I’ve got some amazing info to share with you and I can’t wait to do so.
But first, we’ve got to clear the slate…
You see, there’s a lot of incomplete and conflicting info, misinformation and plain‐old LIES when it comes to why your back hurts and how to fix it.
So before I show you the 1 reason why your back hurts, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got an open mind.
I’m not saying that you should believe everything I say here.
In fact, quite the opposite.
I want you to read the info I present and use your own mind to figure out if it makes sense or not.
If you think it’s complete rubbish, (figuratively) crumple this report and toss it in the trash.
BUT, if what I’m sharing with you makes sense, then you can be confident that I’m not here to pull a fast one on you…
Now I said, “Makes sense” not, “If what I’m sharing with you is supported by hundreds of scientific articles using terminology that’s over your head.”
Don’t worry, I’m not going to go all science‐geek on you…
That’s because I want you to understand exactly what I’m talking about, so you can finally get rid of your back pain for good!
Now that we’ve got the friendly handshake out of the way, let’s get on the same page:
- You’re here because you have back pain now or you get back pain regularly and you can’t pinpoint why you get it or how to prevent it… if you could, you wouldn’t be reading this…
- Perhaps you’ve tried going to your doctor, getting physio, chiropractic or massage and while the treatments MAY have helped your symptoms, you have that unsettled feeling in the corner of your mind that your back could go at any moment, even doing the most innocent task…
- In talking with clients over the past 6 years, that’s the worst thing – not knowing when back pain will strike and the feeling of frustration and helplessness that occurs when it does and your active lifestyle comes to a screeching halt…
- If this resonates with you, then I’ve been in your shoes.
OK so now that we’re on the same page, let’s imagine for a second that you had 100% confidence in your back and knew that no matter what you did, you felt, no, you knew without a doubt that you weren’t going to throw your back out.
Now think of the frustration you felt the last time you got back pain.
Think of all of the things that you missed, all the wasted time and the embarrassment of walking around all stiff like someone twice your age.
Now imagine those feelings completely disappearing.
And now imagine how free it feels to know that your back is not going to go out on you; that your back is up for anything you can throw at it.
Well that’s why I’m so EXCITED to share this with you.
Because I know how happy you’ll be when you finally get the answer to that single question that you have that’s preventing you from total freedom…
“Why the heck do I get back pain?”
As I mentioned earlier, I too suffered the frustration and helplessness that goes along with non‐specific back pain…
Non‐specific is just a fancy way of saying ‘we can’t figure out why you’ve got it’.
Plus, once I figured out how to eliminate my own back pain, I used the same techniques to help any of my general fitness clients and athletes who suffered from back pain over the years.
It’s so simple once you think about it, you’ll wonder why you’ve never been told this before… Here’s what causes most people’s back pain:
Back Pain is the Result of Repetitive Strain
You’ve probably heard of the most famous repetitive strain injury (RSI) of all time – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Researchers and clinicians have known for years that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome happens when the tissues in your wrist become overworked to the point that damage occurs.
It’s not typing up 1 email that causes Carpal Tunnel, it’s typing up dozens of emails to your friends over years and years, when you should have been doing real work instead… http://www.BulletproofBack.com 5
Unfortunately, this concept has rarely been discussed when talking about back pain, even though it makes so much sense.
Now remember that I said I wasn’t going to go all science‐geek on you?
Well I’m going to keep my promise to you and break it down as simply as I can by asking YOU the following question:
Do you really think that your back was caused by a single act of tying your shoes, bending over to pick something small up off the floor, or performing an exercise or sport skill that you’ve done hundreds of times before without hurting your back?
Because if this were the case, every time someone bent over to tie their shoes they would throw their back; everyone who picked their kids up would end up in debilitating pain.
The truth is that your back is under constant assault from a number of different factors and until you address all of those issues, sooner or later, back pain will rear its ugly head once again.
So now that you know that your back pain is caused by repetitive strain, you have to know what to do about it.
That’s where it gets a bit more complicated, but again, I’m going to do my best to make the solution understandable.
From all the factors possible, I’ve grouped them into the 5 most common causes for your back pain.
I’ve seen some of these factors addressed in other books and resources on back pain, but I’ve never seen everything put together in one place…
Bulletproof Back has changes all that. It’s designed not only to minimize back pain when it does occur, but designed to take you to the point where back pain becomes a distant memory…
Now let’s go through the 5 most common causes for low back pain (LBP)…
LBP Cause #1
Causing More Damage When You’re Already In Pain
I’ve seen this a lot in my 6+ years as a trainer (actually 11+ if you count the part‐time job I had training in university, but I REALLY didn’t know what I was doing then… )
I start working with a client and they throw their back (this was before I discovered all of the factors I’m sharing with you here) doing some mundane task like the laundry.
Then they visit their chiro, physio or massage therapist for an assessment, bringing home a piece of paper with a bunch of pencil drawings depicting some of the WORST stretches to do when in the acute stages of pain…
Maybe you’ve gotten a sheet just like this yourself!
First of all, even with a sheet of good exercises, without proper and coaching on how to perform the exercises properly, most people would get something wrong.
But bending twisting and any act of human contortionism is NOT fit for the acute stages of back pain…
When you throw your back, what happened was some movement resulted in the tipping point and damage occurred to tissues in the spine.
In response to this, the brain thinks, “Hey, if I just lock everything up (muscle spasms), no more damage will occur, since there will be no movement.”
So the muscles around your back and hips get tight and you stretch them out, which might feel a bit better since it feels good to stretch tight muscles.
But if you do a stretch like a toe touch, you’re putting your back into a position that may further damage the tissues that are already injured.
It’s like those cuts you get on your knuckles (especially your pinky) that take forever to heal because the knuckles are always bending, not allowing the tissues to ‘rejoin’ together.
Well if you keep stretching your back when it’s already damaged, it’s not going to heal.
Here’s another truth that you may have never heard before:
The Lumbar Spine is Designed for Stability, Not Mobility
To allow the lumbar spine to do its job, you’ve got to be mobile below and above – that is, be mobile in the hips and the upper (thoracic) spine.
The other thing that often results in more damage when you’re already in pain is the use of pain meds, anti‐inflammatories and/or muscle relaxants.
Now I’m NOT saying you should stop all meds… they might help you function and have some semblance of a normal life when your back is out.
But I AM saying that these meds allow you to move in ways that damage your spine more, like the stretches above, lifting and twisting, playing sports and doing unsafe tasks at work.
So the key then is to learn what you can do without further injuring your back, so that even if you are on pain meds, you don’t cause any more damage. And that leads us to #2…
LBP Cause #2
Poor Movement Patterns in Daily Life and Exercise
Because most people’s lives are spent sitting and modern society makes everything so easy to do, our bodies ability to move fluidly are, quite frankly, pathetic!
The old saying, “Use it or lose it” has never been more true. Just compare the way children squat to people who live in third world countries who squat to make their living:
How many old people in Western society can get down in a full squat and do a full day’s hard labour?
Use it or lose it baby… use it or lose it…
Then, you sprinkle on a little bit of an industry that’s supposedly trying to make us healthier, but has us doing ridiculous things like strapping us into machines with seat belts to isolate our muscles and teaching us totally unnatural ways to move.
Although I fully support the butt kicking here for squatting like a fool, does she have to look so happy?
Here’s the thing – if you can’t move like you used to, it’s not your fault.
Society forces us to be a bunch of seated robots.
But, if you ever want to be free from back pain for good, you’ve got to restore full and natural ranges of motion, by addressing the factors that limit proper mobility first, then practicing and repeating good movement technique until it becomes habitual.
In all of the programs that I design for my athletes, I address the major movement limitations that prevent proper movement.
Here’s an example…
If you currently squat like the girl in the pink, aim to squat like the baby in the light blue, by addressing the following points:
Proper Squat Checklist
√ Chest up tall, shoulders back, low back arched like you’re sticking your butt out
√ Feet stay flat the whole time
√ Point the feet slightly out (up to 30º)
√ As you lower yourself down, push the knees out so the thighs point in the same direction as the feet
√ Allow the knees to travel IN FRONT of the toes (dangerous myth)
√ Keep the weight slightly on your heels the whole time
√ Keep pushing your chest up and out the whole time
√ Think of engaging the glutes (your butt muscles) from the bottom up
√ Round your low back – go as low as possible and still maintain a slight arch
√ Force your knees to stay behind your toes or in close to each other
√ Raise your heels
√ Use more weight than you can do in good form
Give it a shot and if you have difficulty squatting like this, you probably have mobility and/or strength limitations in one or more of the following areas: calves, hamstrings, glutes and mid‐back muscles.
More to it than meets the eye isn’t there?
And there are just as many details for all movements like lunges, deadlifts, presses and rows.
So you need to ensure that a) you’ve got the mobility and strength and b) you know the proper movement pattern, otherwise you’ll never be rid of your back pain.
LBP Cause #3
Underlying Muscular Imbalances and Postural Dysfunctions
This is the second problem that modern society has imposed on us that makes our backs more vulnerable to damage.
8 hour desk jobs, cars, computers and TVs all leave us hunched forward like a Neanderthal.
The easiest analogy to use to explain why muscular imbalances and postural dysfunctions (which are muscular imbalances too) is that of your car.
If your wheels are in alignment, your tires will last their rated lifetime and will wear evenly.
BUT, if your wheels are out of alignment, the tires will wear out EARLY and the tread pattern will be uneven.
To correct your muscular imbalances and posture, you need a comprehensive assessment and customized exercise and stretching program to address your individual needs, not some cookie cutter routine they give to you at the doctor’s office or commercial gym.
Fortunately, once you know what to look for, even you can figure out exactly what you need to be doing to get back in balance and eliminate your pain.
Here’s one of the most common postures of people with low back pain related to disc bulges or disc herniations:
A flat back puts the discs at risk because there’s uneven pressure on the discs, since the spine is tighter in the front than in the back.
To remedy a flat back, you’ve got to stretch your glutes, hamstrings and abdominals while strengthening your hip flexors and lower back muscles.
This is just one example of numerous postural dysfunctions that must be fixed if you’re ever going to eliminate your back pain for good.
LBP Cause #4
Deep Core Stabilizer Muscles that DON’T WORK
The fitness industry goes in cycles – one minute a new fad is the best thing since Jane Fonda’s Buns of Steel tapes, the next minute the same fad is the worst thing since Richard Simmons’ Buns of Steel tapes.
You may have heard before that the most important core muscle is the Transverse Abdominis, or TVA.
This muscle performs the ‘drawing‐in’ action of the belly – like sucking your stomach in when trying to get into a pair of tight pants.
Trainers around the globe were instructing their clients to draw‐in before and during every exercise.
Then, there was a backlash against the draw‐in movement and many now dismiss the idea as a fad.
Well here’s the thing…
If you don’t currently have the ability to draw‐in properly, you need to restore this ability, otherwise you’re missing a very important stabilizer of the spine.
Many people who have back pain have TVA muscles that are sleepy and don’t function properly, so for these people, performing more advanced core exercises, or exercises that demand a lot of core stability like Deadlifts and Squats can be damaging to the spine.
The importance of the TVA as a stabilizer is readily apparent when you see the shape of the muscle and where it lies in the picture to the right.
The TVA is the deepest abdominal muscle, lying beneath the rectus abdominis (6 pack muscle) and obliques.
From the looks of it you can see that it basically resembles a belt or girdle.
And what do many people use in the gym to save their backs?
That’s right – a back belt.
Well, the TVA is basically nature’s back belt and if it’s functioning properly, you have the deepest layer of core stability working for you.
The other important deep core stabilizer muscle is called the Multifidus (mall‐tiff‐idis).
This muscle is the deepest back muscle and it’s responsible for something called ‘segmental stability’.
It spans between 2 – 4 vertebrae at a time, keeping the vertebrae in line with the vertebrae that lie directly above and below, making it the perfect muscle to ensure that each vertebrae is sitting in the right place on top of one another.
When the Multifidus contracts, it basically locks the spine together to prevent damage from occurring.
Research has also shown that the Multifidus contracts to stabilize the spine before movement occurs, but in people with low back pain, the contraction is delayed or doesn’t exist at all.
For people with back pain, it takes very specific exercises and attention to detail to properly work the TVA and Multifidus, because other muscles contract to compensate for them if they’re not working properly.
The TVA and Multifidus must form the foundation before you work to build a super strong and stable core, which brings us to the final point of this report…
LBP Cause #5
Never Elevating Your Core Training
Since I’ve been training MMA fighters (and training in MMA myself), I’ve realized the importance of a stable core.
After all, Bruce Lee called the core your ‘centre of power’ and he was right on the money.
Because the core is where powerful strikes and techniques come from, I’ve had to devise new methods of core training beyond simply planks and crunches to maximize power.
And it’s not just MMA; every sport in the world requires a stable core to generate power.
Think of golf, baseball, tennis, hockey; even running requires the core to be solid… I’ll explain why in a second.
But here’s an important concept and I want you to pay attention closely: it’s not the ability of the core to move that generates the power, it’s the ability of the core to RESIST movement and TRANSFER power that produces explosive movements.
If the core is not stable, the punch, golf swing, or touchdown pass will not be as powerful.
Here’s an analogy – imagine you’re trying to jump as high as you can and you’re on a basketball court.
Now, imagine jumping as high as you can, but you’re in the sand playing beach volleyball.
Where do you jump higher?
That’s right – on the basketball court.
And it’s because the sand is not stable that you lose power into the ground, whereas on the court none of the power you generate gets lost, allowing you to jump higher.
Back to the running example…
If your body is rotating and your arms are flailing around in a circle, you’re going to run a heck of a lot slower than if you’re tight and stable. This comes from the core, and the faster you run, the more core stability you need.
Even if you don’t play a sport, putting things into your car or even doing laundry have the same core stability requirements.
Remember – it’s not the 1 event that causes back pain, it’s the accumulation of multiple damage over time.
So if you’re doing activities that require more advanced core stability than you have, you’re going to continue to incur damage.
Now here’s where it gets fun…
Life happens in 3‐dimensions and most core training takes place in only 1 dimension.
Sport is especially demanding on the core, often requiring your core to stabilize in all 3 dimensions at one time.
That’s why I’m always shocked when I see sport specific training programs that never implement exercises that challenge the core in all 3‐dimensions (or even 2‐dimensions) at once!
There are 3 advanced techniques I use to train the core and make sure it’s totally BULLETPROOF:
1. Multi‐dimensional stability training (2D and 3D)
2. Dynamic stability training
3. Challenge stability training
Of course, these are ADVANCED techniques that should only be used after progressing through various levels of strength and stability, otherwise you could be doing more damage to your back than with more basic exercises, since the muscles won’t be able to absorb all of the forces properly if they’re not ready.
I know this is a lot of info, so I don’t want to overload you all in one sitting – so stay tuned and we’ll go more in‐depth into each of these 3 types of training soon.
To summarize, to eliminate your back pain for good, do the following:
1. Don’t do anything to cause more damage when your back is already in pain
2. Learn proper movement patterns in exercise and everyday life
3. Address muscular imbalances and postural dysfunctions
4. Get your deep core stabilizers working
5. Perform advanced core stability exercises
You now have the power to take steps to address each and every issue that causes your back pain and finally eliminate back pain from your life forever.