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Discussions relating to Lower Back Pain.

Postby el » Fri May 12, 2006 11:16 am

Thanks Dean,
i hope im not being annoying since i seem to be asking a million questions,i was also wondering how often i should do the strengthening exercises,is it the same as at the gym?you are supposed to give your muscles a rest,so should i do the strenghtening every other day or is it ok to do it every day,at the moment im doing stretches, mobilisation and a couple of the strenghthening exercises twice daily.
Thanks again dean
kind regards
EL
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Postby Dean » Fri May 12, 2006 12:29 pm

Yes, for the strengthening exercises, it's best to do them every other day just like you learned at the gym. Some people do them more often, but it's not really necessary.

Don't worry about asking too many questions, that's why the forum is here. We're always glad to have new members especially ones who are willing to ask questions, share their stories and give advice to others when they can.

As they say, "the more, the merrier."

Dean
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Postby el » Fri May 12, 2006 8:51 pm

Good to know,thanks dean,was a bit confused as it said in the manual to two more than you did the day before so i thought that meant do the strengthening everyday but every other makes sense,also i read the manual again and once i learn more strnghtening exercises i can alternate days ie,one day do crunches and sit ups,next day do leg raises and the swim etc so you dont do the same exercises everyday,is that correct?
Thanks again
El
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Postby Dean » Sat May 13, 2006 3:23 pm

Hi El,

I think you've got it pretty close. The only correction I would make to your above question would be to do ALL of your strength exercises the same day... and then take a complete rest the next day.

Some people like to do it differently and that's okay. But with muscle building exercises, a good general rule of thumb is you need to plan to include adequate rest periods FOR YOUR BODY to recover after exercise... not just a specific muscle. For the average person that would probably be an every other day plan.

Dean
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Postby el » Sun May 14, 2006 10:18 am

All on the same day!!!!!!!!!!well i didnt know that!thanks dean,is it the same for mid back?
Can i do the strengthening arm exercises on the days i dont do lower strenghtening exercises?
Also how many days would you do the crunches,sit ups and leg lifts a week?
When i do the leg lifts do i inhale as i bring the knees in or exhale?and i here a clunking noise in my right groin,what does that mean?I dont really understand how you do this exercise,when it says lower legs am i right in thinking its from a bent knee position from the waist?
im feeling my right hip dig into the ground more then my left when i do the swim,do you know why this is?
and when i do crunches im stll feeling my right muscles more then my left and i cant feel it in my lower abs.
Thank you so much,
El XX
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Postby Dean » Mon May 15, 2006 1:44 pm

el wrote:All on the same day!!!!!!!!!!well i didnt know that!thanks dean,is it the same for mid back?
Can i do the strengthening arm exercises on the days i dont do lower strenghtening exercises?


You can if that works best with your schedule, but remember your body needs a day of complete rest occasionally. So, for example, you could do lower back Monday, mid back on Tuesday, then rest on Wednesday. There is no hard and fast rule except to remember to allow some time for rest in between.

Also how many days would you do the crunches,sit ups and leg lifts a week?


Twice a week is sufficient... three times is great if you can find the time.

When i do the leg lifts do i inhale as i bring the knees in or exhale?and i here a clunking noise in my right groin,what does that mean?


Good question. I actually had to get down on the floor just now and do a few just to see... and I don't think it really matters as long as you don't hold your breath. I normally exhale whenever doing any lifting exercise, but I would say just do what feels natural.

I also get clunking sounds in my pelvis when doing prone leg lifts. I believe it is either the sacroiliac joints or the tail bones flexing and rubbing together a little. Totally normal and nothing to worry about.

I dont really understand how you do this exercise,when it says lower legs am i right in thinking its from a bent knee position from the waist?


There are a number of different ways you can do leg lifts. In the book, I describe three versions just to get people started. You can do them with your legs straight, bent, alternating like a flutter kick... even holding them stationary about 10 inches off the floor in an isometric style... the possibilities are endless. Experiment, play around, mix them up, tap in to what you've learned working out at the gym and you'll do fine.

im feeling my right hip dig into the ground more then my left when i do the swim,do you know why this is?
and when i do crunches im stll feeling my right muscles more then my left and i cant feel it in my lower abs.


From reading your other posts it sounds like you might be stronger on one side than on the other, which should balance out eventually if you do a balanced workout. If it doesn't, you could try doing a few extra reps on the weaker side. Just don't go overboard, because it shouldn't take much.

You don't feel the sit-ups and crunches in your lower abs because they don't actually work those muscles very much. Leg lifts are better for lower abs.

Hope this helps clarifiy things,
Dean
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Postby Jeanette » Mon May 15, 2006 6:34 pm

Dean wrote: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


el --You've received some exellent recommendations from Dean, Dana et al., so I'll try not to repeat too much. I think Dean's (?) earlier recommendation that, given your history of injuries, you consult a physiatrist (physician who specializes in physical rehab) and/or a physical therapist is an excellent one.

I came into my most recent and most severe bout of back and sciatic pain after a number of injuries over the past 20 years that have occurred while I was working with or riding horses. I consulted my GP, had an MRI which confirmed that there are some physical changes consistent with the pain I experienced, consulted with a neurosurgeon, and got the all clear to continue to do physically whatever worked to eliminate the pain and "rebuild my back."

Part of that included doing some of the exercises (I couldn't tolerate a few of them because of the nature of my injuries) in Dean's books to work through the worst of the pain and, finally, a visit to a physical therapist who practices both conventional PT and muscle activation techniques.

I'm convinced that getting through the worst of the sciatica was a waiting game--backing off activities that hurt and, when I couldn't, moving slowly
and carefully, remembering to support core and breathe effectively. I tried not to do any one thing too long -- unfortunately, for several weeks that included lying in bed trying to sleep :(. I kept moving, albeit slowly, and I added exercises--first, for pain relief, then the rebuilding basics--as I was able until I could do most of those I attempted comfortably. (There are still some I can't tolerate as described, so I've just modified or worked around them. This is definitely part of what Dean is referring to as "knowing your body.") I'm now back to my normal workout routine as well as riding again. And I've accepted the fact that I'll never be as aches and pains-free as I was as 30-year-old :?

The muscle activation part of my physical therapy has allowed me to regain some use of previously injured muscles, muscles that never fully recovered and are probably laced with scar tissue and that I'd found ways to compensate for--ultimately to my detriment, apparently. The clinic staff also includes a certified Pilates instructor who, with the therapist, set up a program for me to address the specific issues I'm dealing with. Personally, I like the Pilates approach more than I like yoga -- and, yes, there's a lot of stretching AND strengthening going on.

I don't recall who earlier recommended a few sessions of one-on-one with a PT or a personal trainer, but I've found it's been worth every penny in helping make my rebuilding efforts more effective. At 60 reinjury wasn't something I was willing to risk, and I didn't want to give up too much of the progress I'd made since I started working out regularly a couple years ago.

Just don't be too impatient with yourself. Rebuilding is done a few steps at a time.

Best wishes --
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Postby el » Thu May 18, 2006 5:30 am

You are so sweet,that helps a lot thank you!
best wishes
eloise
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Postby randolph » Fri May 19, 2006 9:20 pm

Beautiful post, Jeanette ... especially the conclusion: don't be too impatient with yourself.

That's my biggest battle: slowing down, letting my body tell me when it's time to rest ... which is always long before I've reached the end of my day's to-do list.

And yes ... remembering only the weeds grow effortlessly and fast in a garden.

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Postby el » Sat May 20, 2006 3:03 am

Hey guys,just to let you all know im getting on well and thats down to a lot of your advice!!!!
Dean mentioned to do strenghtening every other day which i am but is that the same with the neck exercises?do the advanced neck exercises count as strenghtening or not????cant work that out and i think if they are that means i should be doing them every other day rather than every day right?al so one side of my neck is STILL tighter then the other so im holding off on the advanced neck exercises to the sides(think they are called the yes/no exercise),do you agree with this?
Again thank you all so much and when im completly better i hope i will be giving as good advice to people as you all give to me!
el
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Postby Ann » Sun May 21, 2006 9:15 am

Hi again,

I'm glad you're making progress with the "rebuilding" of your body. You've taken on a lot trying to rebuild three areas all at once. Whew!

From reading your above post, it sounds like you're doing things correctly. I would have to answer yes to most of your questions. I would just stick with the really easy exercises that involve stretching and mobilization until the tightness is gone. Save the strengthening exercises for later.

Also, I thought Jeanette had some good advice in her recent answer to your other post. Be sure and check it too.

I have no doubt that you'll soon be helping others discover rebuilding and passing on what you've learned about it from your experiences.

Take care,
Ann
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Postby el » Sat May 27, 2006 4:27 pm

Hey guys,just to ask as i didnt quite understand but should i be doing the advanced neck exercises every day or every other day??????dont know if they count as strengthening exercises or not!
Thanks a lot meanwhile coming along well but mid back is taking a while,still getting tingling so waiting till it goes till i do the strengthening exercises for the mid back!
thanks a lot
el XXXXX
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Postby Jeanette » Sat May 27, 2006 5:30 pm

el wrote:Hey guys,just to ask as i didnt quite understand but should i be doing the advanced neck exercises every day or every other day??????dont know if they count as strengthening exercises or not!
Thanks a lot meanwhile coming along well but mid back is taking a while,still getting tingling so waiting till it goes till i do the strengthening exercises for the mid back!
thanks a lot
el XXXXX


Eloise -- You're apparently doing quite a lot of the exercises, so you might want to alternate days of strengthening and stretching or focus one day on upper body and the next on lower. That way you give the different sets of muscles at least one day's recovery -- which is the standard recommendation, I think -- but, as you seem to be pushing yourself a bit :), either of those approaches will give you the intermittant rest you need while maximizing your workouts.
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Postby Dana » Mon May 29, 2006 11:46 am

Hi el,

Yes, you're right, the advanced neck exercises are strengthening exercises according to the descriptions in the book so you should probably do them every other day. Some of them are pretty low impact so you could do them every day if you wanted to, but like Jeanette says, since you're doing so many exercises, it would be better to do alternate days.

Dean leaves a lot of room in the books for experimentation, so try it one way for a week or two and see how you do. If that doesn't work, change things a little and see how that does. As long as you follow the instructions, you don't have to worry about doing anything wrong.

Hope that helps answer your questions.

Dana
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Postby el » Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 pm

aha!!!!!!thank you i was doing them every day!!!!!!!!Thank you!
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