3 Major Myths Concerning Exercise for a Bad Back!

by coachz on September 29, 2009

3 Major Myths Concerning Exercise and Back Pain: Neck Pain, Back Pain and Sciatica Relief Strategies!

3 myths relating to neck pain, back pain and/or sciatica and exercise may actually be exacerbate pain, hurting rather than helping the patient, they are pervasive, and wrong!

There are many myths when it comes to neck pain, back pain, and sciatica; and, particularly the exercises that are “good for” people with a bad
back.

There are three myths relating to neck pain, back pain, and sciatica which are particularly problematic. The three most pervasive, and
damaging, are:

1) Swimming is a great exercise for people with a bad back
2) That situps are also good for strengthening the back muscles
3) That abdominal crunches are great for developing adominal muscles and for strengthening the back

Swimming, as an exercise strategy for those suffering from a bad back, and particularly from neck pain, back pain, and sciatica has been around for a long time. President John F Kennedy may have had an impact on the pervasiveness of this myth, as it was said that he swam daily, part propaganda and part true…more propaganda. The fact is, swimming, especially early in the exercise process, may actually exacerbate not only back pain but neck and sciatic nerve pain, as well.

Sit-ups were thought to be a great abdominal exercise for years, one also thought to help people suffering from back pain too. Sit-ups have now been relegated to the obsolete exercise category, although the myth that they are a good abdominal exercise persists, particularly among the uninformed. As with swimming, sit-ups may actually exacerbate neck pain, back pain, and sciatica.

The third kind of exercise that falls neatly into this category is the abdominal crunch. The abdominal crunch, or just crunches, came along and replaced the sit-up as the next-best thing for abdominal development, the King of Ab Development. Crunches are also supposed to help with core muscle development; and, neck pain, back pain, and sciatica relief through increased and directed muscle development. The fact is, like the two above, the crunch may exacerbate neck pain, back pain, and sciatica! The crunch should never be used early in a neck pain, back pain or sciatica relief exercise program. Perhaps after an individual has progressed a bit, but never early on.

Overall, the 3 exercise strategies above may do more harm than good, mainly because so many, even among the medical community, still believe in their efficacy. However, these strategies, and their ability to help a person suffering from neck pain, back pain, and/or sciatica, must be viewed as nothing more than uninformed anecdotal gossip…or as outright myths with very little basis in scientific or medical fact.

When commencing a neck pain, back pain and/or sciatica program, start slow, begin with low impact exercises, and above all begin with a program that is designed specifically for neck pain, back pain, and sciatica sufferers…if possible by neck pain, back apin, and/or sciatica sufferers.

http://TheBadBackGuy.net is just such a program for neck pain, back pain, and sciatica relief!

John

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr., The Bad Back Guy
216-712-6526
Skype: johnzajaros1
JohnZ@UltimateBadBackStrategies.com

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

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krystal January 10, 2014 at 1:38 am

Finally!
Someone who does not recommend crunches for sciatica relief. I could not believe when I saw multiple resources recommend them.

However, I do have a question about stretching the Hamstrings, do gentle hamstring stretches (such as the seated hamstring stretch that one may perform with an elderly adult) help or hurt individuals who are prone to sciatica?

thank you!

coachz January 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Hi Krystal!

The hamstring stretch often helps. It’s because there are times when the piriformis muscle causes a sciatic nerve pain-like condition. Keep in mind that sciatica is a symptom that something else is going on, usually in the lower lumbar region, and it’s best to get to the root of the problem (pun intended).

That being said, I find that a combination of ice, easy stretching of both the lower back and biceps femoris (hamstrings), and elevating the knees to a position higher than the hips works for me. I use a Thera-Med ice pack (about $20 at Walgreens, CVS, etc – buy an extra one or just the ice pack, if available) and rotate the insertable/removable ice packs every 30 minutes or so. If you have a recliner, apply the ice, find that sweet spot where your most comfortable, and put a pillow or two beneath your knees and relax. Using this strategy I have gone from being in horrific pain to a comfortable nap in as little as 30 minutes. Naturally, everyone is different and you must seek out a QUALIFIED neurologist who will get to the root of your pain…but the above has helped me immensely, and repeatedly!

I wish you peace and a painless 2014! Thank you for visiting!

You can find more videos at http://www.YouTube.com/user/JohnJajaros

JZ “The Bad Back Guy”

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