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Questions about Rebuild Your Back system/book

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:18 pm
by Smitty
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...



Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:38 pm
by Peter B
Hey Smitty,

Speaking as a guy that was used to working out six days a week (3 long runs, 3 sessions of weight training) I highly recommend you begin to incorporate a regular stretching routine...I don't think I can emphasize enough how important it is to keep your lower back and legs limber. I was guilty of working my abs far too much while neglecting to do any kind of exercise for my lumbar a result, I suffered a severe herniated disc approximately 5 weeks ago while doing squats in the gym...I've been working hard to fix some of my mistakes by doing the RYB exercises 3-4 times a day.

When I get back to regular workouts, and have overcome the damage I did to my sciatic nerve, I plan to stick to a workout that incorporates a lot more body-weight/calisthenic type exercises...weights will remain light, with very high reps and careful attention to form. My days of weighted squats are over.

By the way, I'm 42 and have been working out my entire adult life. It takes a lot of years of poor habits to end up where I'm at's going to take a lot of discipline and hard work to fix those habits and recover, but I always enjoyed a challenge!

Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 am
by Smitty
Hey there Peter B, thanks for the reply. I downloaded Dean's book and have started doing the exercises/stretching that he recommends. Your right about the stretching, before my back issues I could only do a forward bend where I reached midway between my knee and foot. I think my hamstrings being so tight is what caused my back problems...What are the 'lumbar' exercises i could do at the gym once i fully recover? I want to become very flexible and strengthen my back so this never happens again. you said your injury happened 5 weeks ago...are you back to walking, running, working out at the gym, etc. (I'm just trying to figure out how long the healing process takes so i can focus on strengthening the area...I'm just doing Dean's stretches right now from the book)...

Thanks for the the reply.


Posted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:54 pm
by Peter B
Hey Smitty,

After 5 weeks, I've recovered to the point where I'm walking about 1.5 hours a day, doing stretching and mobility exercises for another running yet. My foot drop has been coming along much faster than expected, but it's still a problem, so until it goes away, I won't be pushing the running aspect.

It's taken until now for me to be able to do the full cobra stretch. I've begun a couple strengthening exercises as well, including the lower back bridge and the "swimmer"...the exercises hurt a bit, but I feel better after I stretch.

I'm looking forward to getting back to the gym, but I know I have to have the discipline to take my time with this injury so as not to set myself back. It's tough holding back.