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Month: August 2016

High Tech for Low Back Pain

High Tech for Low Back Pain

It’s remarkable what 90 seconds of low-back exercise once a month will do I thought as I muscled the golf bag to my shoulder. I had carried it 18 holes for the first time in 20 years. My back was back.

According to medical estimates, 80% of people suffer low-back pain at some time in their lives and 80% of back problems are muscular in nature. I was a statistic at 30 – two operations from years of running, weight training and sports.

To complicate matters, both attempts at recovery drew me near additional surgery. The search for an alternative was on.

As a physical educator and fitness enthusiast, I understood the value of exercise and recognized the limitations of what was medically prescribed. On the recommendation of an orthopedic friend, I quit running and began using the Nautilus® Low Back and Abdomen machines, both developed by Arthur Jones.

I used both machines for four years, but was not prepared for Jones’ announcement. “My low-back machine doesn’t work, and abdominal strength has nothing to do with low-back pain.” His explanation made sense, so I removed both Nautilus machines from my workout. Nothing lost.

I devoured every article I could find about his new device, the MedX Lumbar Extension machine. The premise was clear: To meaningfully access the muscles of the lumbar spine, the pelvis must not be allowed to rotate during torso extension. Research was clearer. Initial studies at the University of Florida (Gainesville) produced excellent results with an infrequent exercise protocol. Regardless of diagnosis, 80% of patients responded with a reduction in pain perception; and 33% percent became pain-free in 12 weeks.

I purchased the device and performed two minutes of exercise each week for 20 weeks, increasing my strength and mobility dramatically. Ninety seconds of exercise once a month has kept me pain-free for nearly 30 years.

Not everyone is as fortunate. Despite a large statistical base, the medical community cannot predict a patient’s outcome – which does little to dampen their confidence. Dr. Vert Mooney, professor in the Department of Orthopedics at the University of California in San Diego states, “The MedX strength program is a must before making further decisions about back surgery.”

Despite the success of the MedX Lumbar Extension machine, many physicians remain unaware of – or continue to ignore – the need for pelvic stabilization in back strengthening.

The machine is as close to a non-invasive cure for chronic back pain as there is.

Author: Gary Bannister

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