Coach Alicia Fong

Just another weblog

Fear of back injuries

One of our clients at my gym, AF Performance Center, wrote a very nice testimonial.  I was overwhelmed by his words but at the same time it reminded me that there are many people like my client who was afraid to start exercising hard or anything at all due to fear of getting re-injure in their back.  Read the following testimonial below so you understand what I’m going to say next.

“I bulged a disc in my lower back almost 3 years ago.  All I was doing when it happened was bending over to pick up a towel.  The pain was incredible and there was talk of possible surgery.  I managed to, on my own, rehabilitate the injury without surgery.  Going forward however, I was in constant pain and fear of re-injury.  I focused on yoga and swimming, which I thought I needed since they had worked well for me in the past.  Unfortunately it became increasingly obvious that I could not rehabilitate myself any further than basically being able to get around with a slight sense of normalcy.  What’s worse was that I could actually feel myself slowing down on all levels.  I had less vitality, less energy and soon realized I was spending more of life just existing…not living. Simple things like playing with the dogs, walking on the beach, and the normal movements of everyday life were becoming increasingly difficult, increasingly painful, and I was always worried about a re-injury. At 42 years old, I literally felt like I was rapidly becoming an old man.  A depressing thought to say the least.
A friend suggested I go see Peter Rouse at AF Performance Center.  I figured I had nothing to loose.  After only several weeks, the progress I made actually surprised me.  I put the breaks on the downward spiral and could envision living a normal life again.  It catches you by surprise just how desirable “normal” can be…when you don’t have it.
It’s been a year now since I began training.  The differences (physical, mental, emotional) are nothing short of outstanding.  My whole body is remarkably stronger and more injury resistant than it’s ever been in my entire life.  My energy levels have stabilized and actually continue to increase.  There have been countless moments during training when I’ve said to Peter something like “I never did THAT before.” Being strong, injury resistant and having consistent energy are all great.  The most important change, though, has been the countless little things that are different now.  Like being on a trip with my wife and not being secretly worried about carrying the luggage, like not always being sleepy after lunch, like playing with the dogs and outlasting them.  I have a whole new and improved quality of life – one that is actually exciting to me and one I almost could not imagine just a year ago.”  -Tom Kelly, Producer, Los Angeles, CA

Most people nowadays have some sort of back pain.  And many of them are at a young age.  Back pains are symptoms.  It starts with small pains and then if not address, it gets worse as you get older.  Two of the biggest mistakes people make is to back off exercising or to do more back exercises.  What people need to do first is find out the cause of the back pain.  There are many reasons or causes.  It could be your posture, hip being off alignment, weak core, weak glutes, wrong exercise like sit ups, etc.  It will be different for each individual.  Once the cause is determined, it could be treat it through rehab and proper exercise.  Surgery is last resort and in most cases, not needed.  Of course, I’m no expert but my partner, Peter Rouse, is.  He broke his back at a very young age. He lives with back pains regularly and yet he grew up playing sports and competitive martial arts for over 20 years.  He has a PhD in this field.  I think he is best at rehabilitating people because he lived through it, he rehabs himself and understands what people go through from his own experience.

Backing off on exercising is not a long-term solution.  On the contrary, it could hurt them further because they could be doing something every day that is aggravating the back.   In most cases, doing proper exercises (customized to the individual) will most likely fix the the individual’s back problem.  If you do not know what is wrong, my advice is to first avoid doing exercises that is target for the general public and seek some help.  Again, find the cause first and then find solutions to fix it. Don’t just treat the symptoms:  back pains are symptoms. If you have any questions, call AF Performance and ask for Peter who is the expert.  He can give you some guidance and even treat you if he can.


January 28, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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