The Problem with Chiropractors

Whenever I tweak my back, people ask if I’m going to see a chiropractor. Nope.

I’ve tried several different ones, but they never fixed anything, so I stopped going a couple years ago. After previous back tweaks, getting “adjusted” in a chiro office for 5-10 minutes did make me feel better. Movement usually helps with that type of injury, so it shouldn’t be a surprise. Thirty minutes after leaving the office it was like I hadn’t even been there; my back would be back to feeling exactly the same. Bouncing around on an exercise ball at home gave me the same relief.

Kind of fitting after tweaking my back last week, this video suggestion came up on YouTube…

I highly recommend you take the time to read the article Yvette (Joe’s guest in the video) wrote, titled Chiropractors are Bullshit.

Science says that if your back is ailing, get a massage and go to a physical therapist.

It’s probably time I go see a PT.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

I tweaked my back yesterday for the first time in over 18 months. My body had been feeling so good lately too with my nutrition on point. Maybe I jinxed it by sharing a Facebook memory of my last heavy lifts.

I’m moving pretty well today, so it’s not a major tweak. Hopefully I’ll bounce back quick. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get out my e-stim/torture device though.

Rehabbed Back

As I posted back in February, I’ve been following some Active Life programs since December to rehab my back. I finally finished up the programs on Sunday after dragging them out over the last 2 months. During these 6+ months I went through 40 Single Leg Bias, 40 Hips, and 80 Back Max workouts, usually with a Bax Max workout plus one of the others on the same day since each takes about 10-20 minutes.

The programming had a good mix of movements and rotated through them with clear progressions for reps and loading. This really kept it fresh and pushed me compared to other programs that have you doing the same thing every week. I’m really happy with the results. My last bad back tweak was in August and I had a minor tweak in January.

Another reason I know the programs worked is because of changes on the golf course that are a bit hard to explain. Over the last couple of years I’d feel things in my back while out golfing. Almost like minor tweaks from the twisting and bending over. These never affected my swing or caused any issues after the rounds, but I’d feel them here and there. I’ve had none of that this year.

I’ve learned to listen to my body much better and not to push my back on consecutive days.¬†These workouts proved to me that most CrossFit programming doesn’t focus enough on single sided work, which ends up causing imbalances in our bodies. Then we try to compensate, making things worse.

Going forward I plan to substitute some of the movements into my regular workouts so my body doesn’t fall back into the condition I was in. I’d been doing most of the rehab work at home in my garage and only going to the gym twice a week, so I’m looking forward to getting back to the gym 4-5 days a week.

Since my membership to Active Life runs through November I’ll try out some of the shoulder programs to see if I can’t get rid of this impingement that’s been bothering me since the Open. I highly recommend checking out Active Life if you have anything you’d like to rehab on your own.

Active Life

I’ve posted before¬†about the low back issues I’ve been dealing with for the last few years. Unfortunately I didn’t keep up with the exercises recommended by the PT. I also realized I was wasting my time and money going to the chiropractor every 4-5 weeks because they weren’t doing anything to correct my problem. After getting a bunch of adjustments over a 2-3 week period in August to use up some FSA funds, I tweaked my back the next day. Go figure. I’ve always been skeptical of the chiropractor; I don’t see how 5-10 minutes of work every month can have an impact.

At the end of November I saw Active Life was running a special on their Athlete Membership, which gives you access to all of their programs. $100 for a full year seemed like a steal, so I signed up.

After explaining my back problems, they told me they see similar issues with a lot of athletes, usually caused by an imbalance on one side of the body. Their recommendation was to follow the Single Leg Bias and Back Max programs. I’m over 2.5 months in and just finished the 40 workout SLB program and am over half way through the 80 workout BM program. Tomorrow I’ll be starting the Hips program to replace the SLB workouts.

I like the programs and there is enough variety in the movements to keep my interest. Since I’ve been a member I’ve experienced what felt like a few tweaks while performing my other CrossFit workouts. Only one affected me a bit for a few days, so it seems like the programs are improving things.

If you’re dealing with any CrossFit injuries, check out what Active Life has to offer.

Kacilia Tru-Align Body System

When I worked a booth at the National Wellness Conference a couple of months ago, I came across Kacilia at one of the other booths. The idea of this system/technique is to lay face down on a bunch of pads, which set the spine into a neutral position, and let gravity work. I tried it out for about 15 minutes while I was there and it felt really good. The inventor did an eval on my body positions before and after, which showed significant improvement. She claims to have had people reverse their spinal issues after several months of using this for 20 minutes a day. My issues come from a compressed L5 and she was confident her method could help me.

There was no way I was going to pay $400 for a fancy mat and some pads though. I figured I could create my own version. I already had 2 foam rollers, a yoga block, and a yoga mat. I purchased a few more items:

I bought this other stuff several weeks ago, but hadn’t used it yet. Yesterday I tweaked my back pretty bad again, so it’s time to try something new.

It may not work at all and I don’t know that I’ll use it daily, but it’s worth a shot. Having an excuse to take a 20 minute nap sounds pretty good too. Here’s a demo video of the actual system.

Be Careful with Ice

I took this picture about 24 hours after icing. This is what happens when you apply ice directly to your skin. Don’t do this.

BTW, taking a picture of your own back is no easy task.