Sunday, December 20, 2009


I've been searching the internet for information about the causes of back pain.

Most of the information is vapid and useless, like this.

'There isn't usually an underlying condition causing back pain - nothing shows up in tests and nothing is permanently damaged.'

That's because the tests are useless. You can't tell what's caused a herniated disc by looking at an X-ray. Of course there is an underlying cause, but if you don't know where to look for it you won't find it!

It's a bit like Alice coming to the fork in the road and asking the Cheshire cat which road she should take. His response, 'Where are you going?' Her reply, I don't know.' His response again, 'Then any road will get you there.'

For most doctors the cause of back pain will be something like a herniated disc. Do they have an answer to the cause of the herniated disc? Nope. You're back where you started.

That's because only rarely will a doctor check to see which of your muscles are tight and which are weak. Only rarely will a doctor prescribe exercises to get you stronger and more flexible.

It is muscles that pull bones out of alignment.

You're more likely to develop simple back pain if you:
- stand, sit or bend down for long periods
- lift, carry, push or pull loads that are too heavy,
- have a trip or a fall
- are stressed or anxious
- are overweight.

Yep, sounds right, but rarely will you see that the principal cause is a lack of strength and flexibility.

Certainly the over weight one is right. If you're 20Kg overweight you're setting yourself up for musculo-skeletal dysfunction

As for lifting and pushing loads that are too heavy. How heavy is a computer mouse, or a library book, of a bag of fertilizer? These are loads that regular folks ought to be able to lift without coming down with a crook back. These are the sorts of loads which get blamed for the underlying lack of strength.

Bad workman have always blamed their tools.

It's bunkum. You need a good strength and flexibility training program. I've got just the one for you.

In the mean time stay tuned, highly tuned and remember, you can't solve a fitness problem with a medical solution.

John Miller

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