Category Archives: health

Quick Lumbar Disc Injury Signs

The sheer amount of stupid information out there on low back pain and discs in general is making my head hurt. Too many stupid E-doctors, too many stupid medical doctors, too many stupid quack chiros who went to bogus schools, too many stupid personal trainers… fucking driving me nuts. For godsake, see an actual patients, read an actual book, UNDERSTAND an actual study before popping off at the mouth.

Anyway, here are some quick, maybe somewhat sarcastic in spots, signs/symptoms that you hurt a lumbar/low back disc. I ain’t explain’ shit in this post because… SO MUCH ANGER! And obviously, this is for MOST cases. Not the weird, random anterior herniation or synovial cist or shit like that. Fuck I hate the internet sometimes.

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– You were deadlifting and you had a sudden, sharp increase in back pain. You may have heard a pop. Your back may instantly get very tight and it takes you 18 hours to put up your weights.

– Your back hurts after bent over rows, any type of deadlift, or the bottom of the leg press.

– It hurts to bend forward and your range of motion bending forward is likely terrible. Bending backwards may or may not suck and when you do you may feel a “pinching” sensation.

– The idea of putting on shoes causes you to have a panic attack.

– You have sciatic pain down the back of your glute and leg. ESPECIALLY if it passes the knee. This also includes numbness, tingling, shooting pain, burning, pins and needles, loss of sensation in the leg.

– You have UNILATERAL leg pain, tightness, achyness. ESPECIALLY common for people to have just ONE tight piriformis or ONE tight hamstring. It isn’t your fucking piriformis or hamstring, you disc is aggravating the nerve and the nerve is causing the muscles to get angry.

– Sitting is bad, especially driving. When you get up after sitting for 15+ minutes, your low back ( and maybe a leg/glute) feels tight until you get moving.

– You try to squat, but it doesn’t feel right in the hole (if you squat past parallel, even worse if you butt wink).

– You cannot “poke” the pain and reproduce your symptoms. Your errectors and piriformis and glutes may feel sore and painful and tight but it doesn’t reproduce your exact symptoms.

– You feel terrible first thing in the morning when you wake up. Increased pain, increased stiffness. Once you wake up and start moving around and take a shower, you feel a little better.

– It hurts to cough, sneeze, or poop.

– Your low back hurts. Yes, if you have low back pain in general, the majority of the time it is due to a disc injury. Even with no other information provided.

– It has been 2 weeks since the injury and the symptoms are still there.

Chiropractors: Finding a Great One- Part #4: Avoiding the Wackos

The worst thing about Chiropractic is the fucking weirdos. The weirdos taint the whole fucking profession. If someone goes to one weirdo, they think the whole profession is the same way. Which is the farthest thing from the truth.

The basic reason why there are weirdos in chiropractic is because when it first came onto the scene, nobody really knew what was going on. So they made some shit up. All that matters is if you help people. But… instead of adapting with science and the times… they hung on to these stupid ideas that make no real sense. And from there, the weirdness just multiplied. That and people, especially dumb people, are gullible as shit. Luckily, these fuckers don’t hurt people like bad medical doctors or bad psychiatrists. They just accomplish nothing instead and drain your pockets.

So… how do you spot these weird fucks? Well, luckily for you, I provided a nice list of red flags. There are so many chiros out there that if any of these things popped up during your search or first visit, I would run for your life and GTFO.

Most of these should be common sense but… you never know…

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Try to Sign You Up for Long Term “Packages”– Can these dumbasses some how predict the future and know you need 3x a week treatment for the next 6 months? Unless you are signing up for a package because you want regular maintenance/wellness care… then this is stupid as fuck. We have some patients that get better in 1 treatment and some that get better in 100 treatments. There is simply no way to know for sure.

Talk about Innate Flow and God Healing You– Innate flow started as the “reasoning” for why an adjustment can do some weird, beneficial shit. Unfortunagely for the innate flow crowd, something called science and research came along and decided it was a bunch of bullshit. But the dinosaurs and idiots hang on on to this stupid notion and won’t let go.

Praying- GTFO

Maximized Living- If you see these words anywhere in the clinic… run. GTFO.

Advertise that They X-ray Every Patient- Unless you have trauma (fall, car accident, ect) or have weird symptoms or have experienced lots of treatment with no change in your problem… X-rays are generally fucking worthless. I can count on zero hands the number of times X-rays have been useful. Looking for places to adjust on X-ray? Stupid and impossible.

We Need to Fix the Curves of Your Spine- There is no correlation between spine curvature and pain. Oh, you neck is a bit straighter than it should be? Who gives a flying fuck? All the “fix the curve” people are doing is trying to suck you into a long term care plan.

Subluxation.. The Silent Killer- If you see this on their website, in their clinic, or they mention it… GTFO immediately.

Only Adjust Certain Areas (typically, co-c1/atlas-axis/upper cervical only or sacrum only)– This is so fucking stupid.

Use an Activator or Some Other Adjusting Machine Only- Useless for healthy, normal people. May.. MAY have a use for the elderly or babies but not for most people.

Use an Artho Stim Only– Useless.

Try to Adjust Your Cranial Bones– Give me a fucking break. Unless you are a small child… those babies are fused as a motherfucker. You ain’t moving them and even if you did… who gives a fuck? Ask them for research on moving cranial bones and watch them break out in the cold sweat. Then GFTO.

Use Koran Specific Technique (KST)– This has to be one of the stupidest and most useless technique I have ever seen. If you meet one of these docs, punch them in the face and GTFO.

 

 

Chiropractors: Finding a Great One: Part #3- The Sports Chiro

Part #0- The Intro (must read)

Part #1- The Adjustment

Part #2- Soft Tissue Modalities

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I mentioned in the first two parts how I think every chiropractor at a minimum should be a very proficient adjuster and have a soft tissue modality (NOT MASSAGE!) under its belt. Well, MOST of the times, finding someone calling themselves or advertising themselves a “Sports Chiropractor” will be someone that has those two tools in the old tool box.

Sports chiropractic is a pretty big subsection of the chiropractic field and in my opinion, it is one of the areas where Chiros are 100% at the top of the hill when compared to other health care providers. Other than surgical cases, we can simply do more than any other health care provider.

Compared to “regular” chiros, sports chiros are generally more thorough, do more than just adjust, are more understanding of the weightlifters needs, and are overall just a higher quality of chiropractor in my opinion of course.

Now there are certain titles that make someone an ‘official’ sports chiropractor but in reality they are not necessary. Anyone can say they are a sports chiro. They can simply call their office “Mind of Shadow Sports Chiropractic.” But, people usually don’t unless they truly are if that makes any sense. As soon as you label yourself as something (like Sports Chiropractic or Pediatric Chiropractic or Pregnancy Chiropractic, ect), you are held to a higher standard in the court of law, so people don’t do it unless they really ARE good at it. Hopefully that makes sense.

Here are somethings to look for when it comes to people advertising themselves as sports chiros.

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Do They Have Any Certifications or Diplomates?

– I mentioned above there are certain titles that makes someone a sports chiro. Essentially, they are different programs that require more class time and more hands on time AFTER the chiro gets their degree. All chiros who get these things will likely put the letters at the end of their name or at a minimum advertise them on their website. I broke them down for you below.

CCSP- Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician: This is given through the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians. It requires 100 hours of extra class time and then passing a written examination. For more information, go here: http://www.acbsp.com/certificationdetails.htm

DACBSP- Diplomate American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians: This is also given through the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians. It requires you first get your CCSP certification, and then on top of that you must attend 200 hours of extra class (so 300 hours total), complete a written exam, complete a practical exam, get practical experience out on the field, and do a written project of some sort. For more information, go here: http://www.acbsp.com/certificationdetails.htm

ICSSD- International Chiropractic Sports Science Diploma: This is given through the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS). It requires 2 weekend seminars and completion of an extensive online course. Those who have their CCSP or DACBSP can skip the online course.

CSCS- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist: This, honestly, has very little to do with sports. But a lot of chiros get this certification because it is the best personal training-type cert out there, it is cheap, and you can get it done while still in school so it is attractive for new docs who haven’t completed the other certs or just can’t afford to yet. BUT, you will get people who get this cert to seem “sporty” but they actually know nothing about sports. A lot of time, for whatever reason, these dudes are fat fucks as well. Anyway, it is the bare bones cert for a sports chiro that most will get but they get it just for the label and nothing else. It is the “first step” cert so to speak.

– There are some other acronyms that probably have some use but those are the big ones in regards to sports.

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Check Their Past Sports History

– On a chiros website, they will always have a “about the doctor” section. In there, they give a educational history and usually a mini bio. For a sports doc, it will almost ALWAYS have what sports they used to play, what sports they currently play, and what sports team, Olympic team, volunteering for races, ect (if any) they have worked. So, if you have two sports chiros in your area and their qualifications are similar and they are both well liked…picked the one who has a sports background that more closely resembles you. For instance… a former runner or swimmer isn’t going to have the same experiences as say a football player or wrestler. The first two are unlikely to touch many weights while the latter probably have. Just little things like that.

– If they have no history at all in sports and are not currently doing anything active… be very very wary of them. Could be the classic “talk about it, never done it” type.

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Are They Still In Shape

– This is one of my pet peeves. I don’t care how old they are, if they got bad knees/back/arms/whatever… if there is a sports chiro advertising himself as a sports chiro and he is fat… find him and laugh in his face. It drives me bonkers. Probably has nothing to do with how good of a doctor they are, but if they can’t practice what they preach, then they shouldn’t preach. /rant

Chiropractors: Finding a Great One: Part #2- Soft Tissue Modalities

Part #0- The Intro (must read)

Part #1- The Adjustment

In my opinion, at an absolute bare minimum, there are two things a chiropractor should have in his tool belt: the ability to adjust (and adjust well) and a soft tissue modality of his liking. With these two tools, you can get a hell of a lot of people out of pain. And for a weightlifter, soft tissue work is 100% vital when looking for a chiropractor. If a chiro doesn’t mention some sort of soft tissue stuff on their website or in person, find a new one. Times have changed.

– And let me get this out of the way: regular ol’ massage doesn’t count. Massage is to make you feel good. Massage is to pad the bill. Massage is to keep the common folk coming back. Massage is bullshit for fixing real problems. If you are serious about any athletic endeavor and you want FIXED… your chiro better have more than a fucking massage therapist on staff.

– I am going to be talking about different modalties with different names… just know there are “generic” versions of this stuff too. These days, a lot of chiropractic schools teach the generic versions, so it is legal for them to do them in practice as well. So what this really means is, just because someone isn’t technically ART certified, doesn’t mean they don’t know how to do ART like stuff… they would just call it “MRT” or “myofascial release technique.” Same thing goes with say, Graston Technique -vs- IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue modality). Only way to know is to check their website or ask…

– BUT… I really think someone should be certified (or been certified at one point) in at least one of the big soft tissue modalities.

– Also know that keeping a certification usually means the doc is paying an annual fee each year to keep it. At some point, the returns you get on that investment start to diminish and a lot of docs will let there certification lapse. So, if on a website you see “certified ART from 2000-2009,” don’t worry… it doesn’t mean ART came and took it away because they suck. It means the doc got sick of paying the annual fee to keep it. He is still just as proficient as before.

There are two big categories of soft tissue work: using hands or using instruments.

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Hands On

– ART (Active Release Technique) is easily the big dog in this category and as of right now probably the big dog in soft tissue modalites. If you see a chiro certified in ART, they are most likely pretty damn dedicated when it comes to soft tissue modalities. The reason being is ART courses are fucking expensive and they constantly have to “re-certify” to pull even more money out of you. ART works but it can be pretty painful. Even light ART doesn’t feel very good lol. But it works, there is no doubt about that.

Another “named” hand on soft tissue modality is the Stecco Method. Now I don’ t know a whole lot about it (it is outside my price range lol) but one of the developers of it, Warren Hammer DC, is like the god father of soft tissue so I would have no problem at all telling people to see a Stecco provider. Stecco seems more based on movement and the “assess, treat, reassess” philosophy which is incredibly sound.

I am sure there are other named ones but those are the two that stand out for me.

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Instrument Assisted

– Now with instrument assisted soft tissue modalities, you are using some sort of tool to do the work for you. The advantages for the doc is that it increases your longevity… using your thumbs a ton like in ART can tear them apart long term. I also think it takes less “skill” than the hands on therapies. The good tools can guide you on where to apply the treatment… with the hands on modalities you are completely at the mercy of your palpation skills and some peoples skills are non-existant.

Now there are TONS of different tools used for IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue modality). They range from the stainless steel to plastic to stuff like Jade.

I am going to say something that would probably be unpopular with a lot of chiros and my fellow students: as a lifter and someone who is active, non-stainless steel stuff is bullshit. If your doc is using some fucking plastic or some rocks or a reflex hammer or some shit, find another one. It means he isn’t serious about soft tissue work. The stainless steel stuff is MILES above the other shit. And it isn’t THAT expensive. I bought a FAKTR, stainless steel instrument for $250. The module one for Graston is around $600 I think. BOOM… the training of Graston Technique and I got a good, stainless steel instrument for less than $300 (instead of the Graston tools which are $3G’s).

– Anyway, speaking of names, the big daddy of IASTM is easily Graston Technique. It is right behind ART as far as “named” soft tissue stuff and is gaining a lot of steam at the same time. As far as I know, people who get Graston certified stay that way for life. There isn’t a lot of recertification involved, unlike ART. There are two types of GT people: GT trained and GT certified. GT trained (like I am) means they took Module 1 which is Basic GT training. GT certified means they took module 1 and module 2… the advanced training. GT certified people also have the true, Graston instruments while GT trained people might not. Just something to think about. A lot of people don’t go on to get fully GT certified because you learn the techniques you will use 90% of the time in module 1 and you are not forced to spend the $3G’s on the tools. To take module 2 you need to have the GT tools.

Anyway, another name in IASTM is FAKTR. FAKTR was developed by a former GT instructor. It is similar to GT except that it involves movement. So they will do the soft tissue work while the athlete is in motion. Does it make a difference? I don’t know. But it is a solid #2 in the IASTM world.

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The Combo

– A lot of DC’s will get certified in one of the above categories, but use a generic version of the second category. For instance, they will be GT trained, but then do MRT (not ART) when they feel the need. Or an ART doc will do IASTM with cheaper tools. This breaks the rule I said above about the stainless steel instruments by the way. If a doc spent all the money for Stecco or ART and then decides to use some plastic tool when doing IASTM… no biggie. ART is his main weapon and the IASTM is his back up.

– A lot of docs will combine both treatments. What works really well is doing IASTM and then doing some sort of stretching or MRT. Just a heads up. More and more docs are combining the two.

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How to Find Out of a Chiropractor is Soft Tissue Proficient?

– The easiest way is to go to their website. Every chiro that is certified in something will put it somewhere or they will mention they are soft tissue proficient or some crap. If they don’t have a website, you can call and simply ask if they do soft tissue work other than massage and if they say something like, “yes we do myofascial work” or, “yes we do stuff similar to Graston/ART” then they should be decent. While you are at it, tell them to come to the year 2013 and make a fucking website.

– If you are looking for a new chiro and don’t have any idea where to start, you can go to the “provider” websites. Below are links to the popular soft tissue modalites. All you have to do is put in a state/zip code/city or something and it will find all the certified docs in the area and tell you specifics on what they are certified in. For example, someone may only be ART certified in upper extremity instead of all 8 thousand of them.

ART

Graston Technique

FAKTR

Stecco Method

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– If you have any questions, ask below. And on a personal, biased, informed note, of all the modalites used on me, Graston Technique is easily my favorite.

Chiropractors: Finding a Great One: Part #1- The Adjustment

Part #0- The Intro (must read)

Adjustment. Manipulation. CMT. Mobilization. Crack. Pop.

Whatever you want to call it, the adjustment has been the chiropractors bread and butter since the very beginning. It is what they are known for. But what should the customer/patient look for in regards to the chiropractic adjustment?

Frankly, this is not an easy question. There are a lot of techniques, a lot of personal preference involved, a lot of argument between chiros themselves, and a lot of conflicting research involved. But guess what… since this is my blog, you are going to get my opinion lol. Stunning development I know.

I couldn’t figure out a good way to format this post so… word vomit time.

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– The adjustment should be very fast and have a decent about of force behind. The term we use is “High Velocity, Low Amplitude”… HVLA. Unless the chiro says otherwise (I always tell my patients when I am being gentle), this should be the case. Research says mobilizations (aka slow) is just as good as manipulations (aka faster). My experience says otherwise, although there are a number of situations where slower is better. But for a weightlifter… HVLA all the way.

– I am a firm believer in the cavitation (aka pop/crack). Research says it is most likely placebo. Maybe it is… but I never felt the same after a non-cavitating adjustment than a cavitating one. A lot of times, the chiros who say that it doesn’t matter suck at adjusting and just can’t get one. Some people simply don’t cavitate though (rare). Also, you could be so stiff that you don’t cavitate the first visit… but if you got to a chiro six times and never cavitate the dude probably sucks.

– On a website, the most popular adjusting “type” or “category” is Diversified. It is the best and most researched. Gonstead is also pretty popular and a good Gonstead doc is pretty good. However, a lot of Gonstead guys are X-ray happy. Things like SOT (sacral-occipital technique), Upper Cervical, Hole in One, Activator, cranial-sacral, Koren-Specific Technique (KST), Palmer package, Logan Basic, Thompson Drop,  ect should be avoided if that is ALL they are listing. If they say they use Diversified technique and then say they also know some of the other stuff I listed… that is fine. It means there base technique is likely Diversified but they know others. But the guys that specialize in stuff other than Diversified and maybe Gonstead are usually a bit weird.

– The chiro should be focusing on the primary restrictions: C0-C1, C1-C2, CT junction (C7-T4), TL Junction (T12-L1), Lumbosacral junction, and SI. You won’t be able to tell where you are being adjusted, so you are going to have to ask. The areas mentioned above and commonly the “root cause” restrictions. They are MUCH harder areas to adjust, so a lot of docs avoid them and go to the “easy cavitation” zones. Best examples are C5, T6-T8 ish, and mid lumbars. A monkey can get those areas to pop, it takes no skill whatsoever. It also accomplishes dick all unless the primary restrictions are addressed.

– GENERALLY, the average man is going to be a better adjuster than the average woman. Especially for the bigger, weightlifting population. It is simply a size/athleticism, strength thing. Nothing personal. Now saying this, the best adjuster I have ever seen was actually a woman lol. But she is a former gymnast and has bigger arms than a lot of people on bb.com.

– You can’t judge a book by its cover, but if you had to, tall, lanky, slightly athletic looking dudes seem to be the best adjusters. If they are under 6′ tall, they need to be athletically built. It is just a leverage thing… the tall guys with long arms don’t need as much strength to do the same stuff as us short dudes. So the short guys compensate by being bigger and stronger. This is an IME thing, but just off the top of my head, the best adjusters fit this profile.

– I think adjustment “tools” fucking suck and are useless IN MOST CASES. Activator. Artho Stim. Fucking stupid most of the time and inferior to a good ol’ manual adjustment. A couple of examples of the Activator having use would be pussies (aka people scared of the crack), kids, old people, or people that are in so much pain and so acute you can’t get them in proper position to manually adjust.

– There is nothing wrong with the chiro using the same technique every time he adjusts you, IF YOU ARE RESPONDING WELL. Meaning, if you get adjusted say, 3 times and it is helping, the doc isn’t likely to change his technique because it is working. But the opposite is true too. If you have been adjusted say, 8 times and nothing is changing… it is retarded to keep doing the same technique over and over again.

– Cervical only chiros (sometimes called Hole in One or Upper Cervical or some shit) are cult-ish like weirdos and crooks. Run away.

– If a chiro wants to X-ray you before an adjustment to look for areas to adjust… run away.

– If a chiro wants to X-ray you before and after an adjustment… run away.

– If a chiro uses only instrument assisted adjusting… run away.

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There is probably a ton of stuff I am forgetting to put in here, so there might be Adjustment #2 coming. But this should be a good start.

If you have any question, don’t hesitate to ask. And if you have any requests on this topic, hit me up in the comments.

Chiropractors: Finding a Great One- Pt #0 The Intro

This is a must read post for anyone that will be reading anymore of my chiropractic posts.

Everything I say is 100% in my opinion. I have more experience in most due to the fact am currently starting my third year of chiropractic school… but it just needs reiterating that everything is just my opinion. I have my own views on what a “perfect” chiropractor is. It doesn’t mean everyone shares my view point. Hell it doesn’t even mean I will practice that way!

It also doesn’t mean that if you chiropractor doesn’t “check all of the boxes,” he sucks. These posts are a “in a perfect world” sort of thing. They are designed to give you as much information as possible to make your own, informed decision. If something is really a “must have” or a “must avoid” then I will state that, no worries. I have no problem being blunt lol.

I am doing this because I truly believe most people, and especially active people who are beating their bodies into submission day-after-day, would truly benefit from chiropractic visits. However, I understand why the majority of people do not: there are some crooks and shitty docs out their ruining it for the others. Not to mention tons of misinformation and outright lies floating around that keeps people away.

So, there is my qualifying statement. I believe these series of posts can be really useful for a lot of people so stay tuned.

MRI and Discs: Patient Beware

Around 60% of disc herniations in the lower back are asymptomatic. About 25% in the neck are asymptomatic. No pain. No loss of strength. No tingling. No signs. No symptoms. Nothing.

Read that again. Understand it. Make sure it sinks it. Also understand I am using “herniation” as a catch all for all disc issues. It is just easier that way. So please, no e-doctors getting technical in the comments. Because I will out technical you lol.

Ok. So what? Who cares right? Nice stat Shadow, now go post about comics or something.

Definite candidate for back surgery.

Wrong. So wrong. Because so many doctors use a damn MRI to diagnose back problems that they fuck you up horribly because of this. This is mostly a MD problem but some shitty, shitty chiros do it as well. But this is stupidly common for MD’s because they don’t know what to do about low back pain.

Look at it this way. You are doing, say, push presses. Your back has been shit for weeks and finally, one day, you do your presses and it hurts like hell. Your back is killing you and you finally realize that it isn’t going to heal doing what you are doing. So you realize you need to go to a doctor so you can get back to lifting as soon as possible. You hate chiros because they are all quacks, and you head to the medical doctor’s office. And what does an MD do? Comes in, sends for X-rays immediately. No real exam, just X-ray. And, surprise surprise, the X-ray doesn’t show shit.

So from here you have two options. The MD will make up something, give you a prescription, and tell you to never lift again. Or, the back pain is bad enough (or the MD wants more money) and he sends you off to the MRI machine. Get the results back and OH MY GOD!!!! Herniated discs everywhere!!!! There is the problem. Boom, 10 points MD.

Except it wasn’t the disc. Those herniated discs have been there for years with no symptoms. It is your facets that are fired up and fucked due to the constant hyperextension from your push presses. So now the doctor is treating something that was misdiagnosed and probably treating it wrong.

The huge HUGE problem with this is that there are people out there getting back surgeries to fix problems that aren’t problems. Using the same example as above, the MD wants to refer you to a surgeon to fix the problem permanently. The MRI shows disc herniations and so the discs are the problem and so doctor wants to replace the discs or fuse your spine. You are now disabled for life… and your back pain didn’t even go away because they didn’t fix the fucking problem. The problem was your facets that could have easily been fixed by conservative measures. Shit like this is so commons there is an actual syndrome called Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.

Speaking of unnecessary, failed spinal surgery… FML

You just can’t use an MRI to diagnose discs problems. You just can’t. It doesn’t work. You use imaging of any sorts to confirm a diagnoses. So you would need signs such as referred pain in the proper region, tingling in the right area, loss of strength in the right muscles, diminished reflexes, and pain in flexion. If all those things are pointing you to, for example, a L5-S1 disc, you THEN go to an MRI if you need to and see if L5-S1 disc is blown (if it is necessary for an MRI at all. Usually it isn’t. MRI’s and X-rays are done a lot of time just to show patients something “real” so they think you aren’t just making shit up). And if it is… awesome. Congrats. But if you go to an MRI and see a blow L2-L3 disc… who cares? Your signs aren’t pointing to a problem there. That disc has been blown for awhile and is not affecting anything (or your examination sucked balls).

Just a little “patient beware” advice. The last thing I want to see on a message board is people going into surgery due to uninformed docs who are opening you up for no reason whatsoever.

Just because it looks painful doesn’t mean it is. 

Why Stretching Your Hamstrings Can Make Your Low Back Pain Worse

When people post “I hurt my back” on internet boards, the first thing anyone says is, “stretch your hamstrings, hip flexors, and do [insert some high rep lower back exercise].” The problem is that stretching your hamstrings can possibly make your back pain worse.

Now before you call me a retard, hear me out. But to do that, we are going to have to take a trip down Anatomy Ave. Because really, this is just basic anatomy and paying attention what attaches where.

Everyone knows that the hamstrings are responsible for flexion of the leg as it crosses the knee joint and inserts onto the tibia and fibula. (Leg = below the knee in anatomy terms by the way while above the knee is considered the thigh). And every lifter SHOULD know that it is also an extender of the hip as it crosses that joint as well and originates on the ischial tuberosity, which is why exercises such as SLDL’s and GM’s hit the hamstrings hard. Pictures speak louder than words in anatomy, so here is a picture…

Now let us look at the other side of the body, specifically the hip flexors. There are 3-ish main hip flexors, Psoas, Illiacus, and Rectus Femoris. But lets look at the Illiopsoas muscle thing as it is more important to this discussion. Illiospoas originates from the lumbar vertebral bodies and the illiac fossa of the hip and insterts into the upper part of the femur (in laymen terms). It is the primary hip flexor of the body. Another picture to help with the anatomy… 
Unfortunately for a lot of people, our hip flexors are too damn tight. A lot of this is due to the fact that people just sit down way too damn much. You sit down at school, work, driving, watching TV, talking to your friends, at the bar, ect. Hell, a lot of people sleep on their sides with their knees brought up in a fetal like position. Tight hip flexors are the main contributing factor to an anterior tilted pelvis, which we will touch on shortly. Keep that in your head though.
Lifters compound the problem even more. We do “ab” exercises such as weight decline sit ups and leg raises that hit the hip flexors extremely hard, contributing to them being tight. We also strengthen the hell out of our lower back, which contributes to this anterior tilted pelvis some more. We also squat, do leg presses, and other quad dominant exercises, which will strength Rectus Femoris, another hip flexor. All of this contributes to the anterior tilted pelvis issue.
So what is anterior pelvic tilt? It is exactly what is sounds like… the pelvis is tilted anteriorly instead of being in neutral. This is due to hypertonic/tight hip flexors and errectors and hypotonic/weak/stretched hamstrings, glutes, and abdominals. Pictures speak a hell of a lot louder than words in this case…
I want you to take a look at the lower back in those pictures. You should notice much more of an “arch” in the lower back in the picture to the left. That hyperlordosis is going to jam the facets into each other, leading to facet syndrome, which is one of the main causes of lower back pain. So, not only are you slowly throughout the day jamming your facets into each other, but as a lifter, you are probably doing shit like overhead presses, big arches while bench, swinging your back into curls, hyperextending your back extensions, overemphasising your lockout for deadliftings, ect… all of which is jamming your facets into each other and leading to bad facet syndrome.
So what the fuck does this have to do with the hamstrings? Let me try and make this somewhat simple.
Your body doesn’t like to be in pain. Pain is there to make you avoid things that will make your problem worse. So, if you have pain in your lower back due to your facets jamming into each other, your body is going to try to stop your facets from jamming into each other. Pretty simple. So what is the muscle that is going to try and stop your facets from jamming into each other?
Your Hamstrings.
Your hamstrings are connect to the posterior side of your pelvis. It is going to constantly be fighting your hip flexors to try and stay out of pain. Are they losing? Yes… hypotonic muscles are weak muscles and your hamstrings aren’t even the prime hip extensors in the body. But damn it, it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to try because your body doesn’t want to continue to hurt itself. This is why your hamstrings probably feel “tight” all they time. They aren’t tight, in fact they are stretched and lengthened if you have this posture. They feel tight because they are constantly contracting slightly trying to fight your hip flexors to get out of pain and they are sore.
So you have all this going on and what do you do? GO AND STRETCH YOUR HAMSTRINGS! Further lengthening them and not allowing them to fight your hip flexors which causes your pelvis to tilt even more, further jamming your facets…
and increasing your back pain instead of helping it.