By Dave Werner
Who hasn’t experienced low back pain at some point in their lives?
For some of us it’s a chronic problem and really interferes with our quality of life. For others back pain only happens occasionally.
Over time though, almost all of us experience low back pain.
Because our low back and trunk are such a central part of our body and the center of our movements, pain in this area can be pretty scary.
When you get out of bed in the morning and struggle to put on your socks, struggle to stand up straight, when you feel stiff and sore
as you get ready for your day, this can be very discouraging.
Even worse, if we don’t know why this pain is happening, we will all tend to imagine the worst – ruptures, tears and the need for surgery.
The vast majority of low back pain, however, is not caused by structural or tissue damage. Many of you have already experienced this when you had
x-rays or CT scans but the doctor was not able to diagnose a clear reason for your pain.
Our trunk and low back is the center of all our movement. The area is supported by many different muscles supporting the skeleton.
There are a handful of issues that routinely crop up regarding the strength, flexibility and balance between these muscles that cause our pain.
Clearly our pain is a warning – our body is trying to tell us that something needs to change. But the warning often come before any injury.
It is not necessarily true that pain is caused by tissue damage.
This claim I am making, that your low back pain is probably not caused by tissue damage, can be very hard to believe.
We have been conditioned all our lives to associate pain with damage.
I grew up in Oklahoma working on farms and wrestling. At 17 I joined the NAVY and became a SEAL by the age of 18.
I was a tough scrappy kid with a resilient body and had no pain or injuries holding me back.
After a few years as a SEAL I started to experience short episodes of low back pain that were unsettling – but they didn’t last long so I ignored the problem.
After more years of pushing my body hard, these episodes happened more frequently until one morning, at the end of a demanding week of training,
I jumped out of bed and landed on my face. My right leg had collapsed and my back was in agony. So I went to doctors,
who found structural damage and this led to surgery.
For the next 10 years I was in constant pain and had a range of different troubles moving. There was intermittent progress and many set backs.
During all this time I was dutifully following medical advice which was, essentially, to use my body as little as possible. As the years went by
I got weaker, less stable, and in more pain until at my lowest point, I couldn’t walk without a cane.
Eventually, after an especially difficult back pain crisis, I had an epiphany that my physical decline was a direct result of getting weaker.
My youthful strength and resilience was nearly gone and that was leading to constant pain.
I realized I had to find a way to regain strength without causing more damage. As I started this process, many people told me that trying to regain strength was a bad idea.
My chronic pain was so debilitating though that I had to try. It turns out that the experts and all of my well-meaning supporters were wrong.
Our bodies are amazingly resilient, we CAN gain strength and train to restore function even when there has been structural damage.
Over the next few years I was able to completely eliminate my low pack pain, restore my strength and no longer need any pain meds.
Now, I have been training people to fix their backs for more than 20 years.
There are several key relationships in our trunk musculature that typically don’t work well, because of our modern lifestyle but these areas are very trainable.
As you work through this program, you will experience significant pain relief. In most cases we can completely eliminate low back pain.
As you develop your strength and mobility and healthy movement patterns, you will regain confidence in your body and in your ability
to move and do what you want to do.