Most spine issues are complex and therefore difficult to resolve. I have developed a different approach that has been effective both for me and for my students. Even though spinal injury and deterioration is complex, its treatment should not and does not have to be. My methods use very simple techniques to break the issues down into simple steps with simple solutions. You can reduce stress, pain and inflammation and provide a healing environment for the spine. It is not hard to do.
As we age, the spine is burdened for different reasons. As a result, we are more likely to fall.
- Neck and Shoulders: Stress often tenses the muscles across the back of the shoulders and neck. If this tension becomes chronic, the spine itself is affected and torqued out of position, in a similar way to having a "monkey on your back".
- Lower Back: We have lots of painful nerve problems like sciatica in the lower back as we get older, partly due to compression. The pain and stiffness that comes makes it much harder to pick our feet up and as a result we are more likely to fall.
- Weak Core: In addition, our core muscles are weakened by the fact that as we get older, we sit more. Core muscles serve an incredibly important purpose in protecting and supporting the spine. Inactive core muscles allows compression to take on an even greater role. Nerve impingement becomes more likely. Without core strength we also use the spine in a rougher, less graceful manner, placing even more stress on fragile joints. The spine and the knees are especially affected.
- We are also more likely to fall: If your back hurts it is painful to pick your feet up so we shuffle. We immediately open ourselves up to all kinds of environmental hazards. Our fall associated risk shoots way up because foot shuffling is a contributing factor to most falls. Release tension in the lower back, pain lessens and walking becomes easier. We can do more of the things we want to do.
SOLUTION: My approach for spine health:
Tension where you need it (core).
Not where you don't (shoulders/neck/lower back).
- Release tension in the upper and lower spine using simple yet safe methods to stretch the hips and shoulders.
- Increase the strength of the core to protect and support both the lower and upper back.
- Improve the health and movement capability of the spine itself.
Those with spine pain use their hips less and their spine more. This is the reverse of how things should be. The spine joints are fragile while the hips strong. Use the spine less not more by freeing the hips for the hard work they are designed for. Building Better Balance teaches you how to do this safely, simply and effectively.
After teaching simple Building Better Balance lower back exercises at a luncheon presentation, one of the attendees came up to me to say that the exercises had caused his lower back pain to disappear! The other 7 gents at his table experienced the same thing!
I hear this type of feedback all the time from students in my classes. Several weeks ago, 3 different people came up to me after class to say that the awful pain they came into the class with had disappeared during the class from the exercises I taught. It's common to hear that from one person. Each week at least one person reports this...but 3! Building Better Balance works!
The exercises I have created for improving spine health are detailed throughout all 4 of the DVDs in the Building Better Balance series, but the 3rd "Developing Spine Health" focuses on it. Learn how to pick your feet up and no longer shuffle with "Walking Made Easier". Learn how not to fall in "Balance Basics". And finally learn an effective technique for reducing pain and inflammation occurring in any area of the body deteriorating or injured in "Arthritis and other Chronic Conditions".