Questions about Rebuild Your Back system/book

Discussions relating to Lower Back Pain.

Questions about Rebuild Your Back system/book

Postby Smitty » Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:05 pm

Hello Dean & other forum regulars,

I own my own business and don't have medical insurance so I've been researching my back problems online in the hopes to avoid going to the doctor’s office and racking up large medical bills. I've had back problems on and off for a couple of years (maybe 2-3 times a year where I can't walk for several days) and just recently I've been having pain in my left leg down to the outer portion of my calf/ankle. With the research I've been doing online, I think I have sciatica. It's very difficult for me to drive & sit. I'm in good shape and workout regularly when I don't have back issues. I do upper body workouts (lift weights at the gym) 4-5 times a week and do cardio (stairmaster-type machine) workouts 3-4 times a week for 25-30 mins to work out my legs. I have never really been into stretching so I'm VERY INFLEXIBLE. Here are my questions:

1. Does your book (RYB) deal with 'muscle imbalances?' I noticed by my online research that this could be the cause of back issues. example: over developed quads can pull your pelvis forward which could cause back issues.

2. Websites talk about inversion therapy with a table/contraption. Does this work and should this be apart of my rehab routine?

3. Can sitting on a thick wallet in my back left pocket be the cause of my back issues and my sciatica in my left leg?

4. I'm 5'6", 32 yrs old, and 205 lbs but I am pretty fit/built (I wear 32in waist for pants)...should I get my weight down? am i carrying to much for my back?

5. Should I focus on stretching workouts like yoga instead of lifting weight? Since I'm very inflexible, could stretching be the answer to my back/sciatica issues?

6. Now that I've gone into some detail about my condition and body type, is the Rebuild Your Back book/system made for me?

I'm sorry for the long winded post but I've read over some of this forum and people seem to be genuinely helpful and supportive. I also think this website is very informative compared to the others I've researched so I've decided to post on this one for help.

Any feedback or thoughts would be greatly appreciated...:) I'm laying on my stomach right now typing this to avoid my sciatic pain...


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Postby TBone » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:13 am

Welcome Smitty,

I too have had lower back issues. I fought my condition which included sciatica for 10 months with very little success. I was advised by doctors to stop sitting! I had almost given up hope in April after trying the spinal decompression (which I think is a complete crock now). I had also tried standard physical therapy, prolotherapy, a nerve get the picture. None of them worked. I accidentally found this site while checking on a product called True Back. So, on May 1 of this year, I began the program. I have had great results so far.

I had given up hope that I'd be able to play golf this summer. But I have played 5 times already in June! Physical therapy was the only thing that even got me close to feeling well, but I could only get so far with it. I think the reason that most physical therapy programs fall short is that they only work you in one direction...basically, the press ups or cobras. Don't get me wrong here, cobras are vital to the healing process, especially early on in the program. The great thing about Dean's program is that it works your back in all kinds of directions. There is a lot of twisting and hamstring stretches and forward bends that prepare your back for dynamic movement that it will need in daily life. But, this part of the program happens after about 4 weeks of the phase 1 exercises, just to make sure your body is ready.

I too was very inflexible, I am, on the other hand, very tall and slightly older than you (38). So our body types are different, but I can relate to your "gym rat" nature. I am an avid athlete. I am not 100% yet, and there are days where my sciatica acts up. But the book offers some good advice on how to deal with that mentally. Basically, as long as you don't have any really sharp pain, you are OK. If you have soreness, you are OK. Some days it is hard to remember that, but it gets easier with time.

I also benefited greatly from the discussions on John Sarno's book called Healing Back Pain. I don't agree with everything Sarno suggests, however, it helped me to realize that the abnormalities, like disc herniations, are quite normal. Meaning that most people have abnormalities so it is unlikely that they cause pain. (That may answer that muscle imbalance question that you had) I know that stress increases my sciatica. When I have a tough day with my kids or at work, my sciatica tends to really flare up. There are some deep breathing exercises in the book that help with that. It also helps to let things roll off your back too!

Anyway, I am very glad I started this program. I think you will have excellent results, Smitty. I hope/expect to return to competitive tennis in the fall/winter of 2008. I want to really make sure I am completely healed before trying that.


Postby Smitty » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:20 pm

Hey there T Bone,

Thanks for the response. I just downloaded Dean's book over the weekend and started doing the basic stretch exercises which have been great. I have sciatica and have not been able to do forward bends because of it. I think I really need to stretch out my hamstrings once I feel better. I my inflexibility is a big part of my problem. Since you have sciatica too T Bone, is it better to feel pain within the leg or is it a better problem to feel it in the lower back. I've been feeling it in the left leg for about a week but today it seems like the pain in now in my lower back...should i be concerned? I cant wait for all the pain to go away so i can really start strengthening, stretching, and rebuilding my lower back...I've been neglecting this process for too long!! thanks for the reply!!

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Postby Flyin Pig » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:13 pm

Hey Smitty,

I believe the the key for my own quick healing was/is stretching many times a day for short durations.

I too, like to compete. Sports, weight training, martial arts. I'd like to try to give TBone a lesson on the tennis court one day. But, I think you must remember to go real easy with your rehabilitation now. Don't think so much of doing "reps" of stretches because you'll want to go at it till you feel it. Go slow, especially now.

I'm not back to the martial arts yet, but I have played some tennis, golf, and I'm back on the weights. And I can run again. I'm happy. You'll get there, too.

Flyin Pig
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Location: Toledo, Ohio

Postby TBone » Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:18 am

Smitty wrote:Since you have sciatica too T Bone, is it better to feel pain within the leg or is it a better problem to feel it in the lower back. I've been feeling it in the left leg for about a week but today it seems like the pain in now in my lower back...should i be concerned?

Hey Smitty,

From everything I've read and experienced, it is better to feel the pain in the back than in the extremities. If you are feeling pain in the extremities, then you likely are experiencing issues with a nerve. The more the pain centralizes to your back, the better. But, I'm no doctor.

I agree with Scott. Do what your body allows you to do without pain. In other words, don't over stretch or stretch past the pain. The first month or so should be devoted to the basics and trying to get your body ready for the advanced exercises.


Postby Smitty » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:15 pm

Hey Guys, So I'm back to walking around and feeling much better although I do have some siatic numbness/sensation in my left lower leg in the morning...I've been doing Dean's stretches every day throughout the day and the siatic sensation disappears as i stretch out my back/legs. I have to be in front of the computer most of the day for work and was wondering if it would be a good idea to sit on one of those exercise balls you see at the gym. My friend told me that it helps with posture and works the core. Also, I'm thinking about hitting up the gym shortly but coming back slowly. Is there any gym equipment or weight exercises that anyone recommends?

I'm so happy to be walking again!!

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Postby TBone » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:18 pm

Hey Smitty,

That's great that you are feeling better. Just be careful not to go crazy and relapse. I had a mini-relapse that caused inflammation for a couple of weeks because I tried to play golf before my back was ready. I was feeling really good. I guess that is the danger time.

Anyway, good luck and keep up the progress.


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