Kick It Naturally – Understanding Back Pain Pt. 1
T.C. Hale is not a doctor and does not claim to be a doctor, licensed in any type of medical field. Don’t be an idiot and use anything heard on this show as medical advice. This information should be used for educational purposes only and you should contact your doctor for any medical advice. Now get off me.
Kinna: Welcome to Kick it Naturally. I’m Kinna McInroe and I’m here with T.C. Hale, author, natural health expert, producer. What’s up T.C?
Tony: I didn’t have any life-changing experiences this week.
Kinna: Awe. Well I had one.
Tony: Oh! You had one. Well then you’re better than everybody else.
Kinna: I know. I’m the cool kid. I got married on the 4th of July.
Tony: Super fancy.
Will: Independence Day, how ironic.
Kinna: Yeah. So we’re going to have to stop this little tryst we have, Will now that I’m I’m married.
Tony: Sad news.
Will: Or at least down low.
Tony: Or at least pretend.
Kinna: Yeah, yeah. We’ll pretend. We’ll keep it on the down low.
Tony: So you said it was spontaneous on the 4th of July. Did your fiancé just like “I didn’t get any fireworks, so why don’t we just get married?”
Kinna: Yeah. Well I mean spontaneous in the fact that we did it the night before. We planned it the night before but then we got up and said “let’s go do it, we’re actually going to do it.”
Tony: That’s great. At least you’re pregnant now.
Kinna: Yeah, exactly.
Tony: And that’s why.
Kinna: Exactly, exactly. No I am not. But we’re really cheap so we thought this will be cool. We’ll have it on a holiday, everybody always has parties and we’ll always have fireworks going off on our anniversary.
Will: That’s clever.
Tony: That’s good thinking. That’s good planning. And you could pretend like people do shows over boats and waters is for you guys.
Will: Thanks so much for coming.
Kinna: Thank you, guys. Thank you so much.
Tony: It’s been hard. It’s been a lot of work this marriage thing. But thank you for the fireworks.
Kinna: Exactly, exactly. So I guess my minerals were really good that day because I had a smart thought, you know?
Tony: How about that?
Kinna: Okay. So there you hear the Hottie Patotie, Will Schmidt. He’s back in the studio today.
Will: Back in the studio. Dope tracks in the studio.
Kinna: He’s pretty much just here all the time.
Tony: Yeah. We haven’t got him to leave yet.
Tony: It’s okay. He’s paying rent.
Kinna: You know if you feed them, they just keep coming back. They’re like cats.
Kinna: Yeah, so alright today’s a big topic, back pain. Oh my gosh; I know this one.
Tony: Kinna knows some stuff about back pain.
Kinna: How come I know every single topic that we talk about?
Will: You’re very well researched.
Tony: That’s the only reason we know stuff is because we had to figure things out for you.
Kinna: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. I’m a lab rat. But no, I have experienced back pain for years. And this last year it was really, really hard. It was like three or four months I couldn’t even work out. And it was just, it was pain. I’m still baby-stepping my way back at the gym. But it’s getting better every day. But yeah, not fun.
Tony: Yeah. So a lot of these people’s questions I was thinking about you and remembering what you did so you’ll be able to talk about things you know that you did too.
Kinna: I think I’ve blocked it all out. It was so much pain.
Tony: You’re married now, you’re allowed to forget things.
Kinna: What was funny though, I was talking this morning when we were walking after working out. And I was like, it’s really weird because Louise L. Hays says your back hurts when you feel unsupported by the universe. But now that I feel this support and I have somebody else there my back hasn’t been hurting.
Tony: Thank you, Louise.
Kinna: Things haven’t been hurting on me. I’m like, oh my gosh!
Tony: That’s good times.
Kinna: Get a sugar daddy and all your back pain goes away. Alright. So we just all stopped talking at the same time; that was awkward.
Tony: I thought the show was over.
Will: I’m just overwhelmed with the amount of questions.
Kinna: Yeah. That’s a lot of questions.
Tony: Yeah it’s a lot. We’re going to have to take this two shows. So if you asked a question on Facebook and we don’t get to it on this show it’s not because we hate you. It’s because we’re probably going to have to do two parts to this because apparently people’s backs suck. And they want to know about it.
Kinna: Yeah. And if you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet, go ahead and stop what you’re doing and go to Kick It In The Nuts. That’s where we post topics about future shows that we’ll be doing and you guys can post any questions you want us to cover in that show and we’ll try to get to it.
Tony: So before we get into questions and that’s probably what we’ll do. We’ll just jump right into questions. And I know with a lot of this stuff we’re going to try to explain things from a nutritional point of view and then Will’s going to talk a lot about alignment and that kind of stuff too. Because he’s really fancy about things he knows in that regard. But keep in mind that, like if you’ve had a back injury, or back surgery, or somebody chopped your back in half or something crazy like we’re not going to have any answers for you, we’re not going to know what the situation is. Cause once somebody goes digging in there you know there’s no telling what’s going on. But we’re going to try and give you some, a view, like a point of view that maybe you haven’t looked at, or heard of or found before that will help you look at okay, what’s going on with me? What can I look at if there’s things I can do even nutritionally or physically through exercises, stretches, you know things like that can help me get some relief because when your back is jacked everything, you can’t even brush your teeth without getting pissed off. It’s just like everything you do hurts.
Kinna: Yeah. Nothing, I mean you can’t really do anything when your back hurts. It’s just it’s just the biggest, suckiest thing in the world.
Tony: Yeah. Remember when sex was fun? That’s not even happening.
Kinna: Yeah. Now you’re just like “uh uh.”
Tony: Oh yeah.
Kinna: Get it away, no thanks.
Tony: So you know it’s, you know we really feel for these people that have been dealing with issues for you know years or decades. So we’re just hoping that we can find you some different things to investigate cause most people have exhausted their possibilities. I mean they’ve asked doctor after doctor and not finding any answers. So hopefully we can point you in a direction where maybe you can find some relief because it does suck.
Kinna: Yeah. And just like we’re all snowflakes like with back pain, it’s all different, everybody’s different. So even though I might have a stretch that really works for me it might exacerbate the problem for somebody else.
Tony: Or make it worse if that was the fancy word you were going for.
Kinna: That was the word I was, yeah.
Tony: So yeah. Think about the fact that just listening to what you’re going through or what you’ve been diagnosed there’s no way for us to know what’s really going on. A diagnosis is, I mean that’s half of what the medical world is, is incorrect diagnosis. So we can’t take a diagnosis, and we don’t diagnose anyway. But we can’t look at your diagnosis and understand what’s really going on. So we’ll just give you some general ideas that you can kinda look at. Ready, go!
Kinna: Alright. So we’re just going to go right in there. Karina from Edmonton, Alberta, “that’s why there are massage therapists.” And then Christina from Portland, Oregon says “massage therapists can only do so much. They can’t cure back pain.”
Tony: Yeah. So I think that you’re going to find situations where people are having back issues and a massage therapist can do some great stuff for it. And you’re going to find a whole lot of people that it’s just not going to help out at all.
Kinna: And sometimes even hurts more.
Tony: True. What are your thoughts on that, Will?
Will: Yeah. I have a couple.
Tony: Let’s hear up to seven of them.
Will: Up to seven of them. First of all I haven’t really said anything as far as in the intro goes but the main thing I want to say is if you have back pain you can fantastically help yourself even if you’ve had surgery, even if you had a traumatic injury. I’ve been an exercise therapist, like I was exclusively that after I did a year or two as a personal trainer and then was just an exercise therapist for like six years straight. And I’ve kept doing it since then so it’s been over eleven years. And I was trying to think of a client who had back pain that we couldn’t help.
Tony: That they were just screwed, nothing could help.
Kinna: Yeah. Will helped me too.
Will: And I couldn’t think of one.
Will: I could like, there’s been people that had like traumatic hip pain or like severe shoulder structure damage and that kind of thing. They needed surgery and maybe some of them didn’t have as great a success. But I honestly can’t think of one person that came to use with back pain, even blazing sciatica like that, with bulging disks and spinal fusions. And I can’t think of one that didn’t get better.
Tony: So think about this as we’re talking about things and maybe Will’s explaining things that you can do. The reality is that you know as much as anybody can find improvement for a lot of people it’s going to take work.
Tony: So if Will’s working with a client you know they come a few times a week and they’re working with him so they’re going to progress. But for you, you’re going to have to really do this stuff. If there’s exercises you need to do then you have to really do them. A lot of people are just looking for you know “what pill do I take to fix my broken spine?”
Tony: And that’s just not going to happen.
Kinna: Will, do you have like MyBodyOfKnowledge.net right where you, is that where you put up you exercise videos and stuff.
Will: Yeah. I’ll definitely mention it.
Tony: Will made a special page just for this episode that people will be able to go to to see videos and stuff like that.
Kinna: Oh, sweet.
Will: Yeah. If you go to MyBodyOfKnowledge.net/painrelief you’ll hear like the summary of what I’m going to talk about with body alignment. And there’s a link to pain relief videos right there. You can also go to directly MyBodyOfKnowledge.net/painreliefvideos. Either one of those. But start with just the forward slash “pain relief” so you can get the gist of this. But to address the question about massage therapists, and surgeries, and medications and things like that. They all have their role and can help in some ways. The foundation of getting out of back pain is correcting your body alignment. And there might be psychological things that make you hurt like you were saying. Like now that you feel more supported and stuff you don’t feel the pain. And that is real, that’s true. And massage therapist play like in my view a similar sort of role of the biochemicals that happen when we feel touched, and loved and cared for are real. Like if you don’t hold a baby it will stop eating and it’ll just sort of passively kill itself. They loose the will to thrive if they’re not touched. So there’s real psychosomatic thing that happens when there’s like hands on you. And that…
Kinna: I’m gonna need your hands on me.
Will: Right. So that may be what is like your benefiting from from the massage therapist.
Tony: If nothing else that may be a benefit.
Will: Yeah. And that could honestly make you feel better. And if you’re think is like you’re lacking that human touch then that can be great. When you look at like the straight therapeutic aspects of what like massages are doing, it’s mostly about like kneading muscle knots out. Right. Like trying to get the tension out of the muscles which I think is more helpful and effective if it’s like an acute injury. Like if you were just in a car accident, or you went down water slides and you landed weird or something like that.
Tony: I do that a lot on water slides.
Will: Yeah. Slip-n-slides. Everyday I come over and I’m like “Tony get in here, stop with the slip-n-slide!” So like if you fell and hurt yourself you might have an acute sort of like tension pattern that a masseuse could really help. But just like with a chiropractor where the like push and snap your spine around, or a massage therapist, or a trigger point therapist or whatever it is they’re just trying to push the body back into position and convince the muscles to relax. The short sided part of that is if they’re not also introducing new coordinations to the body like the ways your body holds itself, like upright your posture, the way it walks, the way it moves, your movement mechanics. If you’re not also actively training new patterns those knots are going to come back because those knots are the learned resting tension links of the muscles. So say you have like a really tight knot in your shoulder, like your neck and upper back on one side. You can massage that out but as soon as you stand up you’re still going to be off kilter with like one shoulder higher than the other, probably one hip higher than the other. And that knot is going to come right back because that’s the alignment your body’s learned to be upright an oriented. So you have to train a new alignment. And when you do train a new alignment you can reset and adjust the resting tension next to the muscle. So those knots just aren’t there and they won’t come back. And then you won’t need massages to get the pain out.
Kinna: Also it’s like what you were saying like if you stand a certain way like say I sit up on my leg when I watch TV or whatever on the couch. So one of my hips is higher than the other. And that was one thing I didn’t realize. And when I became aware of that, somebody pointed it out to me then I became conscious and I now don’t sit like that. You know if I find myself sitting like that then I’m like “don’t sit like that cause your hip’s going to hurt.” And you know just doing little things and becoming aware and changing those like with your posture, things like that, that will help it in the long run.
Tony: And then one thing to look at is that you know being aware is a big deal because like your whole life how would you have ever known that? No one’s ever told you not to sit on your foot and not to be all bent up, pretzel-y, the wrong thing. So how would you know? So sometimes just being aware enough to “oh I should do that,” can be something that can straighten out a lot of issues.
Will: Another piece on that is a lot are very concerned their desk space ergonomics and that kind of thing. They’re worried about you know like always sitting in one position or trying to remember to always sit up straight. And it is good to be aware of those patterns and to maybe not like always carry your purse on the same side. But it’s not the most important thing. And to give an example like when I was in India I was trying to like re-invent myself as a musician while I was working as an exercise therapist. And I played the guitar like 15 hours a day. Like I would stay up all night, whatever. That’s a very asymmetrical exercise.
Will: You’re hunched over with one shoulder high. And when I stood up my posture was still balanced because my body had been trained to know that upright coordination. Even though I was sitting off-set, asymmetrical for 15 hours with a lot of like stress tension because I suck at guitar my body still knew what straight is. So you usually don’t, maybe for a little while you might have to stop an activity like if you have hip pain and you’re a golfer whatever like, you might need to give a little break to it so you can give your body a chance to really learn a new coordination. But once you do, you can do other things like fly in a plane to India and you know hunch over at your desk, and walk in high heels and still not have pain. The important thing is that your body learns those new coordinations. So daily repetition of corrective exercises that are appropriate for you can teach that to it. So you can slouch, you can sit on one side, you can sit on your leg if you’re also training your body to be straight. It’s like a software, or a language, or a coordination or a skill that your body just learns and internalizes. And once it’s there you don’t have to remember to sit up straight, or stand straight or try to walk straight because your body will just know how to do it.
Kinna: But if you’re gay you won’t ever know straight.
Will: Yeah. It’s always going to have a little extra flair.
Tony: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Kinna: Nothing wrong with that. Most of my friends are.
Tony: Yeah. And at the end of the show we’ll have Will play a song. Like he’ll either do “Bridge over Troubled Water,” or maybe “Dude looks like a lady.” One of those he’ll do.
Tony: And that’ll be great. So just keep in mind that a lot of these things that we’re talking about, yes they can take work to re-train yourself, and re-train your body and to get your alignment right but when you compare that to the horrific pain that you live with every day it’s, it’s really not so bad.
Tony: And that’s just, that’ll be some of the people. We’re going to get into some nutritional stuff too that that may be causative factors for a lot of people as well.
Kinna: Alright. Todd from Yorkfactory, Manatoba, “sucks.” Thanks, Todd.
Tony: Thank you for the input.
Kinna: Kolette from Malibu, California, and I’ve seen a picture of Kolette. “Can you tell me the success rate for improving back pain with breast reduction surgery?” I can tell you Kolette none of the guys want you to do it.
Tony: Don’t do it, Kolette! Don’t do it. You know that is real. If you have all these breasts going on and it’s…
Kinna: All these breasts? There’s more than just two?
Tony: Some people have three or four. I think Chandler Bing had three, didn’t he? Um, sorry.
Kinna: That made Nina laugh.
Tony: I know, we woke Nina up. She gets excited about Friends trivia. You can also send in Friends trivia too and we’ll cover those on the show as well. But you know that extra weight that’s real, that’s really something and you may be able to do some work that can strengthen your core to help that out. But also if a person has some extra weight going around, if they lose weight I mean every girl is going to tell you the boobs are the first to go.
Kinna: Sadly, yeah.
Will: Unless they’re plastic.
Tony: Right. Unless they’re plastic. But hopefully they’re lighter if that’s…
Kinna: They end up looking like balloons with marbles in the bottom, or socks.
Tony: You can get some good push up bras or something. But so maybe that isn’t always and no I don’t know the statistics of what kind of improvement that we see. But I know we had someone else who said…
Kinna: He’ll need to see it, Kolette.
Tony: Yeah, yeah. Bring those by. We’ll see the before and after just to make sure. But Will, what do you think about, what do you think about breasts, Will?
Will: I like them. No, but that is true, that is a legitimate tricky thing. I would say like, having like extra like large breasts is actually more challenging for correcting lower back pain and neck tension than it is being obese. Because when your obese your body fat is kind of distributed. Whereas if you just have big boobs they’re constantly moving forward. And I had like a guy friend who had huge dreads, they were like…
Kinna: I thought you were going to say breasts and I was like what?
Will: No dreads, like past his butt. And it was like heavy like a lot of hair. Probably like 10 or 15 pounds of hair.
Tony: Oh wow.
Will: And it made him keep a forward head position. Like there was no way he could anatomically ideal have, unless he draped it over his shoulders. And those things can throw you off. A lot of people think that if you strengthen, like added strength to your core then it can make the back pain go away. But the thing is like if you have a weight that’s like held on your chest there’s always going to be gravity pulling you forward and your back muscles are always going to have to be flexing, fighting against that pull. So they’re always on. Like all the time that you’re standing but also they’re on so much that they don’t even know how to turn off when you sit down. And that’s what a knot is also. So strengthening that muscle, think of that like if you’ve got a horse that’s running 24 hours a day and you’re like “you know what, this horse can’t hold up we need to strengthen it.” So you like make it run sprints while it’s also like running. That’s like, you’re putting even more work demand on an overly worked muscle. It’s not too strong it’s just too much is being asked of it all the time. So when you’re posture is off and it’s you know, it’s something you can correct because your weight is proportional as far as your flesh goes. You can shift your posture and then those back muscles can relax. But when we look at like posture therapy and corrective alignment exercises you would not do any exercises that put more work on the lower back. It would be doing all sorts of things to transfer work to like your hip stabilizers and your upper back extensors and things like that so that you can take the stress off of the lower back. So if you’re going to a physical therapist cause you have back pain and he’s making you do like back extensions and straight like dead lifts and stuff you should not go there. You should find someone else.
Kinna: So don’t get your breasts reduced just get two breasts put on your back to even out the front.
Will: Yeah. We’ll work on your butt more, something like that. I don’t know, there’s got to be…
Tony: So how about this cause you know you see people a lot of times that if their stomach muscles are very weak that there’s a lot of activities that if the stomach can’t handle that load that the back will join in to help out. And then if you’re constantly putting on that fatigue on the back from you know wanting to join in and help out then could strengthening the stomach muscles help in that regard.
Will: Yeah. If you’re doing like ab exercises like planks or leg lifts and stuff and your abs aren’t strong enough…
Tony: Then you’re feeling it in your back.
Will: Yeah. That’s because your abs should be able to hold your pelvis toward your spine like pulling your hips and that whole bony segment of your pelvis toward your spine to prevent hyperextension. If you do like a leg lift and sit ups and you pain in your back it’s because your abs are not engaging either strong enough or at all and your lower back is being pulled into hyperextension. And that can also trigger those muscles to flex and spasm just cause they’re used to doing all the work. So when you try to get them to relax for a second and let their antagonist, the abs do their work, that can be tricky. So it’s not really a matter of like, sometimes depend on the work demand. Like making the abs stronger so they can endure more kinda exercises like that. But when you look at like standing posture it’s not so much about strength of the abs cause the abs, the rectus abdominis where your six pack is should be relaxed when you’re standing so the diaphragm can just oscillate as you breathe in and out. It’s not like a postural stabilizer muscle like your six pack. That shouldn’t be flexed when you’re standing. If it is you’re going to create like an equal and opposite tension on the back muscles. And it should be relatively relaxed. And ideal posture it’s like your holding like a flagpole perfectly upright. It doesn’t take a lot of effort. There’s like these little micro adjustments that like small postural muscles are making in your inner pelvis and calves and things like that. But you shouldn’t have locked tension in your abs or your lower back. You shouldn’t have to think about like tuck in your tailbone or pulling your stomach in, none of that. Like it should just be relaxed like a little kid.
Tony: And another thing to think about too as we continue to vote against Kolette’s breast reduction surgery is that yes very large breast can cause back problems but you might want to think and look in to some of these other issues we’re going to talk about that can cause back trouble because just because large breasts can cause back trouble doesn’t mean that they will, doesn’t mean that that’s always the case. And that may not be the main contributing factor to you. You may be able to find some other solutions that we talk about that improve it enough or that it’s not an issue.
Kinna: Jason, “a very troubling stat that media and doctors won’t discuss, over 35% will get addicted to pain killers.”
Tony: Yeah. This is kind of a big deal. You know cause it’s you know doctors aren’t trained in all this kinda stuff. So the solution becomes “oh you have pain well let me give you this that kinda numbs that pain.” And they do that out of you know they feel bad the person is in pain 24 hours a day. They don’t have any other options left. But then when the people get addicted to these pain killers and they end up trashing their whole body what do you do then?
Will: Yeah. And it doesn’t correct the alignment obviously when you do that.
Tony: It’s not correcting the problem, right.
Will: So you can get bigger problems like a disk that herniated and then you have intense sciatica and those pain meds don’t work very well for that.
Will: It’s too intense to like sedate. So it’s not a good solution. The good thing about corrective exercises is that when they are the right ones for you a lot of the time they work right away, like immediately. And then through repetition of the exercises your body learns those new movement patterns and postures and then the pain stays away. So that’s cool cause that can work even faster than a drug and it’s natural and lasting and real.
Tony: Right. And you’re not slamming your liver with every time you get some relief.
Will: A lot of times surgeries don’t help at all and sometimes they just help for a little while but they’re still…
Kinna: Could make it worse.
Will: Yeah. It’s like you know when we talked about antacids. Like it temporarily sedates one symptom but then you get a lot of other issues and new issues. A good example is like spinal fusions. I remember we had this one client who became a therapist who had two spinal fusions by the age of 25.
Will: She was in a car accident and had really bad like sciatic pain after that. So she got like L4/L5 vertebrae’s fused. And then her L5/L6 fused. So she had like very limited motion and still was in constant pain. She came into the clinic with like a walking crutch and just like shaking and just you know at a loss of what to do. And she was on meds and stuff. And then she did her exercises and came back the next week and walked in like glowing and the first thing, she didn’t say anything she just started doing jumping jacks which is amazing.
Kinna: Awe, that’s awesome.
Will: It was so cool.
Tony: Yeah. That’s great.
Will: So even with that fused spine and even with the medications still she hadn’t fixed the problem but as soon as she did it you know, her world changed. And like you said like even if you do have like large breasts or whatever a fusion bar in your back you can still do a lot to shift your alignment and improve your movement mechanics and get out of pain.
Kinna: Yeah. That’s like pain management. Just manage the pain but they don’t get rid of the problem. Okay uh, Yasmin, “is there any way to naturally prevent or treat monthly menstrual back pain?” Tony the Cramp Man.
Tony: Yes. And we you know we talk about this a lot in my book Kick Menstrual Cramps in the Nuts. And a lot of times this has to do, this is more of a nutritional issue when it’s showing up with your period every time. It has a lot to do with specific minerals have to be present at the tissue level in those muscles for them to be able to relax. And calcium is a big deal with that. And so what happens is if too much calcium gets stripped out of those tissues the muscles can contract and then they don’t have the ability to relax and they tighten up and there can be a lot of pain there. And so when your period is showing up and we’ve talked about this on a lot of shows but it takes a lot of resources to make that cycle. And if you’re not pulling in enough resources, maybe you have digestive issues that aren’t allowing you to pull enough minerals out of your food then your body is going to get the minerals it needs no matter what even if it has to mine them out of your tissues or even your bones. And a lot of times with women the back is a very mineral rich area of the body and the body learns that oh if I need to shop for extra minerals I’ll just go there and pull them out. So a lot of times those muscles can begin to ache just from being mined for minerals and stuff. Will, you might have stuff to add to that.
Will: Yeah. I mean we’ve talked a lot about menstrual cycles and their intense demand on resources in the body in previous episodes, but just know that like if you have like a little bit of low back pain normally and then all the sudden everything’s tweaked, the tissues are calcium deficit like you said. And your overall like hormones are having you feel just a lot of like sensitivity and pain like that little pain is going to exacerbate during that period of time. You’re just going to feel way worse. And if you get like, win the lottery and all the sudden you feel better. So a lot of that mental state and where your tension’s at, amount of resources and energy your body has available to deal with whatever is going to drastically affect the amount of pain that you feel. A cool thing is like the more that you sort of just correct your movement mechanics and your body chemistry overall even those intense demands whether it’s your menstrual cycle, or a really hard workout or a fist fight, whatever it is you’re going to be able to handle it better.
Tony: Right. And so you can read Kick Menstrual Cramps in the Nuts and it shows you how to run simple tests you can do at home to kinda get an idea where your physiology is and where your mineral levels are. And we also teach you how to do a lot of these tests in the free four week Digestion Course at KickItInTheNuts.com. But if you can look at things just like your blood pressure you know that if it’s real low that’s a strong indication that you have low minerals in your system. And you can take steps to bring in more minerals and then also take steps to improve digestion so that you can pull more minerals out of the foods that you’re eating. Andy you know we see girls, we see a lot of women that during their period they’re in a fetal position for three days. They can’t, they’re balled up and crying and they can’t even move. But when you start getting the resources in there and get some calcium into the tissues where it’s supposed to be. And just taking calcium is not enough to do that so don’t think that’s the answer. You have to get it to the right location. But when they do that they can be human during their period and they don’t even understand. “I’m allowed to be human during this time?” And it’s just fun for them.
Kinna: So the word is exacerbate. I think I said “aserbate.”
Tony: I know. I made fun of you when you did it.
Kinna: You made fun of me and I didn’t know what you were talking about. And now I know. Alright Lauren, “Hey! I’m a 13 year old girl and I suffer from frequent lower and top back pain.” I’m liking that we’re getting 13 year olds. That’s cool.
Tony: Yeah. That’s fancy.
Kinna: “Doctors say I have a curvature of the spine but I was wondering if there is anything I can do to lessen the pain and/or make the pain come less frequently.”
Tony: Yeah so that, you know I would want to know first of all if you’re at that age where you’re starting to have your period show up and is it, is it worse around that time? That’s the first thing to look at. And are your mineral resources low but then you could also if that’s taken care of then it’s time to start doing some of the stuff that Will likes to do.
Will: Yeah. If you have congenital scoliosis. Like everybody has a curved spine, like it’s supposed to be curved. You know so there’s the correct like thoracic and cervical and lordotic, like upper/lower, middle back curves. But I think when your doctor says curvature of the spine, they usually mean like lateral, like sideways.
Tony: Like it’s bendy.
Will: Yeah. Bendy to the side always. And sometimes people are born like that. That’s the technical translation “bendy to the side, always.” And some people are born with congenital scoliosis and some people develop it because of some injury or whatever. They always are on their phone on one ear, something like that, you know? So your body can learn to be like that. And the bones can even adjust to accommodate that, like they’ll change shape. And they can change back as you correct your body alignment. And even if you were born with scoliosis you can do a lot to reduce the lateral curve. And the company that trained me in the exercise therapy is called the Egoscue method. And they did some clinical studies of improvement of scoliosis through exercise therapy and showed actual change in the size and shape of the vertebrae as they progressed. So not only reduction in the curve, the lateral curve, but the bones actually reformed. Just like say you if you, say you walk kinda sideways and one foot is always pointed out and you develop like a bunion that’s like a callus of the skin and even of the bone. And it’s responding to the stress, the electrical stimulus that it gets from the compression as you walk out of balance. Your spine does that too. And it can readjust the shapes of the bones to suit that stress. And then if you fix it, it will re-adjust the shapes again. So the body is amazing.
Kinna: So your bones can go back cause I was told that scoliosis thing as well.
Will: Yeah, yeah. They can reshape which is amazing.
Kinna: That’s awesome.
Will: Yeah. But think of like, can a callus go away? Yeah. Think of it like that.
Kinna: You’re talking about me now cause I feel like I have a bunion on my foot. I’ve got you know, wow, okay.
Will: And one other thing I want to say about the videos that are up there on my site on MyBodyOfKnowledge.net/PainReliefVideos, they are like you’ll find different ones that say like “For Upper Back Pain,” or “Lower Back Pain,” or “General Back Pain,” or “Knee Pain, Shoulder Pain.” Don’t be discouraged if that particular video doesn’t work for you because it’s not tailored to you. It’s tailored to like the normal causes of people that have pain in that area. But just like nutrition like there’s a lot of things that could be off and causing your symptoms. So I try to make the videos treat the usual suspects. The usual like postural imbalances that cause those issues. But if you do it and you get some relief or no relief don’t be discouraged. Just look at your body alignment and you can seek individual attention. You can either find me on my site and contact me. There’s like a, I do Skype sessions if you’re not in LA or in person. And then you can also look up Egoscue.com and they also do online therapy and have clinics all over the country. And if that one on one attention might be something that you need just don’t get discouraged if it, you’re following one generic video didn’t do the trick for you.
Tony: Do you know the site that people could go to find that?
Will: Yeah. It’s Egoscue.com which is spelled E-G-O-S-C-U-E. Or go to MyBodyOfKnowledge.net/PainRelief and then you’ll find a link where you can contact me.
Kinna: You’re talking about people’s alignment now with people on the phone and stuff, this generation is going to have like all bent heads. And then they’re going to start having instead of tennis elbows and stuff like that they’re going to have text fingers. And have little like, you know bandages and stuff for their fingers for texting. Laura from Los Angeles, California “someone told me to take magnesium and it seemed to help my muscle spasms.”
Tony: So that kinda has to do with the calcium in the tissues situation. And a lot of times if you’re having spasms or muscle twitches magnesium can help correct that because it’s usually a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is very important in helping calcium be assimilated and get to the right place. But I find that a specific type of magnesium; magnesium malate seems to work the best in that situation. But keep in mind that magnesium is very pro catabolic. So if you do your self tests and you find that you’re already too catabolic then you would want to limit how much magnesium you’re using. Don’t just start popping magnesium cause you could make yourself worse.
Kinna: We’re all snowflakes.
Tony: Hello, Snowflake.
Kinna: D.W, “Pulled a cast iron tub up to a second floor, couple weeks later hauled radio transmitters around. Not to mention the 1,200 miles driving the box truck. Now I’m confined to my recliner; I can’t sit normally. If I do it goes out and I have to lay down till it comes back. There are no painless moments in my day. Am I correct in assuming all I can do is wait?” That’s really sad cause it’s so much pain.
Tony: I don’t think that you just wait. I think Will tells you stuff and then you do it and then it…
Will: Yeah. That works better.
Kinna: Do what Will says.
Tony: You know I do think that it is valid for some people when they have a situation that it’s going to take longer than they wanted to correct itself or to improve. But I think that you could always take steps even with, you know a lot of people say I can’t stretch cause even that’s painful. But you know I think there’s always things that you can do no matter where you are even if they’re very minimal to at least go in that direction.
Will: Yeah. And there’s some passive sort of realignment stretches that when you’re really, really in bad back pain like you have some structural damage and you’re really tight and you’re fearful about it cause you’re constantly in pain and anxiety. It takes like really skilled practitioners to help you fix it. Even if you like see the right exercise they could take you through it in such a way that it works for you. And if you just try it on your own you might not know all the little nuances or the sequence. So you should probably if you’re in a ton of pain you should probably go try to find an Egoscue clinic or contact me. At least, at least read Pete Egoscue’s book called Pain Free. You can find that on his website or on Amazon; it’s a best seller. But there are things you can do like even the way you lie around there’s some passive stretches that you can do that can help you start to get out of pain within an hour. And then you can start to build from there doing really gentle progressive exercises. But it’s not obvious what to do. It is simple, it’s just not obvious.
Tony: Right. And you may be able to do some exercises that take you out of pain and then as soon as you go back into life that pain can come back cause you’re doing all those activities. You know so that doesn’t mean that it didn’t work it just means you need to establish that to last.
Will: Yeah, yeah.
Kinna: Alright. Susie from Okala, Florida and Jason. Susie, “herniated disk and ruptured disks, do these heal?” Jason says “Susie, they can. They more or less dissolve and stop impinging the nerve but may take a year.”
Will: That’s true. And you can also get out of pain right away sometimes. It depends on the particular situation in your spine like if there’s literally like shrapnel from the disk and the gel inside the disk like messing with the nerve and touching it, it can cause constant inflammation and pain. In other cases there’s a lot of people that have herniated and ruptured disks that don’t even know it and don’t have any pain.
Will: A lot of the time cause it’s not touching the nerve. So what’s great about that is just because it’s ruptured just because you had a really expensive MRI that showed what’s happening. Like that doesn’t mean that you have to be in pain. And I’ve seen it hundreds of times where they come in with these MRI’s or are in intense pain all the time and we take them through a couple exercises and all the sudden they don’t hurt in like 10-20 minutes. So is the disk still ruptured? Yeah. It’s just not pushing on the nerve, right? So for the dissolving to happen if it has ruptured and like the gel is leaking out of the disk, that may take a little while for your body to clean up. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait till then to get out of pain.
Tony: And also keep in mind too cause this is where a lot of confusion comes in is that you may cause an injury to a disk or something but you may not have pain because it may not be hitting a nerve or anything like that. And you’ll be fine. And then you know months later you’re like “yeah I was watching the Muppet’s and now I can’t walk.” You know and it just so happened to be that enough things happened to where a nerve is now being pinched or whatever and there’s horrible pain. But if a person looks back and like nothing really happened, you know Fozzy had an ice cream cone and that was it. So they can’t figure out how this happened. But it could have been something that happened long ago.
Kinna: Yeah. I think a lot, I was reading this article about you know people who have chronic back pain and stuff like that and a lot of stuff is fear. It’s a lot of fear in your mind too once you’ve had your back go out you’re so scared to do anything that you tend to not do things like stretch and stuff because you’re scared it’s going to hurt it. So then you get tight and then you set yourself up to hurt yourself. So it’s kinda like, it’s like this cycle that you get in, a psychological thing. And I know because from myself I get scared the day that the chiropractor told me I had scoliosis. Tony saw me; I was freaked out. And I had to talk to like him and you and kinda calm down to think okay this is not like a death sentence.
Will: Yeah. And when you hear of scoliosis like usually it’s functional rather than born with it. And you want to think the same sort of stuff if you listen to our podcast about arthritis. It’s like why is it bending sideways always? Why is the joint swelling?
Tony: Right. And Will can you talk a little bit you know cause when it’s like, when she asks “can they heal?” the important thing to look at is is your body in a state where it can heal and repair things. So can you talk in case no one’s ever heard our shows about anabolic and catabolic and how important that is.
Will: Yeah. To be able to like make the tissues have integrity and strength you need to be not, like you need to be able to go into the anabolic state at night where your body’s rebuilding tissues. And you also need to have a few particular nutrients like if you don’t have enough vitamin C or if you don’t have enough proteins you’re not going to be able to build healthy new membranes. So you can check out our Digestive Issues course on KickItInTheNuts.com and see if you’re in a catabolic imbalance. And that can help you get an understanding of like okay that’s where I am. What do I need to do to make myself more anabolic. And a lot of that, a lot of times that has to with the kinds of fats you’re eating and making sure you’re getting enough cholesterol rich foods and able to digest them.
Tony: Right. And the digestion thing is a big factor too. Cause Will mentioned you know you have to have enough protein but that protein has to be able to be broken down into amino acids which are the building blocks of tissue. And if you’re body can’t break down protein properly then you won’t, it’s like you don’t have bricks to build your house. You just have guys standing around waiting to build your house.
Will: Yeah. And another thing about healing bulging disks is you need to correct like the main reason why it’s bulging. And it’s because of the position of the spine and the pressure that gravity has on the disk due to that pressure. So if you think of like, if you like drove over like a shallow road or a huge speed bump and you bent the axel of your car all the sudden one wheel doesn’t sit flat on the ground it’s going to have a lot of odd like asymmetrical pressure on it. And the tire itself is going to start to bulge and is likely to pop way sooner than it would otherwise if it were running straight. That’s just like the disk, like it’s gonna bulge cause the pressure’s pushing it that way by the bones. The vertebrae are making it go that way. You can reduce and the bulge can like reposition, but you have to change position of the spine.
Kinna: And you do that by…
Will: Through corrective exercises, yeah.
Kinna: Amber from Claire, Michigan, “when I throw cabers my back hurts the next day. Advice?”
Tony: I like Amber. What do you say to that, Kinna?
Kinna: I’m like don’t throw cabers, eat capers.
Tony: Yeah. That’ll help if you do that. If you switch that out.
Kinna: The “b” and the “p.”
Tony: Right. The best thing about that is you’re just switching one letter. It’s not a big deal.
Tony: It’s pretty easy to do. Next question.
Will: No, wait. This brings up and important point. So like…
Tony: Let me first, do you know what a caber is?
Will: A caper?
Tony: A caber.
Will: No, I don’t know.
Tony: It’s some kind of like a contest like a thing.
Kinna: The highland games.
Tony: Yeah, yeah. She does these games. But it’s like this huge pole that’s like, it looks heavy.
Will: Like a tree?
Kinna: She’s a haus, I’ve seen pictures of her doing it, man.
Will: Like a telephone pole, right?
Tony: It’s like a telephone pole. And the way that they bend down and pick it up like against their shoulder it just looks like so wrong. But it’s the way that they do it. So…
Kinna: It’s like cross fit to me. I’m like how can you not get injured doing that?
Will: Scottish cross-fit?
Tony: So it’s kinda like doing a weighted squat but with your face in the dirt and like a person on your shoulder.
Will: One shoulder?
Tony: Yeah. So that might have some…
Kinna: Kinda like Saturday night, remember that?
Will: Yeah. The thing is the body is designed to do all sorts of crazy, awesome stuff. Like we are champions of evolution. Like we’re here, right?
Kinna: For now.
Will: For now. You know? Well bacteria is really leading but we’re around. That says something, you know? And our bodies are super athletic. We’re meant to be these really active, dynamic hunter and gatherers capable of doing way more than typing. But usually that’s all people do is type.
Kinna: Did you hear that, Tony? I’m tired of typing.
Tony: Oh, okay.
Kinna: I can do other things.
Will: So our bodies are designed to be able to do all these dynamic, awesome, athletic you know feats. But most of the time we’re not able to do even simple stuff. And most approach it like if something starts to hurt you just don’t do it anymore. Like I can’t sprint anymore so I’ll just jog. I can’t jog anymore so I’ll just ride the elliptical. I can’t ride the elliptical anymore so I’ll just sit in my chair and hurt. You know it’s this little, awful progression. And when I was first starting as a trainer like I didn’t know how to fix this stuff with people. So if they came to me with a knee injury we would just not work legs until it hopefully got better. And that is not a solution. That’s kind of like someone who can’t digest protein, like I just won’t eat protein. You know it’s the same, like it immediately resonated to me when we first, when I first learned to do the body chemistry testing that we do. That the stuff that we do with body chemistry is like body chemistry to the human body versus the Egoscue method to body alignment. They’re like parallel things where they look at the individual and they come up with a custom routine to fix that persons particular imbalances.
Tony: Looking more at the causes instead of just the symptom.
Will: Exactly. And coming up with a very, like there will never be one ultimate posture correction exercise like routine. And there will never be one perfect diet cause there’s all these nuances.
Will: So when you look at like being able to throw a caber, that’s a very high demand activity. And yeah, the body is capable of doing that. And some people do it without pain. So we see like, oh, it’s possible. We worked with and do work with a lot of NFL players, and hockey players and all sorts of high impact pro athletes that come to us with back pain. They weigh 380 pounds, they slam into 380 pound guys all day long and they have intense pain in all sorts of places. They fix their alignment and all the sudden their back doesn’t hurt. They didn’t have to loose 200 pound. They didn’t have to like stop playing their sport even. They were able to do it without pain because they corrected their moving patterns. So I would say, Amber if you want to throw cabers without pain it’s possible you know for most people to be able to get to that point. If you just work on your alignment and have progressively enhanced training to get you to be able to do something intense like that with the correct movement patterns.
Tony: And if not at least you have our backup caper plan.
Kinna: Uh huh, exactly. Chastity from Carson City, Nevada, “my back pain has a constant heat, burning sensation where I have to sleep with it uncovered and exposed. I can’t have anything on my lower back. I feel like my back constantly has a fever.” Hmm, interesting.
Tony: So I have heard that a lot of times that this is more of like a nerve situation. But there’s other things that even just a muscle strain can feel like heat as well. But do you see people talk about this at all, Will?
Will: Yeah. I would assume what you think. Like there’s some sort of nerve impingement causing it to feel hot. It may actually be hot. And that can also be due to the nerve like just not being able to control thermogenesis in that area. So I would look and see like do you have any sort of nerve impingement or whatever. And I would also just look at like what’s off in my posture that I can work on right now? Cause whether or not you have a nerve impingement, if you have crazy weird burning back pain your posture’s probably not very good. And there’s stuff you can do to start working on that.
Kinna: She might have a fever for the flavor of a Pringle.
Tony: It happens.
Tony: She could be like Will and just left the stove on.
Will: Every time I cook…
Kinna: Every time. Every time. One of these days he’s gonna pull up and there’s not going to be an office anymore cause it’s going to be on fire. It’s going to be like art imitating life with Office Space too. And then I’ll be like…
Will: Is that a plug?
Kinna: Y’all get websites, I get plugs for my movies.
Will: I love Office Space. That was fantastic.
Kinna: Awe. Thank you. Alright so Robin and also Charles, did I read the other one?
Kinna: Nope. Sorry, Christy, “Yes I’ve been having back pain. I use ice and heat on my back. Ice on those days I’ve done too much and heat on for the other times.”
Tony: What are your thoughts on that, Will?
Will: Sounds like symptom management and it’s fine to do that stuff.
Tony: It doesn’t make it worse or anything like that.
Will: It doesn’t make it worse. It could be symptomatic relief like massage. But you won’t need that when you correct your body alignment. And the magic of how that works is right now your back because of how you move is way over active. Like way more work gets asked of the back than of all your other muscles like your leg muscles, and your pelvis, and your butt, and your upper back muscles and all that. If you did work to get those to start participating in the activities your lower back could relax. And it wouldn’t be so tight, and inflamed, and hot and all that.
Kinna: Alright. Robin, “Degeneration disk thoracic, cervical lumber, also have spondylolysis, curving of the spine, bone spurs, stenosis. My pain management doctor says I should be level 2 on my best days according to testing. However I’m a level 4 on my best days and level 10 on my worst days. So what gives without pain meds?” Charles from Bakersfield, California says “That was almost my problem. I have degenerative disks, spondylolysis and stenosis. Massage does help more than pain killers.” That’s a lot of hard words.
Tony: There’s a lot of stuff to kinda look at here too because basically some of those hard words like the spondylolsis is just like an inflammation and where the spine can be like stiffening. And there’s a lot of different things that could be creating that. There’s a few people on here that have similar situations with bone spurs too. And when you look, we’ve talked a lot about in our joint pain episode about how things that can cause calcium to be pulled out of the tissues and then the calcium starts to float around and it gets deposited in joints or even around spines and can cause things to kinda not move so well. So what are your thoughts on that, Will?
Will: Yeah. Other than the nutritional side of that where the calcium can kinda like build up in joints and cause stiffness like we talked about in our arthritis episode. When you look at bone spurs a lot of times and example of people will have them around their Achilles and their ankle. And that’s because of like how they’re walking; it’s creating this extra stress pattern where it’s actually pulling the tendon away from the bone a little bit. And the bone will start to generate more calcification, more bone cells to try to like connect the tendon more tightly. And that can happen also in the vertebrae of the spine. And it’s just like I said earlier, it’s just like a callus would develop on your foot if you walk kinda weird on one side of it and you roll over it more, like certain toes more than the others. The skin will start to grow and harden. And the same thing is, that’s what a bone spur is on the bone level. So all those things together like the mis-position of your spine over all is what’s causing, is usually a big contributing factor in causing all these issues. There can definitely be some intense biochemical imbalances that create just like derogation of the skeletal system overall. And that’s a huge that sometimes is like a freak genetic thing, and other times has a lot to do with nutrition or toxicity.
Tony: Right. If there’s things that are degenerative a lot of times, see when Will was talking about the anabolic and catabolic state, the catabolic state is usually supposed to be during the day. And the body’s making energy and it breaks down tissue so that the tissue can be rebuilt and made new. But what happens is a lot of people will get stuck in just the catabolic state most of the time, or jus the anabolic state most of the time. And both states are fine if you’re moving back and forth between the two. But if you get stuck in a catabolic state and you’re body’s just breaking down tissue. You know everything in the spine, all that connective stuff, all of that is tissue. And if it’s just being broken down and not being rebuilt then problems are going to occur.
Kinna: Also although I hate to say it…
Tony: But I will allow it.
Kinna: But you know if you have inflammation stuff going on then sugar is going to be horrible for you and there’s certain foods that are really…
Tony: Do do dooooo!
Will: Now you’re starting to call it out?
Tony: The day finally came! The day arrived when Kinna slammed sugar.
Will: Kinna said sugar first.
Tony: It finally happened.
Kinna: I still love sugar. But for inflammation that, that is a problem. And when I’m not eating right then I do hurt in places.
Tony: Right and people, a lot of people don’t know that at all. They don’t know there’s a correlation between sugar intake and exacerbating specific types of inflammation. So that is a good thing. You just knowledged them.
Tony: I think we’re gonna, we’re gonna have time for one more question and we’re going to have to take this, this is going to be a six part show. I can tell right now because we are not doing well.
Will: Yeah. Maybe we should write, we should may be write another Done With/Kick Back Pain in the Nuts.
Kinna: Yeah. Oh yeah. Obviously there’s a market out there.
Tony: Apparently this is a big thing.
Tony: So let’s take one more question.
Kinna: Alright. Steve, “What’s the best way to make your lower back better after pain from lifting weights during squats. I accidentally screwed up proper form and threw out my lower back a few months ago and the pain is still not fully gone. Then I hurt it again two days ago. Ow.”
Will: Steve I would like you to, if you’re in a place the place where you’re doing weighted squats that’s awesome. I would refer you to the pain relief videos that I have on my website, MyBodyOfKnowledge.net. You can first try the, there’s a video that says it’s for lower back pain. You can do that and it’ll get you out of like the tightness and the pain. And then you can start doing also if you just go to MyBodyOfKnowledge.net/PainRelief, there’s a general alignment video that you can start doing as a warm up or a cool down to your workouts that will keep your back from getting overly tight and hyper extending and doing too much of the work in squats. Squats definitely do place a huge demand on the lower back and they’re gonna, it’s gonna strengthen those muscles. But it can also easily push people into that pattern of using their lower back too much. So the general alignment video that I have will help shift your posture and keep your lower back from having to overwork. And that lower back pain relief one can get you out of the pain you’re in presently.
Kinna: Alright so we’re going to wrap up this show, but stay tuned to the next show where we’re continuing. So if you didn’t get your question answered on this show you will on the next. If you want to learn more about how to look at your own chemistry you can read any of Tony’s books or take the free four-week Digestion Course at KickItInTheNuts.com. You can also go to MyBodyOfKnowlege.net for Will and what was it?
Will: The Egoscue Method; Egoscue.com.
Kinna: Egoscue.com and that’s the “ego with scue?”
Will: Yeah. E-G-O-S-C-U-E.com.
Tony: Yeah. And so next week when we continue this show we’ll talk about, we have a lot of stuff about sciatica, and surgeries and stuff like that. So if we didn’t get to your question, we will. And if you liked this, if you found something in this episode that was helpful then go to iTunes and leave us a review and that helps us spread the word.
Kinna: And if you don’t like us then well…
Tony: They don’t have reviews.
Kinna: Yeah. Exactly.
Tony: They don’t allow them.
Kinna: Alright. See ya next week.
Kick It Naturally – Understanding Back Pain Pt. 2
T.C. Hale is not a doctor and does not claim to be a doctor, licensed in any type of medical field. Don’t be an idiot and use anything heard on this show as medical advice. This information should be used for educational purposes only and you should contact your doctor for any medical advice. Now get off me.
Kinna: Welcome to Kick It Naturally, I’m Kinna McInroe, and I’m here with T.C Hale, author, natural health expert, producer. What’s up, T.C.?
Tony: I like having clean sheets on my bed it’s fun.
Kinna: You also like looking at the internet when people rip off your nipples.
Tony: Yeah, that was last week’s show.
Kinna: Show pictures of it.
Tony: That is just really freaky to me. When we recalled it the last show we decided that people should not do that anymore.
Kinna: Yeah, I’ve thought about it all week. It can’t leave my mind. I just can’t stop thinking about it.
Tony: Uh huh.
Kinna: And that little laughter over there that you here is hottie patottie, Will Schmidt. What’s up, Will?
Kinna: How are you doing today?
Will: Good, how are you?
Kinna: Good. Will, has both his nipples, right Will?
Will: Uh, yep!
Kinna: Oh, nice! That was me trying to get him to show them. All right, so if you were listening to our last show you know that we had a slew, a plethora of, I’m trying to use big words and I’m trying to use the right ones this time.
Tony: Good job!
Will: Extraordinate, magnitude.
Kinna: You’ve got a good memory, all the way from last week. Wow! So we had a ton of questions about back pain. I can talk first hand about it. It’s awful. It’s one of the worst things ever. It affects everything in your life and I think we’re going to dive into questions, but if you haven’t liked us on Facebook, go ahead like us at kick it in the nuts. That’s where we post all the topics that we’ll be doing on future shows and you guys can post any questions you want us to cover in that show.
Tony: Yeah, so if you didn’t hear last week’s show, you can find it on iTunes by now I’m sure. Just search for kick it naturally on iTunes. We really talked from two different points of view really, I mean there are a lot of back issues that can be contributed to nutritional issues that are going on and a lot of them are alignment issues, so if we don’t talk about your specific issue, listen to last week’s show because we probably already covered a lot of it. Will, do you have anything you wanted to overview before we get right into questions?
Will: Yeah, just to recap, like don’t start with this episode listen to the first one first.
Tony: Uh huh.
Will: Cause we do explain things a lot. That’s why we got through so few questions, so it’d be a good idea to start with that one. There is a lot of information about the body alignment stuff and pain relief videos if you go to a page I made especially for this and last week’s episodes of this podcast. If you go to mybodyofknowledge.net/painrelief, you can get the gest of what body alignment is all about and why it matters with back pain as well as there is a link right there to a lot of videos that might help you get out of a lot of pain.
Tony: Just remember what we talked about last week that either if you’re going to fix things nutritionally or through body alignment, either though you could find some relief either way, if it’s dealing with your specific cause, relatively quickly, it may take time to completely fix the problem. It will take actual work and actual effort to deal with a lot of these issues. So don’t look for a want to take a pill and have it all go away, cause it’s just not going to happen.
Kinna: I mean I’ve done everything. Chiros, acupuncture, I’ve gotten hypnotized, everything for pain and I would say that Tony and Will and also my chiropractor, the one that I’m seeing now, they’re the ones that have helped me the most for sure. So they know what they’re talking about so go back and listen to the first episode. Should we just dive right in?
Tony: Yeah, let’s dive right in.
Kinna: Since we have 70 pages. Mandy, from Tulsa, Okalahoma. I’ve had severe sciatic for over 20 years. Drugs don’t work anymore. Stretching just hurts worse. Any ideas to help? Also, Iofie, that’s different.
Tony: That’s a name.
Kinna: Yeah, what can relieve sciatica without meds and/or having to go for surgery? And Heather, I get sciatic pain frequently and different things trigger it, but usually cleaning, vacuuming and scrubbing tubs. It started with my second pregnancy 13 years ago. Are there stretches that I can do or exercises to help prevent this type of pain with these activities?
Will: Nope! Next question.
Kinna: There’s more. Steven, from Austria. Prevented by stretching and just keeping active. I have been reminded as of Saturday morning and how important it is just to keep on stretching.
Tony: So, Will, why don’t you cover that and then I have something I want to throw at you too about sciatica.
Will: Yeah, so when I first started as an exercise therapist I had never had sciatica, but I’ve worked with hundreds of people that have. It scared me because it’s so intense like people are really in pain. It’s not like my knee hurts, it’s like my spine and leg are on fire.
Tony: Uh huh.
Will: It can be awful. Now it doesn’t scare me at all anymore because the more experience you have as a posture therapist the more quickly you can realize what’s triggering that person’s sciatic pain. It’s not obvious to the person if they don’t know what good alignment looks like. And stretching, like even the motions that feel like that should help it, like oh, if I just pull on this muscle cause my hamstring feels tight, could make it worse because what you’d want to fix is the position of the spine and you want to change the compression on the nerve. Just stretching your hamstring doesn’t necessarily do that. For a lot of people it pulls the spine further into its imbalance and creates more pressure on the spine, which is why a lot of people are frustrated with stretching just makes it worse. I can’t do this or that. I can’t do any activities where I’m bending. And usually there’s a particular position that’s the worst and then there’s one that feels most tolerable. Like for some people standing is horrific, for other people sitting’s horrible, for some people they only feel relief if they lay on their stomach, for some people they only feel relief if they lay on their side. That all depends on what position and what angle that position is pushing the spine in. Is it pushing it further into the imbalance and increasing the compression on the nerve? Or is it pulling it out of compression? So you may need to check out the pain relief videos that I have for low back pain. Or find me online, contact me and we can work online through Skype video calls or find a clininc. I was trained in the method and usually if you’re with a good therapist it can be fantastically effective and they have online services as well as lots of clinics all over the country. When you correct your postural imbalances, it can create immediate relief. Like in the moment during that same session, not like 4 weeks from then, but it can happen within that very hour or it can happen within a few days. When you have the right exercises, it’s usually that kind of quick. Sometimes it takes maybe a couple of weeks, but you can feel a shift and improvement as soon as your posture changes and that can happen during the first session. So just know you’ve got to look at your body alignment and you have to have a good therapist to help you understand what positions right now are making things worse and what are making them better and then do the exercises that will help retrain your posture to be more correct.
Tony: Before I had a better understanding of what sciatic pain was I tried to do some research and I found a lot of people that were using vibration plates and I used that with some of my clients. If you don’t know what that is it’s like a little plate that you stand on and it just kind of shakes. It’s not like those old shake belt things where the people used to think that they could just shake the cellulite off their body, but it can be very beneficial for other situations of just basically stimulating your body at the cellular level and it can bring a lot of benefits that way. So I used it with some clients that were having some sciatic pain and they actually found some improvement. Was it a situation where it may be they were just lucky enough to shake the pinch out kind of thing, where they weren’t pinching that nerve anymore?
Will: I would think that how those can be potentially helpful, is by activating the stabilizers in your body that are currently inactive.
Tony: Uh huh.
Will: So, your back, if you have sciatic pain you’re almost definitely your posture is imbalanced and almost always your lower back is over active. It’s doing the work that your hips and leg muscles and gait muscles and posture stabilizer muscles are not doing. When you sit, just your upper body is active. Your pelvis and your lower body is completely off, almost all day. Most of us sit all day. So we don’t have a lot of functionality or coordination or activation of those muscles. So when you go on something like the vibration plate, all of the sudden, all these little stabilizers throughout your whole body from the bottom of your feet up through all of your leg muscles and your pelvis will all of the sudden be like Woa, hold on, hold on, do something like stabilize! And that’s what they’re supposed to be doing all the time. So those little balance challenges can help transfer the work from the lower back to the stabilizers in the pelvis and legs and that, I would say, is most likely the reason why those things could help.
Tony: You know and a lot of people that do sit for their job or for work and they’re sitting for hours at a time, I did hear something interesting that there’s an app it’s called like time out or something like that. You can run it on your computer in the background and set it for specific times and it just kind of reminds you to hey, get up for 30 seconds or something. Walk for a second just to keep from having that constant sitting there. The just sitting there can do a lot more damage than just to your back. Looking at that 2 dimensional screen for so long can have detrimental effects on your eyes. So, just getting up and walking around every 35 to 40 minutes for 30 seconds can really bring some benefits.
Will: Yeah, I encourage a lot of my clients to do that. To get up occasionally and just like one or two of the exercises from the pain relief videos and they’ll learn like if they’re doing them they’ll learn like which ones they need to do and when. They don’t take long. Like you can really get yourself out of pain in like a minute or 30 seconds even sometimes when you do the right thing. If you don’t know which ones are going to help you it’s not going to be as effective obviously, but if you learn a few from like the pain relief videos that I’ve got posted or from any of Pete Egoscue’s books like “Pain Free” or “Pain Free at Your PC”. You can find both of those on Amazon. You can just really quick little stretch breaks in the same amount time it takes to get up and get a glass of or go to the bathroom you can fit in a stretch or two.
Tony: It’s just a matter of making those things a habit.
Will: Yeah. I am a fan of pyo balls. Do you know what those are? Those inflatable big rubber balls at the gym.
Tony: We use them for dodge ball. Are you supposed to use those for something else?
Will: Yeah, sure. I mean the big ones that you would like do crunches on.
Tony: Uh huh.
Will: Like you sit on them. They’re like the size of a beach ball.
Kinna: Kind of like a medicine ball?
Will: No, not a medicine ball, something’s that bigger so you can sit as high as you would in a chair. What’s great about that is your legs are kind of always on when you’re sitting on one of those. You can’t just lean on something, so you’re creating more activity in your pelvis and your gait muscles and forced to kind of keep more centered. So, for a lot of people that’s a really good stimulus so they can just fit into their day.
Tony: Right, and maybe they’re not using it the whole day, but if they can just fit it in for periods of the day it could be helpful.
Will: Yeah. It’s not nearly as important as correcting your posture, but it’s a good adjunct.
Tony: It’s something, yeah, and before we move on since a lot of the people listening to this show may have had back surgeries in the past, when I was talking about those vibration plates they do say don’t use this if you have like bionic parts and things that are screwed together and stuff because the shaking is pretty drastic.
Kinna: Shake it loose.
Will: It could potentially make things way worse.
Kinna: I got a screw loose, literally. All right. Colette, I have big…I’m kidding. We spent the whole show on Colette last time, so she’s back. Dawn, from Jackson, New Jersey. I suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis. I have herniated discs on C4 and C5 and severe sciatica that radiates down my right leg. I get injections, but the pain just returns after a few months. An MRI showed that I have a syrinx on my spine. Can this horrible pain be associated with a syrinx or is it sciatica and herniated disc extremely painful? Colette, I had a breast reduction and it does help with neck and back pain, still have pain though, so if you like them keep ‘em. I got a lift also, so I’m happy with the turn out, but pain is not making me happy. I really didn’t read that and that’s funny that she said that because that was from questions last week.
Tony: Uh huh, from Colette’s question last week.
Kinna: Michael. Hey Dawn, if you have seen an X-ray of your neck, it should have the shape of a banana or bucket handle from a side view. If it’s straight, then that’s why you’re experiencing problems. Which is big thing too, cause I have a straight neck and the chiro was like that’s a big part of it.
Tony: It’s good that we did get one more vote for Colette not to get a breast reduction surgery even from someone who had one.
Will: You want me to talk about it?
Tony: Go ahead. Yeah.
Will: So when they say C4 C5, that means your neck like the lower part of your neck. The spine has reciprocal curves throughout it. Which means if you have a hyper extended lower back, usually the person’s upper back is going to go into a hyper flexion or upper excessive rounding and that’s called “lordosis cafosisis”.
Tony: That’s what I call it too.
Kinna: Uh huh.
Will: Yeah, that’s the street name.
Kinna: I just call it an “s”.
Will: Yeah, so and the cervical spine would also have an exacerbated rounding.
Will: Word of the week. Brought to you by the letter “e”. So those curves of the spine are reciprocal and they’re working to keep you upright. Your head and shoulders, hips, knees and ankles should all be vertically aligned and your body is doing the best it can to keep that position happening. For example, if your hips are too far forward, your body’s going to shove your upper back back to counter balance that and it’s this big counter balancing thing. So if you have like you said a straight neck, it’s because of a compensation pattern that’s happening through out the whole body. You don’t benefit from just trying to force a curve back into your neck. That’s not going to help, that’s almost as faulty as like orthotics. Like the idea if you just put an arc thing in your shoe to get the arc back in your foot then things will be better, but you haven’t corrected the reason of why the arc collapsed in the first place.
Kinna: Is arc the same as arch?
Will: Arch, yeah the arch. It’s all integrated and the first of like sort of rule of the Egoscue method is the body’s a unit and it works together so you can’t just focus on one part of your spine and try to force it into the right position. You’ve got to look at the posture as a whole. Just like you’ve got to look at the person’s body chemistry as a whole and do stuff to push it all back towards balance.
Tony: Right, but I think the answer to her question is yes. Those issues of sciatica or herniated disc can be extremely painful in some situations and the “shot” is not the answer to the problem. You don’t have this pain because you had a “shot” deficiency or whatever shot that you’re taking.
Kinna: What was the shot?
Tony: She didn’t say what it was, but uh….
Kinna: Probably steroids.
Will: Usually an epidural.
Kinna: Oh, epidural, oh.
Tony: Yeah, but there really is no way to tell even for doctor who has an MRI right in front of him to know exactly which of these 3 to 7 issues is causing the most pain. Just because everything is so connected and you know, a pinch here can cause pain down there and such like that.
Will: So you want to look at correcting your overall body alignment and all these things these issues can start to get better and fix themselves most of the time.
Kinna: Every time Will says body alignment I straighten up.
Tony: Uh huh, yeah I noticed Nina was sitting up straight better in this episode too.
Kinna: Okay, David, don’t want to use painkillers for sciatic, diabetic neuropathy. What else is there? What’s neuropathy?
Will: Pain in your extremities.
Kinna: Oh, okay because of the diabetes?
Tony: Yeah, it causes damage to the nerve endings and the high sugars do so. Something you could do is be less diabetic. You’re going to think I’m being a jackass.
Kinna: Sugar! There we go back to the sugar and inflammation.
Tony: The reality is that if you’re a type II diabetic and that’s the situation and this neuropathy is caused because your blood sugar is too high, you may not know that you do have the option of becoming less diabetic. People do it every single day. So, if you don’t know that that’s an option for you and that you can make changes nutritionally and to the way your body chemistry is functioning then you should do two things, you should start by reading “Kick Your Fat In The Nuts” and do the actual work. Do the tests and look at your physiology. Then you should also take our 12 week fat loss course on kickitinthenuts.com because all the videos and all the meal plans and all that kind of stuff that walk you through how to lower your blood sugar. You can do it! You can actually improve that situation if you’re willing to do the work. Then you could likely see a lot of improvement to the neuropathy issue as well.
Kinna: Cool, Christopher, from Pocatello, Idaho, I’m dealing with undiagnosed upper back pain that is affecting my ribcage. My massage therapist has said that there is layer upon layer of damaged muscle tissue. Scarring is what he said. He’s not a doctor, so I’m not taking his word for it. Is it possible for something like this to happen? What can one do about scar tissue inside the body? Thanks!
Tony: One thing before I let Will go off is I don’t know if he was saying that you were having pain because of scar tissue because scar tissue doesn’t contain nerve endings. So that’s not actually a painful situation to have, but scar tissue could cause things to be misaligned I imagine or the situation of underlying causes could still be there as well.
Will: Yeah and you could have scar tissue that is restricting movement, for example, that would create like dysfunctional movement patterns that could relate to pain elsewhere in the body or just feel like tight when you try to articulate the movements when they’re restricted by scar tissue. More likely is that your body is out of alignment and I’m probably going to start sounding like a broken record, but you can have scar tissue, do exercises to correct your posture and then be out of pain. Do you still have scar tissue? Or was it just like tension in the muscles because of your postural misalignment.
Tony: Right, so, cause a lot of times I’ve had clients that you try to massage their back and there’s these huge knots and they really feel like scar tissue.
Kinna: Wait, what clients have you ever massaged their backs.
Will: Colette, when he used to train Colette.
Kinna: Oh, okay, cause I’ve always wanted to get a back massage from Tony…
Tony: All the other trainers in the gym are massaging their clients and the girls are like….
Kinna: Yeah, we don’t get that.
Tony: Well, how come they’re doing it? And I say they’re nice. I’m not nice, but anyways so if uh, a lot of times if someone has all these knots in their backs, it can be from calcium deposits from calcium being pulled out of tissues and it just gets deposited like in these tissues in the wrong place. Then they develop these knots. That’s why it’s an interesting thing that you know sometimes muscles are tight and you can improve it through nutrition or you could also improve the tightness through manipulation. It kind of makes me wonder, is that manipulation opening up those tissues and allowing calcium to get in there to allow the muscle to relax more? I have no idea, but there are a lot of situations where you could go at it from two different angles. Either manipulatively, not like being manipulative, or nutritionally. So you’ve got to kind of wonder well if it can see improvement from two different angles, how do those meet some how? You’ve got to imagine they do.
Will: Yeah and you can do all 3 approaches of like body alignment, hands on treatment and nutrition and feel awesome. Some may be more appropriate for people than others depending on what’s causing your issues, but I talked more at length last time about knots being related to the learned resting tensions lengths of the muscles. Like if you have an elevated like one shoulder’s higher than the other, a muscles holding it there. So you’re going to have a knot in that muscle because it’s learned to hold that amount of tightness to keep your body straight and upright or what it thinks is straight and upright. So it’s going to stay there, even if you like beat it out and have some masseuse do trigger point therapy and take a magnesium epidural or whatever you know. It’s gonna still flex into that shortened position because it thinks that’s straight for whatever reason. Maybe you sprained your ankle when you were 10 and you developed like an elevated hip and know your shoulders high too? Like they’re all connected like a spider web you know. If you put your finger on one point of the spider web it pulls all the fascia out of position. There’s a great book called “Body Trains” that shows like all the muscles and connective tissue are all connected through fascia. Just like a spider web. If you push one part, everything gets out of alignment.
Tony: It’s good, but Nina doesn’t want you to talk about spiders anymore.
Will: Oh, sorry, sorry.
Tony: She might edit the whole thing out of the show.
Will: So yeah, fix your alignment and those little knots can kind of disappear.
Kinna: Cool. All right. Tish, try the topical pain cream DermaTran. It’s amazing.
Tony: Yeah, I don’t have any experience with this, but it’s basically like a drug cream. I did look up some stuff about it and I found all these people saying worse mistake I’d ever made.
Will: My skin has aliens.
Tony: Apparently it just like trashes the skin, but only for some people. Like it seems like a percentage of the population it does annoying things to the skin and other people it does okay, but still it is a drug and when you put a drug topically on the system what happens is some of that drug can get stored in the fats and the tissues under your skin and then they can be released later so as you continue to put this on there you have no control of how your body is releasing it. Your dose can be well, it can get exacerbated can’t it, Kinna?
Will: I’m not even a fan of suntan lotion. I was just talking to one of my client’s who is a pharmaceutical rep and he’s like there are a lot of studies that show that sun tan lotion causes more cancer than sunburns.
Tony: Absolutely. I’ve seen a lot of data on that. I’ve seen a lot of data on that.
Will: It’s ridiculous.
Kinna: And you’re talking about lotion and not sunscreen?
Will: No, the same.
Kinna: Oh, the same. Sunscreen? Cause I wear sunscreen every day. Great!
Will: Yeah, good job!
Kinna: I’m killing myself. I’m trying not to kill myself and I’m killing myself. Okay, Ledette. I was in a car accident in 2011. I had 2 slipped disc in my cervical lumbar. My surgery went well. I have pain every now and then. The surgery was December 2, 2012. Okay my first lower lumbar L4 and L5 surgery was on January 4, 2013, okay, I’m still having pain. I’ve had therapy, injections, I’ve had my second back surgery on the same lower lumbar, they went in through my stomach the first time. The second time through my back. January 17, 2014 still having pain and I’m still going to therapy to this day. I’m on Norco and Flexeril. The Norco I take up to 5 pills a day. They help control the pain to a minimum. All my surgeries were fusions and I have no bone growth in my fusions. They also put me on bone stimulators and no bone growth yet. Any advice? Dang! Spell out your words.
Tony: Before Will talks about all that stuff, you know one thing to look at is like the bones, you know when people are having Osteoporosis type of stuff, a lot of the drugs that they use for bone stimulation growth, do thicken the bone, but it’s not like live bone. It just like makes it more dense, but it’s not stronger. So if you don’t have the ability to regrow bone you’re going to want to look at some digestive issues and make sure that your body has the ability to bring in the nutrients that your body needs to create new bone and to rebuild things. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re not overly catabolic and you can do that on our FREE 4 week digestion course that teaches you how to do all the self tests and such. As far the other stuff that she’s dealing with, you know I understand the pain meds if you don’t know that you have other options because the pain is not fun. I understand that people want to function as a human. Oh, I think I ended at a weird sentence.
Will: That’s okay. So I like I totally get it like being on pain relief medication when you’re in that kind of situation totally makes sense. The big problem with it is that they’re super toxic medications and we’re not telling you to do or don’t take your medication that’s illegal and we don’t do that. If I were in that situation, I would be excited to find a form of exercise therapy that got my pain to dissipate naturally. Then I would feel more free to start to reduce and then eliminate my drug usage and start working on correcting my body chemistry and digestion because those drugs impair your liver function which impairs your nutrient absorption. So it’s going to be harder for your body to rebuild yourself if you’re taking those meds. If you can find exercises that help you get out of pain you won’t need those meds, so then you can start working on both things more effectively. Correcting your alignment and building up your nutrition.
Tony: Right, it’s all about doing the work to qualify to not need meds. It’s not about just stopping meds.
Will: Yeah, so check out, I’d highly recommend you read Pete Egoscue’s book “Pain Free”, which is available on amazon.com and then you can also check out my website mybodyofknowledge.net/painrelief to get a summary of that and find some helpful pain relief videos you can get started with.
Kinna: Mozin, mid back tightness. Have to crack it to release the tension. Piss take!
Tony: I kind of think that that was a typo. Why would…
Kinna: Piss take?
Tony: It’s got to be a typo. I’m not sure why you’d throw in piss take at the end of that?
Kinna: I don’t know. Usually it’s a spit take.
Tony: Will, do you have any opinion on people who are always cracking to get the relief.
Will: Yeah, I don’t think it’s bad. I think that it’s fine to do. I know personally like every joint that I’ve broken cracks. It’s just like tension in those things and they don’t articulate the way they use to. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing it’s just a thing. If you’re feeling like that’s going to fix you though, you’re wrong.
Will: In my experience, you don’t need a chiropractor to go in and make your bones crack. You need to correct your body alignment. Which is like the goal that the chiropractor has in mind, it’s just your body has to learn to hold itself in correct alignment and to move correctly. It doesn’t do that by someone just like jolting your spine to make it crack or any joint to make it crack. It has to learn. Just like you’d teach yourself to play guitar or something like that. It has to practice. It has to practice correctly.
Tony: And we forgot to play that song last week. So we’ll have you play the song.
Will: Yeah, it’ll be the outro music.
Kinna: Nicole. I had Cushing Syndrome. While having a pituitary adenoma removed I had CSF leakage and had to have a spinal tap for a week. Since then I’ve horrible pain on the lower mid right side. Is it possible they pinched a nerve? Is there any way to relieve without pain medication? I had a spinal tap when I was like a baby.
Tony: I watched the move “Spinal Tap”.
Will: Awesome. I think it’s pituitary edema and CSF is cranial sacral fluid.
Kinna: Oh, so it’s not adenoma?
Kinna: That was her spelling.
Will: Yeah, I don’t know much about Cushing’s Syndrome, do you?
Tony: Well, it’s a situation where for one reason or the other the body is making like a crazy amount of Cortisol and so they say that it can be a situation with the pituitary or the adrenal making too much of one hormone that causes Cortisol to go up and I don’t have a clue how all that works.
Kinna: That’s the one that makes you face rounder or something? Like the moon face?
Tony: I don’t know. I don’t know. It kind of makes me wonder was something going on. Was it a stress situation and was that jacking up the Cortisol as well? You know with all these structural pains stress counts a lot. If your body is already under stress it’s going to cause a lot of issues that can cause muscles to be tighter in one area and jack things all over the place.
Will: Yeah, it makes me think too, just like the general nutritional imbalances that we have in our society. Ray Peat has a really good article about “Gelatin, Stress and Aging”, I think is the title of it? You can go to raypeat.com, but there he talks about how sort of imbalanced ratios of amino acids that we have, really push our Cortisol levels and Estrogen levels all out of whack. It’s something to look at to see like why would your hormones be so crazy? Why would your hormones levels be off? And one thing you can look at if you go through the FREE course we have on kickitinthenuts.com on correcting digestive issues is you could figure out if your body’s really in one particular imbalance or another like the catabolic state or the sympathetic nervous system state or the slow oxidizer imbalance. All those things are going to push your hormones out of whack and might have been the fundamental root cause of why you were experiencing such excessive Cortisol levels.
Tony: Your question about is it possible they pinched a nerve, well sure, anything is possible, but it’s also possible like we talked about last week that you can injure your spine, but not feel any pain if it’s not impinging on any type of nerve and that can just happen later for any number of reasons.
Kinna: Raquel, Church Pointe, Louisianna. Bulging disc, bad back and neck pain.
Tony: Everything else Will already said. Good.
Kinna: Sally, what can you do when massage, pain meds, ice pack and heat packs don’t work? Can it be stress? You were just talking about stress.
Tony: Ew…we’re doing the thing where they ask the question right after we talk about it.
Will: Yeah, one thing I’d say is to don’t get discouraged if you haven’t found your solution yet and also don’t necessarily think it’s all in your head. It can be. It can be stressful. I think it’s more often there are some other really fundamental things like even if it is stress, but then you start doing stuff to correct your body alignment or taking steps to fix your nutrition that can give you a sense of control and have a placebo effect on your brain like oh, now I’m doing the right thing, so it could resolve that, or you could have a real fundamental postural imbalance of nutritional imbalance.
Tony: Yeah, it could be a lot of things. If you listen to these last two shows we’ve had, we’ve talked about possible underlying causes for different issues and it’s been a lot. I mean, your body mining itself, not having the ability to rebuild tissue, all the alignment stuff. I mean, there’s a lot of different options that could happen, so it may take you a while to figure out what’s going on with you.
Kinna: Greg, from Victoria, BC. At my limit! Two herniated discs, surgery unsuccessful, sciatica pain continuous, cortizone injections last ten days. What should I do? Wow.
Tony: Geez, you don’t want to keep having cortizone shots like that.
Will: No, all this stuff is really serious and scary and I still have the same recommendations. Start by working with your body alignment. Check out Peats book “Pain Free”, check out mybodyofknowledge.com/painrelief and find the videos there that can help you start to get out of pain. Don’t feel hopeless. Cause there is definitely a lot a progress you can make in a very short span of time usually by working on your body alignment. It’s usually completely overlooked and even dismissed by your doctor.
Tony: Right and cause it’s free. No doctor is going to be trained to teach you how to do something that is free. One thing that’s great about Will’s videos is that the exercises are very benign. You’re not jumping up and down and landing on your face or something. It’s things that you can do if you’re in a position where it’s hard to move or where it’s painful to do things. You can start very easy.
Will: Yeah, and some of them you can literally take a nap in, like your laying on your back with your knees up on a chair or something like that. That’s usually where people like that start. Just passive positions that you just lay in and you don’t need any fancy equipment it’s just you and maybe a couch and the floor.
Tony: We’re assuming you have a floor.
Kinna: I don’t have a floor…uh.
Will: If you don’t have a floor, that’s your first problem. You’re like swimming all the time.
Tony: You shouldn’t be listening to us on a new iPod. You should be investing in a floor.
Will: So yeah, start with those and be excited about the possibility that you can get out of pain. Even with all this damaged anatomy in your back.
Kinna: Gillian, I’m a young woman who has dealt with constant lower back pain for over 5 years. What can I do to eliminate it?
Tony: When it’s a young woman like that and she’s dealing with lower back pain, I want to know where her nutrition is, where her minerals are, so look at your blood pressure and listen to last week’s show. We talk about how the body can pull stuff out of there and see if your in a position where the body is mining itself. I think that’s the first step in that situation and of course none of the alignment stuff hurts to do that either.
Will: Oh, no, absolutely. Most girls tend to hyper extend their knees. That causes excessive arch in the low back and rounding in the upper back and a lot of girls too will slouch on purpose cause they don’t want to stick their chest out cause they don’t want to get stared at too much.
Will: So those postural imbalances will end up putting stress on the neck and shoulders and low back and shins. So, there’s work to do to help correct that.
Kinna: Yeah, so Colette, be proud of those big girls. Put ‘em out there instead of getting all hunched over. David, from Lamore, CA. All back surgery is exploratory and statistics give people only 15% since no one is the same. I learned the hard way since one bulging herniated disc turned into 3. Education is key. Don’t rely on doctors. Doctor’s told me 75% positive recovery only 37 and I have trouble dressing myself doing normal things and daily activities. Angelin, Denver, Colorado. Surgery was the worst thing I ever did. Several discs bulge, C surgery, arthritis, tried everything. Trudy, Salzburg, Austria. After 7 lower back surgeries and lots of screws and bolts in 3 years time, I’m worse off now than I was before. Just started taking Neurotin for nerve pain. Refuse to take pain meds. Can’t sleep, stand, walk or sit for more than 15 minutes at a time. Have had many injections before any surgeries that didn’t help. Now what? Jason, avoid surgery at all cost! Unless you have several opinions stating that you will become paralyzed or permanent nerve damage.
Tony: So a lot of votes for surgery.
Kinna: Yeah. Jason, where were you before she had the surgeries?
Tony: When you look at back surgeries and I’m sure there’s a lot of situations where people feel it’s necessary and that it may even be necessary in some situations, but it kind of like knee surgery. There are so many things that you can do for knee pain both physically and nutritionally, but once somebody goes in and starts cutting things up, I mean there’s really no telling what’s going on and how to fix what has been done.
Will: Yeah, I mean a lot of the time I think you should start with the least invasive, well you should almost always start with the least invasive treatment and see how much progress you can make from there.
Will: I’m not totally against surgery though. I’ve seen it really help people. Like if you have a fully degenerated hip, hip replacement can be amazing. It can really fix you.
Tony: And they almost have that surgery down to where it’s like a drive-thru surgery.
Will: Yeah, like you’re walking on it the next day, like it can be incredible. If you have a torn ACL, you’ve got to fix that.
Will: And it can really help. Like it’ll take a little rehab, but certain surgeries are totally appropriate and awesome that they can do that, but in a lot of cases, especially with back pain, you’re not fixing the reason why the spine is out of position and it’s such like an intricate, complex chain that just fusing part of it is really short-sided. How well would your bike chain work if you fused a couple of those little links? Every time you pedal it’s going to act weird. So I think that that’s one reason why there’s a lot less success with back pain. In this one study they did like placebo effect of fake back surgery worked even better than real back surgeries. Where they just pretended to put the person under and do surgery. They were like oh, I feel so much better, but they didn’t do anything.
Tony: Right, right.
Will: They even did that with knee surgery and placebo was….
Tony: And studied the people for two years, right?
Will: Yeah and they were like it’s awesome now. They did nothing.
Kinna: Oh wow!
Will: They just cut the skin open. It’s incredible how powerful the mind is, but if you can avoid surgery and try to work on your alignment first and try to work on your nutrition first, you maybe really happy with the results. Even if you have been through a bad back surgery, there are still a lot of great results you can get and pain relief and improve functionality if you do these things and correct your alignment.
Tony: Right. Cause having a surgery doesn’t mean that something was damaged in that surgery even if your pain is worse after the surgery it could just be that your issue is building.
Tony: And just degenerating more. So that doesn’t mean that you can’t do the steps to improve it.
Kinna: Renee, from Hellville. I don’t know if that’s real or what? But get out of Hellville, Renee, that’s your first thing. Middle back pain that causes headaches and seizure like tremors throughout the day and night. No relief and doctors have done all tests without diagnosis or solutions. Help please!
Tony: Well, she said please.
Kinna: Uh huh, so we will.
Tony: You know Will, when there’s seizure like tremors in muscles, I kind of think of you know tissues that are contracting and an inability to relax you know kind of like a twitch. Maybe even magnified. Doing things like magnesium and getting calcium to the right place may improve that situation. Could it also be caused by something impinging in the wrong area?
Will: Yeah, it could also be caused by a constant strain and mis-position. You know sometimes you’ll see like a hunched back older person and their heads constantly shaking, that’s because their neck is exhausted.
Will: Trying to hold there head up like against a lot of vertical stress, cause their head is far in front of their their shoulders. That constant strain can be exacerbated by the biochemical imbalances and like calcium deficient, energy deficient muscle tissues and things like that. So you should definitely look at your posture, your body alignment, do some exercises to fix that and also go through our FREE digestive issues course to see what body chemistry imbalances are there and start working on those too.
Kinna: Steve, from Chicago, Illinois. Y’all are not going to believe this! Yoga! But you have to stick with it. Eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Oh, did I mention stick with it?
Will: Yoga can be helpful and it can also make you worse. It’s kind of like saying, eat right.
Tony: Right. The opinion on how to eat right is as varied as how to do yoga.
Will: Yeah, like I know lots of people that hurt themselves in yoga like a lot of time.
Kinna: Some stretches just aren’t for certain things.
Kinna: You know you need your own stretch for what’s going on in your body.
Will: You need to be cued correctly for you cause like when try to do a stretch that could be helpful you’re probably going to do it in your lousy way. Beause that’s your body’s habit of like doing a lunge, you’ll probably over use your back and not get hip extension and not activate the right muscles and your back will feel worse, but if you have like a trained professional that can help guide you through that and do it right, you can get incredible results. Also, if you go to a yoga class, it’s a class, a general thing for whatever.
Kinna: Uh huh, cause a lot of people are in there, they’re not like coming up to you specifically.
Will: Yeah, it’s like going up to an optometrist and he gives you a pair of reading glasses, you know, but he didn’t do any examination on your eyes. Are these going to help you? I don’t know. So it really takes a customized approach. If you really need help you can go to an Egoscue clinic. You can check that out at egoscue.com and find a clinic near
you or you can contact me through my website and we can work through skype or if you’re in LA, we can work in person. But a lot of times it does take that personalized attention to really get you set straight.
Tony: You know what I realized that we haven’t talked about, could you talk about the correlation between lower back pain and tight hamstrings?
Will: Sure. For a lot of people they can have tension in their hamstrings because those muscles are asked to be on all the time because of where the low joints are. When we think of the low joints or low points, your head, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles should all be perfectly vertically aligned, but for a lot of people, that’s not the case. Their head and shoulders are too far forward and so the muscles in the back are constantly working against gravity to keep them upright. So things like your neck extensors, your traps, your low back and your hamstrings and maybe your calves are all working all the time. Whenever you’re upright or even when you’re seated because they just learned to be on or they’re holding you up because you’re slouching, so those muscles never get to relax. When you ask them to stretch they won’t let go because they have such a constant demand to be on and tight that’s like how you get around in the world. It’s kind of like if you were asked to hold the flag pole, if you hold it really upright, it doesn’t take much work, but if you tilt it forward, now all of the sudden certain muscles have to work really hard the whole time to fight against the falling forward. So if you can correct your posture and get your body to be vertically aligned right, and symmetrical side to side, then your hamstrings can relax. It’s not that you need to strengthen them or keep pulling on them to stretch them. You need to change the whole orientation of your body.
Kinna: All right. Gail, left-sided neck pain for years, nobody can tell me why.
Tony: We’re keeping it a secret from you, Gail. Sorry.
Will: For sure you’re out of balance from one side to the other. If you look in the mirror you can probably tell one shoulder is higher than the other, or your ears are closer to one shoulder or the other, or one foot points out more than the other, or one hip is higher than the other, so you’d want to work on your balance, your left to right weight distribution and the position of your low joints. I’ve talked about vertical alignment, but from the front view the way the body should look is your shoulders and hips should be horizontal like parallel to the ground and your feet and knees should be pointed straight ahead and strapped directly beneath your hips. If you had a pull line like hanging from your nose, it should be able to run vertically straight down the center of your body dividing it in half. There’s a diagram of that if you go to my webpage, mybodyofknowledge.com/painrelief, you’ll see what ideal posture looks like. Then you can access yourself to see what’s off and then start working to fix it.
Kinna: All right. Lisa, Drs. don’t believe me because it doesn’t reflect on MRI’s. So no hope from the medical community.
Tony: So that kind of sucks. Cause they’ll look at something and they’ll go well, nothing’s broken so have a good day. I understand that that can be very frustrating, but just know that there are answers out there. You just have to be willing to do the work.
Kinna: All right. Sherry, from New Lisbon, Wisconsin. Looking at a second surgery. L4, L5 done last time. Had relief for 7 months and then it came back. Physical therapy isn’t working and walking hurts. So does quilting and baking.
Tony: If you’re power baking, that’s tough.
Tony: But I get the point. When like your back is jacked, brushing your teeth is horrible.
Kinna: Yeah, anything.
Tony: Like everything you do sucks.
Kinna: Yeah, there’s been times when I can’t move. Like you’re frozen. I can not move. If you move anything you scream in those moments.
Will: This is kind of back at Lisa’s thing, like when the MRI’s don’t show it. If you just stop for a second and just think logically like if you were say standing in line at Disneyland for 3 hours and you were like reading a book while your were waiting to get on the next ride and you’re looking down at your book the whole time, it’s not going to be that confusing why your neck feels tight and sore, right?
Will: Cause your head’s down and you have to hold it up like that. When your posture is a little bit off all the time you don’t necessarily notice it because you think you’re standing upright. You think you’re straight, you know, you’re just standing. But if you’re pitched forward a couple of inches for 30, 40, 50 years that’s a lot of tension and it can create some real intense knots and imbalanced movement patterns. So just cause you can’t see anything glaring impinging a nerve on an MRI you can look in a mirror and think logically for a second and be like oh yeah, gravity, that would make that tight.
Kinna: Myo, Shreveport, Louisiana. Bulging disc at L4, L5 and S1. Degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and there’s no telling what else, as I haven’t been able to see a doctor in almost 2 years. I can’t cough and walk at the same time. Severe pain. Refused surgery, won’t take narcotic pain meds now because that’s all the doctors want to do here is throw pills at you and then treat you like a drug seeker because you take them. No help at all and I’ve been dealing with this for 10 plus years.
Tony: Yeah, that’s a long time to be dealing with that and that’s no fun. I think we hear from a lot of people coming up that seem like all the doctor wants to do is give me pain meds and then when I come back and say can I have some more, then they’re like you’re a junkie.
Will: That’s so mean. That’s so mean!
Tony: Yeah, that’s not nice.
Will: Yeah, and I get I mean this past couple of weeks I’ve gotten really inspired about the idea of trying to share the basics of like health self care, that we try to teach people about with their body chemistry and what they can do with their body alignment. Cause physical education in like public and even private schools is a joke.
Tony: It’s not there.
Tony: You like play kick ball. You don’t actually learn anything about your body. If you were to learn these things in grade school, whether it’s junior high or high school like oh, my posture should look like this my digestion looks like this my nutrition can look like this it could change, like youth can be like rambunctious and like talk back to their doctors and talk trash. If they have just a little bit of knowledge and they can show up a doctor with that kind of information they will take joy in not depending on their doctor for meds cause there’s real answers out there and I’m really inspired to reform our public educational system.
Kinna: Yeah, it would be amazing if all children could learn the things that you and Tony teach as well as like credit cards. To learn about that cause I didn’t know until after I got out of school and I got my first credit card. I didn’t know about interest and crap like that and I was like oh, it keeps getting more and more if I don’t pay and late fees.
Tony: Yeah, it’s weird.
Kinna: There’s just so much that we need to be teaching kids that aren’t taught. So, Michael, from Plainfield, Illinois. It’s expensive, but chiropractic care can help. Do your research and read comments on doctors in your area. Your brain communicates through your spinal chord. If you’re experiencing compressions, subluxations or a variety of problems with your spine, it will affect your organs as well.
Tony: It can. There’s a lot of things in the body that can be affected when things are jacked up and signals are being sent to the wrong area or are not being sent correctly.
Kinna: I like chiropractic care, I like the one I have now. I think that doing that with the stuff Will does and Tony, the stuff y’all do with the nutrition, I think it all works together.
Kinna: And if you can find that, then eventually, maybe you wouldn’t have to spend the money for a chiropractor, but it does help and I do feel a release when I go and stuff.
Tony: Right, but I do think it is kind of like the “eat better”, because there are a lot of chiropractors out there that do some things that are not that helpful.
Kinna: Yeah and I just happened to luck out. This guy is also like a nutrition person and talks about all the stuff you talk about. Maybe not know as much, but he’s kind of like mind, body, spirit everything. So, I think you’ve got to find a good one.
Will: Yeah, I know some chiropractors, a lot of chiropractors go through the Egoscue training and they incorporate that into their thing. A lot of them are there to crack backs and collect insurance money. So if that’s your kind of person who’s just cracking you and not teaching you about why your back is hurts and giving you exercises to do, then there’s more extensive care you can get. But you’re right, I do think that the adjustment that they do unique to their system can be useful in conjunction…
Kinna: With everything else. Yeah, cause if I just keep going, but I don’t do any of the posturing and all that stuff, it’s going to keep coming back. And you’re going to keep throwing money at chiropractors. So I agree with that. Taylor, from Timberton, Rhode Island. And knee pain.
Tony: Yeah, check out our arthritis and joint pain episode on iTunes.
Will: Yeah, I have a knee pain relief video on that same page too.
Tony: Yeah, cool.
Kinna: Polly, from West Palm Beach, Florida. I had a spine chord stimulator put in, so I wouldn’t have to take pills. It broke up, parts still inside and never really worked, so I ended up on meds anyway. Doctors like to treat you like a junkie. Can’t get half your meds. Glad weed is about to be legal. No one deserves to live like this or be treated like this. Politics.
Tony: Yeah, that’s all pretty true. So, I don’t understand, like the spinal chord stimulator broke and they just left it all in there?
Kinna: Yeah, it’s all in there. I want to go and call my sister now, that’s what she has is a spinal chord stimulator.
Will: That’s not cool.
Kinna: Wow, do y’all have anything to say?
Tony: I have to say that I don’t like that. I don’t like any of what she has to say about that.
Kinna: Not fun.
Tony: Yeah, Polly, I want you to do some of the stuff that Will because it would be very fun for you to feel better and then go in and show them that you feel better.
Will: And then get the broken shrapnel that’s in there out.
Kinna: And then move to California or Colorado and get a weed prescription card.
Kinna: Okay, Mark, from Clinton, Missouri. I had tailbone and low back pain. I had my tailbone removed and felt much better. It was pretty much broke off. Woa!
Tony: That freaks me out completely. When I think about that it just hurts my tailbone.
Kinna: So, what did he do now?
Will: He might’ve fallen on his butt and broke it? It can heal wrong too and that can be very painful. I’m glad that you feel better without it.
Kinna: But without a tailbone? It doesn’t do anything?
Will: I mean there are some muscle attachments and things like that, but you can get away with not being in pain still though. If the cause of your pain was like the way it healed and was just like a lot of weird impingement stuff. I’m glad that it worked. It’s cool that you’re out of pain. I would suspect that maybe your movement patterns are altered a little bit. We’ve seen a lot of people in the clinics that have had serious injuries and bone length discrepancy cause they’ve like shattered their leg when they were a kid or that kind of thing and still they get out of pain through the exercises. They teach their bodies how to go through the movements it’s designed to do and that can release the tension patterns and make things way easier. We even had a ski instructor who had a half inch leg discrepancy from an injury that he had skiing and he was able to still be on skis and instructing people for 8 hours a day. He would just stop every couple of hours and do this little 5 minute routine and it would get him out of back pain.
Kinna: Wow, Marlo. Lower back muscles seize up when I’m working out and keeps me from doing squats and heavy weights on leg and back day. Is there anything I can do for this? I also have sciatic nerve pain I have to be careful about.
Tony: So, that’s a big piece of information there at the end.
Tony: So I wouldn’t view it as squats, unless your form is horrible, but if you have sciatic pain there’s some stuff going on worth looking at.
Will: Yeah, usually when you do squats you’re going to put a bunch of extra work demand on your low back. If you’re a weight lifter you probably have the normal kind of weight lifter stance. Being really rounded forward in the shoulders, hyper extended in the low back and a wide stance. So you’re going to want to work on correcting your body alignment. And I’ll give you the same advice that the other guy I talked about squats is doing is go to my webpage mybodyofknowledge.net/painrelief and do the general alignment routine that’s on that page as a warm up to your workouts and then after your workouts you can do the low back pain relief. One that will help relieve the tension that you exacerbate during your workout.
Kinna: I’m going to learn that word.
Tony: We need an exacerbation count.
Will: We need a new word. I’m tired of that word.
Kinna: Every time someone says it a quarter in the jar. Tonya, from Unadilla, New York. Never even heard of it. I have been suffering back pain for about 5 years, but so much worse the last 2 years since my car accident. I’ve had every test in the book done. X-rays, a bunch of different blood work, which did come out positive. What’s ANA? Is that some type of test or something? ANA?
Will & Tony: I don’t know.
Kinna: Okay, I’m still trying to do my own research. Had an MRI finally and had 2 bulging discs in lower back. I also have IBS, which bothers me 80% of the time. I’m only going on 29 and I feel 89. I’m always in pain, which causes me not to sleep well, which then causes me to always feel tired and cranky, loss of patience, not eating well, headaches, stressed out about it all, which then causes me to feel even more sick. Ugh! All I have to say is back pain is like living in hell! I was referred to a pain management care place as well as soon as they ever call me.
Tony: So, Tonya, what you probably need to do, is just go back and listen to every one of our episodes. All of them, cause I think you just listed everything.
Kinna: Except for menstrual cramps.
Tony: Yeah, but there’s a lot of stuff going on there. If you’re dealing with IBS, that’s a real problem because if you’re dealing with the diarrhea type of IBS, your body’s having a hard time assimilating any nutrients because everything is going through too quickly. If you have the constipation IBS, then your body is toxic from not being able to remove those toxins. So, listen to our episode on IBS for sure, to see if you can make some corrections to help that. Then when it comes to the back stuff, do all those things.
Will: Yeah, do the other stuff. Go to mybodyofknowledge.net/painrelief and there’s a link there to pain relief videos you can do. Read Pete Egoscue’s book “Pain Free”, or just read the summary I have on that kind of information on that page and get started with exercises that help get you out of back pain. Start working on correcting your digestion by going through our FREE course on digestive issues at kickitinthenuts.com.
Tony: Yeah, cause if all that stuff is blocking your body’s ability to assimilate nutrients then tissues start to break down and the body is going to pull nutrients out of the tissues instead and if you can’t rebuild cause you don’t have any building blocks then that’s going to be a problem.
Kinna: Wow! That’s all the questions we’ve got today! Woohoo! We did it. So, if you want to learn more about how to look at your own chemistry, you can read any of Tony’s books or take the FREE 4 week digestion course at kickitinthenuts.com. You can also check out Will’s, mybodyofknowledge.net. He’s got all kinds of stretches and exercises on there for posture alignment and all that kind of good stuff.
Tony: And be willing to do those. Don’t just do one of them once and think oh, I’m not 100% done.
Tony: Yeah, you’ve got to really do stuff.
Will: And if they don’t work, like seek one-on-one attention either like with me or an Egoscue therapist. Don’t just give up because you’ve tried it once and it didn’t work. I get why you might be really discouraged because you’ve tried a lot of stuff and you’re in pain and it’s frustrating. But if you can grasp onto the logic, like yeah, that makes sense, my back hurts because my posture’s off. Then you can be willing to go through it a little bit until you actually fix it.
Kinna: These guys know their stuff, so it would not hurt to look at it.
Tony: And if you’ve heard anything helpful today, go to iTunes and give us a review and then we’ll give you a high five.
Kinna: Unless you hate me, then don’t.
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