Back pain has reached such epidemic proportions that it has become a factor of life for most people. It is now one of the most common disorders in which people seek medical help and the largest cause of absenteeism in the United States, Sweden, Great Britain, and Canada accounting for billions of dollars each year in medical costs.
There have been many theories as to why and how back pain occurs. Medical scientific research used to state that back pain was due to structural abnormality or misalignment of the spine, but now a lot of other factors are considered. We've come to realize that tension might be the cause of most back pain. In our busy, non-stop, stressful lives we often forget to take a break and stretch.
As a rehabilitative trainer, I realize that tension causes muscles to tighten and blood vessels to constrict. Depending on how weak or strong a person's muscles are, this tension can pull vertebrae out of alignment and/or reduce blood flow. It doesn't help that the majority of females wear high heels, cross their legs and often stand on with their weight on one leg, holding the telephone in the crook of their neck. It's no wonder our back and shoulder muscles hurt by the end of the day!
One of the reasons I have been so successful as a rehabilitative trainer is because I know and understand how bad back pain feels due to my own spinal condition. As you can see from the photo (on the right), I suffer from a slight curvature of my spine called scoliosis along with fusion of three lumbar vertebrae as a result from a high school sports injury.
Additionally, my psoas muscles often lock into spasms and pull on these three vertebrae. Due to these issues, if I don't keep my spinal muscles strong and flexible with proper exercise my back HURTS!
Let me tell you, pain is a great teacher! When developing the T-Tapp workout, I focused on creating a program that would build strong anatomical alignment, increased circulation, and open neuro-kinetic flow from the brain, through the spine, to the extremities. My 15-minute program, Basic Workout Plus, contains specific movements for pain relief, as well as movements to realign and strengthen the spinal attachments that help prevent pain.
For PAIN RELIEF NOW, sample movements to stretch your spinal muscles, increase blood flow, and deliver relief from pain are available at the links below.
Rock 'N Roll | Tuck, Reach & Pull | Reach, Half-Pull Combo | Push/Pull Spinal Stretch | T-Tapp Twist
From Women's Fitness International (March 1998)