About The Author & The Program
Updated September 27, 2018
(To read all about me, please scroll down)
SN Health Resources was founded in early 2014 as an informational website to educate and inspire those suffering with chronic lower back pain. Https://lowbackpainprogram.com was created to provide easy to follow tips and simple exercises for those in need of solutions to their pain. This site contains numerous articles written to help teach visitors both how to relieve their current pain, recondition their muscular weaknesses and ultimately be able to return to their lifestyle pain free.
The Low Back Pain Program Website offers an easy to follow exercise eBook and Softcover specifically designed for relieving and correcting the issues of back pain. The book is available in all formats including PDF, E-reader, Kindle, iBooks and Paperback.
There is also The Companions Guide (also PDF & Softcover) for the Program. It contains 100’s of tips and instructions on how you can best manage, relieve and protect yourself from pain throughout all activities and lifestyles that can affect your back. It is one of the most practical books to have when you are not sure what is helpful or harmful for your back.
This Fall there will be a video stream available for purchase as a subscription which with feature in high definition, all of the exercises in action for anyone that prefers the video format and not only printed. This PDF version will be included as part of the stream.
The website and eBook were created by Sherwin Nicholson, who himself has overcome his struggle with lower back pain and has committed his career to helping other to do the same.
The lowbackpainprogram.com, The Low Back Pain Program eBook, The Companion Guide for The Low Back Pain Program and The Low Back Pain Program Video Stream (eBook, Softcover and MP4 Video versions) are registered and copy written. Any copying or duplication of the information in the eBook/book/video stream is prohibited & illegal without written consent.
Please feel free to explore the site for tips, concerns, exercises and much more!
The goal of my site is to encourage you to never give up on taking care of yourself naturally, with minimal or no medication and to hopefully require surgery only when necessary. I want visitors to recognize the utmost importance of being able to personally take control and responsibility over the physical weakness and imbalances that can be causing their pain or worsening an already difficult condition.
It is not an easy task but it is important that you commit to your goal of pain relief and practicing safe back movements and postures at all times. It is you that matters the most in what happens with regards to your back pain and quality of life. We are in this together, and I am here to help you!
For more about me, please scroll down.
You can submit a message to me if you have any questions, concerns or need any support with the eBook/download.
Please visit the site reference page for any sources I use for my content.
SN Health Resources is a Canadian owned and operated business.
We can be reached at:
SN Health Resources
43 Delattaye Avenue
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
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Updated September 27, 2018
My Story About Back Pain
It’s a really long story so grab a coffee or tea…
I am Sherwin Nicholson. I am 48 years old and live in Aurora, Ontario, Canada. I have two awesome teenage children that keep me busy with my free time. I have trained, worked and instructed with many students, PhDs, MDs and Techs in the Medical Research field for 22 years and have a Specialist Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Biology.
My career as a Researcher began in Vascular Surgery, investigating Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms and the Pathways of the Immune System for Chief Vascular Surgeon Dr. Thomas Lindsay at the Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network. I also performed Research as a Surgical Technologist at the Neuroscience and Mental Health Department at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, Canada with Neuroscientist Dr. Sheena Josselyn as my Principal Investigator. My specialty of expertise was in Stereotaxic Surgery and Optogenetics. I have also trained staff in my expertise at the IUPUI (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA) with Dr. Keith March.
I spend my career and personal time focusing on back pain research, associated rehabilitation exercises and operating and running this site. My hobbies include weight training, running, skating, skiing, and planted aquariums. I am deeply and forever committed to providing safe and honest information for all of those in search of relief from lower back pain. The response that I have had with this site has been simply amazing! I have made a difference with thousands of lives with my site reaching virtually every country in the world.
My Life with Back Pain
I have suffered from a long history of severe, crippling, chronic, lower back pain issues. For someone such as myself who thought they understood how to take care of my back properly, I was not following by example for such a long time.
The reality was that life’s’ daily pressures and obligations led me to neglect my health and to focus on the wrong priorities when it came to my back. My back would begin to suffer from these poor life decisions beginning solely as multiple back spasms.
After years of ignoring the many warning signs, my issues ranged from herniated discs to severe disc degeneration, facet joint pain, hip pain, sharp knee pain and countless back spasms. My history of low back pain began in my early twenties with recurring back spasms and disc herniations. I lived a very active and fit lifestyle that included cardiovascular exercise, martial arts and weight lifting. During this time, I struggled with the pain, discomfort and the subsequent loss of freedom and mobility associated with back injury and pain.
The Beginnings of Neglect
My back pain began after graduation from The University Toronto and entry into my career. Long auto commutes, desk and bench work, and the lack of exercise contributed to the risks that led to chronic back pain. Constant neglect of adequate back rehabilitation exercises eventually led to more progressive and serious risk of lumbar disc injury. I focused very little on my back health and simply assumed that everything was fine and the issues were temporary. When I did try to exercise, I would only practice intense weight training based workout that only added to the problem that I thought I was correcting.
Injuries taken for granted
This resulted into eventual herniation of the lumbar discs while active. This began a cycle of limited exercise to maintain back health, improper rehabilitation and constant use of heavy duty prescription anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication to manage pain. I suffered through this hopeless cycle for over a decade.
This cycle prevents any proper rehabilitation to recover from disc herniation. It advances the aging processes that come with degenerative disc disease. Poor experience into root causes of low back pain greatly contributes to this vicious cycle.
Quality of Life Going Nowhere
After several years of this struggle, my mobility, quality of life and personal activities were limited. I did not see any hopeful scenario in which recovery was possible and doubted any return to the active lifestyle previously enjoyed. I went through a period of at least 10 long and worrisome years where I had believed that I had exhausted all means of treatment and resigned to a limited lifestyle. This had a serious effect on my personal life, marriage, family life and hobbies.
I would continue to go through a viscous cycle beginning with back spasm, leading to severe back herniation or my back going out to the point where I would be collapsed and immobile on the ground for long periods of time with an attack and requiring several doses of Tylenol to regain mobility. I needed many sick days from work also. My employer even took great notice on the effect that it had on my job.
Denial & pain medication as a coping mechanism
Days later, after my back would feel better, I would assume that it was healed. I then resumed weightlifting and performing other dynamic and very demanding fitness routines such as martial arts. I would always wake up the next morning in pain, totally stiff and immobile and very distraught not knowing why I felt such pain after a good evening the night before.
When It Keeps Coming Back and Worse
It was mental torture to go from an exercise high the night before without pain, to crippling pain the next morning. I repeated this cycle for years. I went through the typical routine of assuming that my issue was long term, permanent and that the only help was use of painkillers and having to abandon my favorite exercise lifestyle which was very disheartening and hard to give up.
Painkillers were certainly effective but only for as long as I was taking them. Some of the medications were prescribed. I took them routinely and carefully rationed them and staggered them with over-the-counter drugs, feeling that I couldn’t feel comfortable without them. I was well aware of the dangers and risks involved with their use but didn’t see any other alternative. I relied on these drugs simply because I thought that they were the proper method to treat my back pain. I only associated my pain solely as pain related to nerve and disc damage even arthritic in nature. Also, it was the only recommended method of treatment that I thought was effective from my family physician and other health professionals.
Turning to Medication as My Constant
I would be quick to choose painkillers as my first method of pain management over any other treatment because my pain tolerance was exhausted and thin. I also felt that I had seen all possible health professionals and had gotten all the best help but each of them in my opinion failed to treat me because as long as the pain persisted. I would quit their treatment plan and move on to another professional treatment plan.
The Numbing High of Denial
I continued this method of treatment for such a long time that it was actually of great relief compared to the ten years of untreated pain that was endured. This was almost a great weight lifted off of my shoulders and believed that proper long to relief was found and that I was getting appropriate treatment long as others like me were. This relief allowed me to relax but I knew that I was severely limited to a drug dependent life in order to receive this kind of relief. I would constantly compare this pain relief to my best days of daily pain and would look to it as the best option.
What Everyone with Real Pain Knows About Themselves
I would certainly like to think that one of the worst parts of living this chronic and painful nightmare, is knowing that you are losing out on so many things in life that you hold dear to you.
The simple things like picking up your child and holding them, participating in the activities you love, enduring the uncomfortable chores and obligations that you must physically do when you have to, traveling, spending times comfortable with others and so much more. This includes the fear that you simple don’t know if it will get better. This is where the physical pain becomes quite emotional (in a sad way) and you can only feel frustrated while trying to remain hopeful.
When you honestly feel as though you are the ONLY one among your peers with this struggle, things gets very serious and you lose the ability to feel connected. The social gatherings and activities where you struggle just to physically keep up to simply try to enjoy your life as well as you know that everyone around you can, can be quite upsetting. You only wish to not suffer like what seems to be everyone else around you.
Maybe you can prevent this from getting to this extent but I am being honest and real about myself, and it was hard. I had my family to think of so this made a huge difference for me. Focusing on others can help but you still have to sacrifice your own physical needs at times.
This is what people who have serious back problems have to deal with every waking minute of their lives. Sometimes the emotional pain does not go away as easily as the physical pain does when it’s temporary of course. What fills the void is anxiety…
Resorting to accepting a very limited & painful lifestyle
My discomfort and pain became so debilitating, that basic things that others did and take for granted, I could not even do. This was as simple as sleeping through the night without waking several times. Getting dressed in the morning and being able to put on your socks, underwear or pants without assistance was a challenge everyday. Leaning over to pull up your pants was tough as I could not move my hips well at all.
My back would always be very stiff and immobile every single morning for years. I kept extra strength acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) at the beside table and drank 2 grams worth in order to get through the morning. Lifting and moving simple objects would trigger a back spasm easily for me. There were many times that I would spasm on my drive to work and would have to pull myself out of the vehicle and almost crawl to the lab to lie directly on the lab floor for hours to manage.
Too Sad to Even Think About It
I feared driving especially for long periods of time because I would have to pull over and get out from cramping. I had constant tingling and shooting pain running down my legs. I knew that on my good days, I was only doing well because of the drugs that I was taking. I was no longer able to carry my young kids around in my arms and when you are in your thirties, this is very saddening. I became progressively private about my pain and eventually stopped seeking professional care as what was suggested to me was not enough to help. I also accepted that I was going to be one of the statistics on back pain.
I took all of this as something strangely normal and that it was something to accept. Here, I believed that I was simple one of the few people out there that had a ‘bad’ back that was going to be a permanent part of my life.
At this point in my life, I had no idea that I was so far from proper, real and long lasting relief. I would resume much of my exercise routines and continue to pop painkillers as needed thinking that my pain was purely chemical and nervous in origin and was easily fixed with two appropriate pills overnight.
Reality Sets In….
It was not until I decided to request a lumbar X-ray, that I truly understood and came to terms with the serious underlying issues going on with my back.
Before the x-ray, my impression was that my spine was physically sound but just irritated or inflamed from daily overuse. The X-ray and diagnosis revealed that at 38 years of age, I had severe disc degenerative disease, two bulging discs and some vertebral osteophyte formation. My L5-S1 was very degenerated and this resulted in very limited mobility.
The results were shocking, scary and depressing. I was in a daze for many days and felt even more hopeless and resigned to a limited life. I knew that any reversal of these processes were out of the question and believed that it could only get worse.
A very big question was raised be me as never before. What did I do to cause this specific damage at such a young age?
My tolerance for pain was instantly overshadowed by my need avoid it
I did not want this to get worse. I was afraid. My research instincts sincerely kicked in at that point.
I researched about the lumbar vertebrae, the discs involved, the sacroiliac joint, hips and pelvis. The numerous associated muscle groups involved in the stability and health of the lumbar spine and hips. The core muscle groups.
This was an area that I gave very little consideration and time. I assume that because I was very physically fit (according to my knowledge at the time) that these areas were well conditioned. It turns out that these areas were very poorly conditioned and unable to protect my back from the abuse that I was putting on it for years.
As I researched, studied, experimented and tested endless possible ways to address my pain and damage, I began to edge closer with real and effective method to treat my pain and to avoid further damage. I also spent and wasted a lot of time and money on various treatments, books, etc…
Determination and real change for the future
I made a commitment to the value of stretching and also finding, learning and developing specific exercises that would mobilize my very stiff joints and muscles. It was an obsession for me now to develop more flexibility and to be passionate about it without quitting. My discs were damaged long term, so I knew that the cycle would have to be stopped so that further damaged could be avoided. Quitting was NOT an option and I became committed to learning about lower back pain.
Not Wanting to Settle After the X-ray
As I persisted with the stretches and low back exercises, the pain would not go away at first but it would change in amount, intensity and also location. Back pain involved me taking the approach of removing layers and layers of problems. As one, is addressed and the discomfort went away, another would surely appear underneath but with a different effect. That is why I would not quit as my perspective changed from wanting immediate relief, to wanting to relieve the different ‘layers’ of pain that built up over time.
My Problem had Layers and Layers of Problems
I found that there were many, many muscles, ligaments, and joints that weren’t active and moving well or at all. These were the ones that should and that my back wound up overcompensating and suffering for it. I worked hard to return all the responsibility back to these areas so that my lower back would suffer less. After a very long period of effort, time, and persistence, the layers came off, mobility improved and pain would subside. This time, it was long term.
These layers are similar in analogy to falling into a deep hole. With layers of back pain, there are different groups of muscles that have failed to function properly for you. It’s when many groups (layers) have failed that your back finally enters a level of degeneration that can be life changing if not looked after quickly enough.
Likewise, you don’t feel actual recover just from correcting one layer. There is another underneath that you must get to also and more under that one… So it can be very frustration when you’re trying to recover.
I use the analogy of falling into a deep hole as what to expect when you are trying to overcome severe back pain. Falling is the process of failing to protect your back and suffering from painful injury. Our lifestyles make it easy to fail/fall. It’s getting out that is the challenge. For me to finally become pain free, I had to climb out one foot at a time using every part of my body and all my determination. You can fall again occasionally but you are still getting back up and out. It took me hard work and sometimes felt exhausting and unrewarding. Ground level for me was not only to be pain free but protected from it. You have to work your ass off because you’re in a hole.
Finally, a real turnaround but it took years of further guessing
My relief was effective, specific and long lasting. Pain that I thought would never subside began to slowly and surely disappear. Layers of discomfort were slowly resolved and would not return with each exercise and treatment. I developed greater stability, muscular endurance, strength and flexibility than ever before. I quit my pain medication since the results of my x-ray and have not required them since.
Now, I am back to a real, pain free and truly happier lifestyle with my family. I have none of the above mentioned problems and enjoy a full life involving many physical activities as before including weightlifting, jogging, swimming, downhill skiing, skating, prolonged snow shoveling and many others. These activities no longer trigger or cause any discomfort whatsoever.
Even after hours of heavy snow shoveling, I am pain free before, during and after. I do not use pain medication. There have been times where I have placed too many demands on my back and have naturally felt discomfort. Everyone does. However the discomfort would only be tiredness and I would fully recover within an hour or two instead of several hours, days or weeks as before.
Let’s Be Practical About This
I am pain free. But I have to consciously make the effort to stay that way. It’s not like I did a few simple exercises and voila everything is magically back to normal. No one would believe that nor should they. My pain is gone but it is because I diligently stick to my exercises and am very strict with what I do with my back and under all circumstances.
The muscles that were imbalanced and abused are now actively working and functioning the way the should so I can remain protective. They no longer cause havoc on my joints and discs. This allowed my joints, discs and much weaker muscles to recover. They weren’t given the chance to for over 10 years and now have. Sometimes real healing and recovery can take a few weeks and sometimes years depending on what the problem is and I had to work through these challenges.
The fact is that my L5-S1 is still severely degenerated and most likely my L4-L5 will be next to degenerate. But I am no longer harming it nor the other regions of my spine and the muscles supporting them. You can still have this type of soft tissue damage with zero pain which is my case. You can certainly return to some or most of your favorite activities and not suffer. But you must return with caution and with a different mindset about how you should really be returning. If you are going to risk harm again, them you are not ready to go back.
I do many things that I used to that would hurt but no longer do. This includes snow shoveling (heavily because I live in Canada Eh!), weight lighting, physically demanding chores and of course my Program. It’s because of how I do each one that protects me and allows my body more freedom to recover and heal.
I promise you that I am not in pain anymore and free from harming my spine. I have lots of family, friends, coworkers, colleagues and other witnesses to prove whether what I say and how I am doing is the truth. You can’t tell everyone how to overcome back pain if your own back is in pain. That would make me a fraud and this business weeds them out easily. The video stream that will be out shortly shows me in action after many years. I personally demonstrate the exercises on video and all of the images on this site as proof of my long term recovery.
My Promise to Help Others with Lower Back Pain
The methods, technique and exercises for the lower back that I learned, developed and used to treat myself in order to recover and avoid low back pain, are what is in the program. The program for most of us would involve initially a heavy investment in time, physical effort, discipline, commitment and trust. We all realize that overcoming lower back pain is a long road and is not easy. A truly effective program for it should not be expected to be easy either. There is a lot that happens to your back before it ‘complains’ as it is very resilient and tough. So the long term goal to treat it should require significant time.
The entire research and rehabilitation process required three challenging years to develop and study in order to complete a plan. During this time of trial and error, I was able to achieve a pain free lifestyle.
After returning to a fully active and rewarding lifestyle, I was compelled to help others in the same situation. I would help teach them the methods so they would ease their own discomfort. Many were using the same approach that most use including myself of many years.
I was surprised how many don’t realize the many beneficial adjustments they can make to help themselves. Some of the exercises are what is already available to us online and by others. The difference is in the methods and techniques used to make them effective.
This is what inspired me to develop a website and eBook in order to offer this low back exercise program. The exercise program will allow others to recover carefully and progressively, within weeks to months and hopefully with a reduced need for medication. This program and site has become very popular with respect to website traffic, downloads and positive feedback from customers. I am forever grateful for those who have found the information on this site of great value.
My commitment to keeping and operating this site is forever and I will continue to add to it daily.
Everything I state on this page is my honest truth. I am not trying to make false claims or stretch any truths. All that I claim can be validated through my current actions, continued health, the hundreds of relatives that I have as witnesses and supporters, and my belief in a Program that I rely on and want for others everyday.