“The first treatment is to teach the patient to avoid what harms him.”
When you come in to see me I will perform an evaluation. My job is to help you manage your painful episode, but to also target & contain the risk factors. The number one risk factor for musculoskeletal injury is a previous injury. That means if you have had one painful low back episode you are more likely to have a second episode. My job is to help you lower that risk. The way I help my clients is by teaching them corrective exercises.
Even very small structural changes, if they occur over time, alter the muscles and joints ability to perform properly. Corrective exercise focuses on fixing the cause of pain, instead of just addressing symptoms, it works where many other remedies fall short.
Weakness and tightness are often attacked with isolated and focused strengthening and stretching protocols that don’t work. The majority of musculoskeletal pain syndromes, both acute and chronic, are the result of cumulative microtrauma from stress induced by repeated movements in a specific direction or from sustained misalignments. We need to teach the body how to develop proper movement so you can get out of pain.
The most recent research completed on the FMS was performed in Quantico, VA at the Marine Officer Candidate School. They screened over 900 Marines and followed them through basic training and found that the individuals who had a score > 14, were twice as likely to not graduate due to injury than those with higher scores. This goes right along with the previous research found in the NFL. This research is currently being written up for publication.
The first kettlebell maneuver I teach my clients is the swing. It is the most common kettlebell exercise. The swing should be viewed as the foundation exercise and I like to see clients master the swing before other kettlebell exercises are introduced.
Once clients can perform the 2-handed swing, this is a typical progression I teach my clients in the office:
One-Arm Swing. Grasp the handle with one hand in overhand grip with slight elbow bend. Position feet slightly wider than hip width, and assume athletic stance. Upper body should be upright, with chest lifted and shoulder blades retracted. Free arm should be out to side of body. Rotate body slightly, allowing kettlebell to hang between legs. Initiate swing by rocking hips (versus using shoulders to lift bell). Raise bell upward with momentum, and give forceful hip thrust at top of movement. Bell should go no higher than eye level, with bell pointed away from body at end of arm. Allow gravity to bring bell downward in controlled manner. Keep spine at neutral, rather than rounded, at bottom of movement. Perform 10 repetitions in each hand.
One-Arm Alternating Swing. Repeat steps above (one-arm swing), but switch to other hand at top of movement. Perform 10 repetitions in each hand.
Around-the-Body Pass (at waist level). Grasp handle with both hands in overhand grip with slight elbow bend. Position feet slightly wider than hip width apart, and assume athletic stance. Upper body should be upright, with chest lifted and shoulder blades retracted. Release one hand from bell, allowing opposite hand to bring bell behind body. Free hand should grasp bell at back of body and complete the rotation. Grasp kettlebell firmly to avoid dropping it. After 10 repetitions in one direction, repeat 10 reps in the opposite direction.
Figure Eight (between the legs). Grasp handle with right hand in overhand grip with slight elbow bend. Position feet slightly wider than hip width apart, and assume athletic stance. Upper body should be upright, with chest lifted and shoulder blades retracted. Left arm should be out to side and ready to accept kettlebell. Begin movement by handing bell from right hand to left hand through legs from front of body to back. Left hand then brings bell around from back of body to front of body. Continue this figure-eight pattern by passing bell through legs again from left hand to right hand. After desired number of repetitions, repeat in opposite direction.
These exercises provide a good cardio and fat-loss workout, creating a great foundation for other exercises. After a full-body warm-up, perform each exercise for approximately 30 seconds or 10 reps. Do one exercise after another and rest at the end. Repeat the circuit 2 or 3 times depending on your condition and the amount of time you have to train.
For a one-on-one in-depth kettlebell session, please call my office at 310-473-2911.
Chronic back pain can ruin your life. Dr. Tucker suggests that a targeted program of DMS, warm laser & corrective exercise training can accelerate recovery.
I hate when clients have to miss work or workout days because of low back pain. I have experienced low back pain and I understand the misery, pain and frustration it causes. Debilitating back injuries can be helped with controlled activity, movement therapy, warm laser and Deep Muscle Stimulation (DMS). First I get rid of the acute back pain and swelling with the warm laser. Then I use the DMS on the back spasms. I still use other treatments such as moist heat, therapeutic ultrasound, massage and electrical stimulation because these have positive effects too.
Part of recovery is the continuation of normal daily activities. Bed rest is only recommended when you can’t get out of bed because it hurts too much to move.
As soon as possible I like to see clients begin corrective exercise. We begin with gentle controlled movements that usually use just your bodyweight. Then we can progress to band or stability ball therapy lessons. Eventually I train my clients in kettlebell maneuvers. Kettlebell training helps with fat loss, core strength, and range of movement. If you like Pilates and yoga or wanted to learn these methods, you will love Kettlebells. Training the ‘core’ has become a popular focus in recent years, and I’m all about improving the “core” to prevent future episodes of low back pain.