana for all your help,youve been really sweet and i will keep yuo posted!i wish you all the best in everything you are doing too!
Secondly i wanted to know when im healed and my back is "normal" again is it a good idea to take up yoga along side the gym?ive heard its good for maintenance or should i just stick to the stretches?if so what type of yoga is good because ive heard theres about 3 million types(obviously im exagerating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
If any one knows let me know please!So far stretches are going well,think im progressing definately which is grrrrrrrreat!!!!!!!!!One last question,is it best to do the sit ups as slow as poss?and since i have tight muscles round my pelvis especially on one side should i wait until they are more relaxed and longer before i do the side crunches as i dont want them to bunch up easily again(sorry my descriptions are so scientifically incorrect but im hoping you get my drift!!)im worried this will happen,should i wait and just to clarify it is a month and half that i started the stretching and did all the basics first incase it sounded like i jumped in at the deep end,im pacing myself!
Thanks everyone
el
X
el
 
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Postby Ann » Mon May 08, 2006 2:12 pm

Hi el,

Once your back is strong and back to normal again, you should be able to add any other fitness activities onto your program that you want. Yoga is one of the best things to do, but Pilates, aerobics, swimming, sports, you name it, all are good ideas. I can't see any reason that you would have to limit yourself.

Yes you are correct about doing the sit-ups and other strengthening exercises as slow as possible. This was one of the most important things that I learned from Dean's books. To concentrate on quality not quantity. I use to think you need to do like 100 sit-ups a day. But I was doing them wrong and they were hurting my back. I think he referred to it as "flinging yourself up".

Now I do about 30 real slow on a slant board with my arms across my chest or just touching my finger tips to my temples if I use an exercise ball. Same with the various leg lifts, etc, the slower you do them the more good you get out of them.

I'm not exactly certain, but I think you can do the strength exercises and still stretch and get the same results. I don't think you have to worry about waiting.

Hope this helps,
Ann
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Postby el » Mon May 08, 2006 7:05 pm

This is great you are all so helpful!one of my other problems is i dont know when to do the exercises,its confusing,i have hurt my neck,back and lower back so im ending up doing all the stretches twice a day and adding decompressing and mobilisation aswell as advanced (ie sit ups every day)but this takes ages and i dont know when i should do what?any one know what works best coz im worried i wont improve by doing them all every day,should i do all the stretching anf then vary the stregnthening ones every oter day or on different days(for example one day sit ups,nent crunches,next leg raises along with all the stretches?)see im worried that i should only be doing all the stretches until my back is fully better then move onto the others,ie mobilisation,strenghtening,or is it ok to add some of these ones whilst my back is still getting better?please help this is really something i need to know!
Thank you so much
XXX
el
 
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Postby randolph » Mon May 08, 2006 8:50 pm

Howdy el

You've gotten a lot of really great advice from Dean, Dana, and Ann ... plus you've apparently downloaded Dean's books. It helped me when I started learning this new information, to write down the important points, list the exercises, then read the forum posts, then let the info percolate in my brain a bit ... then read it all again. It was all very overwhelming in the beginning, hurting bad, lots of new stuff to learn ... all that on top of the normal, hectic, intense stuff of daily life. Whew!!!

My basic guidelines on what to do and how much to do is: do as much as you can, but not too much; don't be afraid to experiment, and don't fret the mistakes as you learn your limits. And listen close to your body.

I worked my way from being able to do the basic exercises for just a few minutes once each day ... to several hours a day doing all of them most days ... doing just a little bit more most days. Doing the exercises became the best part of my day, sometimes listening to music, sometimes doing them in a park on a nice day ... but always enjoying how much better it felt to be stretched and relaxed.

Hope this helps some, Randolph
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Postby Dana » Tue May 09, 2006 11:36 am

Hi again,

Some really good advice from Randolph. I seem to learn something new every time I read through the books again. Taking notes helps too.

I do stretches and mobilization everyday. Strenthening exercises every other day.

Dana
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Postby el » Tue May 09, 2006 2:53 pm

Cool thanks guys!yes i admit i get a bit frustrated that i cant do it all,patience is something i lack and particularly wanting to dance again and work out(especially with the lengerie jobs looming!)so im glad im not the only one who takes hours doing them!i wasnt sure when to move on with some though,my left arm and back are still getting sciatica so maybe i should stop doing the strenghtening arm exercises until that has disappeared!
i guess if you feel unbalenced or feel a strengthening exercise only on one side i should hold off for a while!
Thank you though,you help me stay positive!
X
el
 
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Postby el » Thu May 11, 2006 1:32 pm

Hey Dean,i was just wondering coz it didnt mention in the manual but i am rebuilding my neck,mid back and lower back since they all were injured and have healed with short muscles.i wanted to know should i only start the strengthening exercises once all three are completely better because my neck and mid back seem to be taking a long time,i am getting tingling down one arm and in the opposite shoulder too so am only stretching rather then doing the bodybuilder moves(and other strenghthening ones for arms and mid back).Is that right,i dont want to hamper my chances of complete recovery,i moved onto crunches since my lower back is progressing but would it be better to hold off on all the strenghtening until my neck and back are better?
Please help,im quite confused about that and want to get better ASAP!
thank you EL X
el
 
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Postby Dean » Thu May 11, 2006 4:49 pm

Yes, in general you should be able to do the advanced lower back exercises without them negatively affecting your upper back or neck.

However, if you feel like one of them may be causing undue strain, then it would be better to wait on that one until you're farther along. It really depends on the individual and the daily results you're experiencing.

It sounds like you're on the right track. Just listen to what your body is telling you and take things slowly. I know you're anxious to achieve full recovery, but sometimes taking things slowly can actually produce faster results.

Dean
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