Most medical professionals, physical therapists, and even chiropractors don’t ask themselves these questions about the patients they are treating:
- “Why did this patient develop a “damaged” disc?”
- “What is wrong with this patient’s posture and movement habits that has caused this to happen?”
- “What is the best treatment, exercises and movement habits I can teach this patient for the best recovery AND reduce the chances of this happening again?”
If these “specialists” do not ask themselves these questions, it will be very difficult for them to find the long-term solutions to their patient’s problems.
The Medical Route. You have a not so thorough exam, an x-ray or maybe an MRI and they don’t see any problems…no fracture, no bulging or herniated disc, no spinal degeneration (arthritis). They are unable to explain why you are in pain when they don’t see any problems on your x-ray or MRI.
The Chiropractic Route. You have a bit more thorough exam and you may or may not have an x-ray, depending on the chiropractor’s philosophy and approach. The chiropractor may rub your back, put you on therapy machines and then “cracks” your spine in a few places. Not to say these don’t have some short-term, pain relieving benefits, but these do nothing to address the predisposing causes I am about to talk about.
The common predisposing cause of back pain has to do with…
Intra-Abdominal Pressure (IAP)
IAP is the mechanism that stabilizes our spine. It is essentially our “built in” back brace. This is the most important new discovery in the last decade and it is a game-changer for the difficult patients with back pain who don’t get completely better with chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, or their back pain always comes back from time to time.
IAP should be an automatic, subconscious activation of your core before and during every movement you make. The problem is, the vast majority of people who suffer with back problems have lost this automatic ability to create IAP when they bend and move. When IAP is insufficient, spinal tissues begin to pay the price.
IAP problems will predispose people to back pain because the spine is not stabilized properly during movement. Another way of saying it is, IAP takes stress off the spine. If you do not create and maintain IAP during movement, more stress is transferred to spinal tissues. This ends up creating thousands of micro “insults” (small injuries) to the spine every time you move, bend, lift, etc. You don’t feel them until your spinal tissues have become so weak and damaged to the extent that it only takes one more bend of your back to set it off…The straw that broke the human’s back!
If you practice creating IAP enough, you should be able to feel the pressure and tightening around the abdomen obliques and lower back . Now it is time to use IAP when you move. For this new pattern to get automatically programmed into your nervous system, you need to consciously think about creating IAP right before every movement you make. And not only creating it, but MAINTAINING IT THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE MOVEMENT!