How to Use the Low Back Pain Program eBook/softcover/video stream
Answers on where to begin, which exercises, how many, how long, etc..
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The Low Back Pain Program contains many specific and detailed exercises to help you to relieve your pain. 45 to be exact. At first, it can be very intimidating and overwhelming that this program requires so many to be performed.
The good news is that this is only for a temporary length of time. Think of it as a reconditioning and retraining program. The goal is for you on completion of the program, to only require a few specific exercises in which you will perform daily and NOT all 45. These few select exercise should be all that you will need to prevent back pain.
Each of the 45 exercises is designed to target specific areas of your body that are contributors of lower back pain. You will find that you will only need to perform some exercises for a short time to experience the benefits while other will require that you invest extra effort and patience. In some cases, you may already have experience in one or two particular exercises.
The exercises were chosen carefully as to be specific for lower back pain but you may find that they will also benefit your hips and knees as well. This is because reconditioning and retraining the hip and knees are what is vital to protecting your back. It is not about having a stronger back, but a stable back.
Lumbar stability is key to back safety and pain reduction. If you only perform exercises solely for your back muscles, you may worsen your pain instead of trying to help reduce it.
This book is going to challenge you. You’re gonna love it or hate it (hopefully not that much). But it will teach you how to move safer, easier and you’ll have a passion and love for protection your back.
Where do I begin?
To begin, it is highly recommended that before you begin ANY exercise program such as this one, that you seek prior consent from your doctor or health professional. If you have an underlying disease or risk immediate pain, then you should get confirmation on whether such risks are present or not.
Everyone should begin with the Limited Mobility exercises. Avoid moving directly to the next level. Each level is designed to prepare you for the next level.
The Big Test
Begin with the very first exercise (The Deep Squat Rest) of the Limited Mobility exercises.
(but don’t worry, you’re not supposed to pass it. If you did, you wouldn’t have back pain to begin with)
This exercise is given first as a TEST of the level of your present tightness and flexibility. It will reveal your tight hips, lower back, knees and calves. Don’t let it alarm you. I took 3 weeks to reach the full rest myself but it felt awesome! It is important to spend extra time on this exercise as it prepares your flexibility for others.
The Deep Squat Rest (1st exercise)
Note: This exercise can be very challenging at first.
To help you with this exercise, use a set of books to squat on (not seen in the final image). This will help you with your balance so you can maintain your balance.
Set your preferred height and allow your hips and lower back time to relax into this squat. Relaxation is what you want to achieve while conditioning your hips to become more flexible. At least 1-3 minutes is preferred at first. Give yourself a few days of squatting to this level until you are ready to remove another book.
You will be able to reach the final image as:
- Your lower back has become less tight
- Your hips have opened up more
- Your calves have stretched further
If squatting on books is not suitable for you, you can:
- Brace yourself against a wall
- how on to a support with your hands
- have someone hold you
If squatting is too hard on your knees and calves, you can:
- lie on your back (on your bed) and hug each thigh one at a time (modified version)
If your short calves prevent you from keeping your feet flat:
- put a book under each heel to maintain balance
- hold on to a support
- stretch your calves in the meantime
You don’t have to focus only on the Deep Squat Rest. You can do the next exercises at the same time. Just make the Deep Squat a priority and test yourself with it whenever you can.
How much time should I devote to each exercise?
You should spend anywhere from 1 min up to several minutes for each exercise. This is per leg or side.
If you are very sore or tight (which is generally the case), your mobility is very limited. Begin in very incremental amounts and do not rush to complete the final step in the last picture. You will find that on some days you can only complete the movement or stretch partially while some very easily. Everyone’s pain comes about differently depending on which imbalances you may have.
1 min is the bare minimum. Up to 10 min should be what you are looking for whether it is a stretch or movement. Muscles do not release until about 30 to 60 seconds depending on your body’s conditioned stretch response. The reason for performing the exercise for up to 10 minutes is to become so well accustomed to the exercise that it is second nature and that you have gained muscle memory.
It should not feel like a chore to work through. This may be your initial experience but should improve as you progress. Many exercises can be done which watching TV or reading.
How many times per exercise?
It is recommended to perform each exercise at least 3-5 times. Ex. Perform the Deep Squat Rest once in the morning, lunch time, before bed and after standing for too long. Do this until it becomes easy to do.
In time, you may only need to do it once per day perhaps just before bed. You can perform them more often per day if you choose as long as you are comfortable.
Some exercises may require more time, but that is only until you have developed enough strength and flexibility. After a while, you will not need to perform some at all.
How many different exercises should I perform at once?
Most people that begin the program are already in pain and with limited mobility. At this time, it is recommended just to carry out 2-3 exercises per day until those 2-3 have become easy to do. Afterwards, you can drop one or two and begin the next one or two right away.
If you are very sore and can only do one at the very most, then that is what you can do for now. That is fine. Don’t rush your body.
Your program will take longer to complete, but your rate of healing and ability to adjust to the program are the priority. Please avoid trying to finish the program to expect immediate results quickly.
You may be performing these 2-3 (or even 1) exercises per day for up to a week or more. It’s a general rate to work within as many areas of your body are now retraining.
How long should I expect to be on each level?
The first level, the Limited Mobility Exercises, consist of 13 exercises. Because of your body’s rate of adjusting, healing and how quickly your flexibility develops and strengthens, it is preferred to devote one full month for this level.
It may seem like a very long time, but the goal is to heal, recondition and protect and not merely to physically perform each exercise quickly.
Once you have completed up to a month, you should feel ready for the next. Everyone’s response if different and will require more or less time to move ahead.
Each level has a specific number of exercises in total. They will also require at least a month to complete.
Even though most of your muscles may feel ready to move on, it is your discs and joint injuries that require a slower pace. There are always smaller weaker muscles of the hip and lower back that are slower to heal and will require more to time to recover.
Do I need to keep prior exercises/levels as I progress?
No. If you have devoted sufficient time and effort to each exercise, you should no longer feel the need to continue performing them. There may be some you will want to return to as they can provide an added benefit specific to you. You can custom select if you so choose to.
The idea is to become so accustomed to each one that they are now second nature. You should be automatically performing some of them along with your everyday activities. This is how you will (and should) protect your back daily and naturally.
The last level – The Maintenance Exercises are what is only required to continue daily. Many are designed to use automatically as you go about your day. In time, you should find yourself performing only 2-3 per day very easily and quickly.
The first three levels (limited/progressive/challenging) are temporary. The Maintenance level is daily until only as needed.
For A Typical Exercise Routine, Here Is What You Can Do:
Using Level One: Limited Mobility
Begin With Exercises 1-3
- Deep Squat Rest (as directed) – 1-2 min, 3x/day – morning, afternoon, before bed.
- Kneeling Bow Rest – 1-2 min, 3x/day – also morning, afternoon and before bed.
- Seated Leg Opener – 1-2 min, 3x/day – you choose when.
- Spacing out the exercises helps you to improve your mobility when you become stiff from your day.
- Total time per day: Up to 3 (exercises) x 2 (minutes each) x 3 (times/day) = 18 minutes.
- You can increase your time or frequency for any of these exercises as you desire.
Note: Some exercises will become easy to do within 1 week while some may take longer.
After about 1 Week:
- Begin Exercise #4 – Seated Leg Rotation – 1-2 min, 3x/day
- Omit One Exercise from #1-3 (whichever you now find fairly easy to do)
- Continue Until All Limited Mobility Exercises are completed
Note: Do not add any new exercises until you have comfortably mastered a current one and are ready to move on from it. 1 week is only an estimate as some exercises may take longer.
Your Monthly Average:
- 12 Different Exercises
- 3 Exercises/day
- 1-2 minutes per exercise (minimum)
- each exercise 3x/day
You will be stopping to exercise 9x per day for about 2 minutes each time. Total = 18 minutes.
- It is advised to only do 3 different exercises per day maximum. More than 3 may be to challenging and cause soreness.
- Don’t force yourself into the final image pose/postion. Simply perform each new exercise partially until your mobility allows you to go further each time.
- For any exercise that you do, spend at least 1 week for each minimum or longer.
- It is more important to master the exercise until you find it is very easy to do. Spend extra time when needed.
- For any exercise that you may have too much difficulty completing, skip it or do at another time. Ex. some may be to difficult for your knees – do partial movements or omit entirely.
- If at anytime you are too sore (ex. the next day), either perform less often or stop the exercises and rest for a few days.
- If at anytime you find the exercises to difficult, return to the previous ones for a longer period.
- Expect little progress the first time you attempt many of these exercises. Each exercise is intended to challenge and recondition a weak and imbalanced area of your body that causes you pain. You will improve with time and your back will become more stable and safer with each exercise.
- Change it up if you desire. You can modify the routine if you find it more manageable for you. As long as you can do the majority of them and you don’t over do it, it’s fine.
- Be patient but determined. It’s now your time with your body. On your good days, do more and on your bad days, do less or just take a break.
- Never give up. You back is the most important part of your life. It’s you that matters.
The Maintenance Exercises
This is the level to achieve. It should require months to achieve. It may sound disappointing, but for most of us, our bodies can only heal and recover at its own pace and not our desired one.
Quick fixes do not work, and the Low Back Pain Program does not adhere to the quick fix philosophy. However, you may find relief in as early as the first week. It’s not the same as a quick fix; it is only your first experience of levels of relief that you are working very hard at achieving.
Do not misinterpret initial relief as healing as you are still in the process of healing which in itself takes time.
The Maintenance exercises not specific but you can pick and choose from the others if you prefer. You may like some others and may prefer to add those in addition or even to substitute with. This is perfectly fine.
There Is So Much To Do I My Day. How Can I Find The Time?
Quit your job and stay home. No. Just kidding.
One of the best parts of the program is that you can learn to do the exercises with your daily activities or rest breaks to save a lot of time.
Since many involve sitting, you can do those exercises anytime you are sitting.
Time Saving Tips:
- Do any of the seated exercises at the office or at home while watching screens.
- Do any of the standing exercises while standing or on screens (TV, mobile)
- Whenever you need to lower yourself, use the squat or lunge exercises.
- Use the Stair exercises whenever you use the stairs.
- Wake up just 10 minutes earlier and you can complete 3 of your 9, 2 minute movements
- Many exercises mimic and restore your daily movements. The more you master them, the more you can use them to save time. Ex. putting on socks, dressing, while brushing teeth, raising and lowering yourself, etc.
- Anytime you have a craving for something not so healthy in the kitchen, go to the furthest spot in your home. Do 3 of your exercises and drink a full glass of water (your new and improved snack time to reduce appetite and improve hydration).
What if I feel more sore after performing some of the exercises?
Here are a few areas to consider:
You may be performing the exercises too quickly, too often, or may be advancing to the next one prematurely. Take your time to focus on the movement and stretch and not the next level.
Some exercises will release some very stiff or tight muscles and joints. This added mobility requires for you to focus on strengthening this newly adjusted area carefully. Do not overexert yourself when you feel any new freedom or flexibility.
Reduce the amount of time that you are spending on the current exercise and focus on others that you may find easier to do as an alternative. Your body may not be ready for some but will be able to perform others.
Consult with your medical professional on whether you can perform certain bending, twisting or leaning movements. They will be able also to recommend which exercises of the book are preferred to perform in your specific situation.
Confirm on whether or not you have a recently herniated disc, fracture or torn muscle. Exercise should not be practiced until these immediate issues are resolved.
More Answers will be updated shortly. Please feel free to submit any questions that you may have to help you with the program.
If you have not yet ordered the program, you can go to the download link and begin right away. Also, I have now released the Companion Guide for The Low Back Pain Program! Now you can get even more help and relief with your daily routine and activities. Get the Guide Here.
Sherwin A. Nicholson Hons.B.Sc.
Author of the Low Back Pain Program eBook.