Most people with back pain instinctively feel their back needs stretching. Here's your own simple Do-It-Yourself Spinal Decompression guide by Sarah Key.
There's lots of do-it-yourself spinal decompression equipment on the market today - decompression belts and boots, the BackSwing, inversion tables, the drx9000, the lcd lumbar and cervical decompression, the lordex spinal decompression program - to name but a few. And by and large, their effects are all beneficial, but . . . . the BackBlock is the most portable, the easiest and the cheapest.
The BackBlock Step 1
BackBlock Step 2 'Knees Rocking'
BackBlock Step 3 'Reverse Curl Ups'
In most cases, the intervertebral disc is the core structure causing the back pain. Usually, the pain is not from degeneration, but simple disc dehydration and sensitivity of the outer skin of the disc wall. To prevent degeneration following on from this, discs need constant and deliverable help - and they need it daily.
The problem has always been that it isn’t feasible to ask hospitals to provide treatment that needs doing daily. Spinal decompression needs to happen much more frequently than any hospital or private clinic can provide. For this reason, a simple and inexpensive BackBlock is the best option. It is the most effective form of do-it-yourself spinal decompression there is.
When using the BackBlock the legs provide the traction. When lying over the Block there's an agreeable pulling sense through the abdomen and low back that feels right; a typical pleasurable pain or 'sweet' pain that feels exactly what the body needs.
Spinal researcher Adams tells us that fluid moves into different parts of the discs when flexed postures are alternated with arched, or extended ones. Literally taking the lumbar spine from one extreme to the other couples decompression with compression and brings about steep alternating pressures within the discs. As the spinal segments alternately pull apart and press together fluid is circulated through different parts of the discs.
Pressure changes through the disc suck fluids in equal measure through the vertebral endplates and the circumference of the disc walls
In practice, 'pressure change therapy' involves going from lying draped passively backwards over a BackBlock to induce negative discal pressures, to bringing your knees to your chin to create positive ones. These extremes of end-of-range spinal movement bring nutrients deeper into the heart of the disc while at the same time they help eliminate waste products.
Lying back, passively draped backwards over the BackBlock is the quintessential anti-sitting posture. It is especially effective at stretching out the front of the lumbar segments and drawing fluid into the discs.
The multi-layered mesh walls of the disc walls is the toughest structure in the human body. Further to that the annulus is thicker and tougher at the front, compared to the back of the disc where it is thinner and highly extensible to allow you to bend forward freely. In treating a low back problem, the fronts of the discs usually need deliberate stretching.
You can go to the Sarah Key Online Store to purchase a BackBlock
Furthermore, the front of the disc wall (the anterior annulus) is reinforced by the 'anterior longitudinal ligament', the strongest ligament in the spine. This super-strong ligament tends to shorten with perpetually slumped sitting postures and the passively extended position of the BackBlock helps stretch this out. See the videos shown below to show you how to do this.
Adaptive shortening of this ligament pinches together the fronts of the lumbar vertebrae and keeps the spine buckled forward
As well as the more obvious benefits of spinal decompression related to disc rehydration and the stretching of tight structures, there are important subtle ones too.
For example, pressure changes within your discs help stimulate the healing processes. Discs naturally have a sleepy metabolic turnover, which means they struggle to remain viable.
So, as well as the simple positional changes sucking and squirting nutritional fluids through, the same pressure changes stimulate various biosynthetic repair processes at a molecular level, making the discs much more 'alive' and able to cope with damage caused by sustained compression.
Although the BackBlock seems incredibly simple, there's a subtlety to it's magic and you need to get it just right. Near enough is not good enough. Read here to Learn the official steps of 'How To Use the Back Block'
Much spinal therapy is entered into in good faith, with no proper understanding of the underlying sciences to explain the problem, or the solution.
Read here to understand the 'Scientific Evidence-Base for Do it Yourself Spinal Decompression'
Regrettably, there are stories doing the rounds, about how ineffectual Physiotherapy is
for treating lower back pain, including a study reported by the British Medical Journal,
comparing the efficacy of low velocity spinal mobilising techniques
combined with abdominal strengthening compared to 'general advice'.
There are other comparisons with doing nothing say, or 'just getting fitter' or simply waiting it out (and hoping). Another BBC News report in 2004 said similar things, pronouncing: 'If you want to get rid of the pain, you have to play an active role in the process yourself'.
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