A Regimen For Recovering Injuries To Your Core

A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing the comments section of an article, when a reader made a request of me. He stated that he had suffered a severe injury to his back: two ruptured lumbar discs which are well on their way towards healing. However, the real bane of his experience was the soft-tissue damage—muscle spasms and a massive loss of strength and flexibility in his core, back, glutes, and hamstrings.

He then asked me, your fitness trainer, for some advice on how to recover from this. Being that I have only recently recovered from an injury myself (albeit to my foot rather than my core), and I emphasize core training as second only to training the forearms and hands,  I feel that I might be able to give some insight on how to gradually regain your strength and mobility.

1. Get Medical Permission First

This goes without saying, but you shouldn’t train the injured area until you have explicit medical permission from a doctor. I understand that muscular and joint atrophy are a very depressing phenomenon, and you want to get back into the fray and build up your strength as soon as possible, but it would behoove you to be safe so that you prevent re-injury.

2. Calisthenics

To begin with, I would recommend working through the entire bridge series, which I have long held is the best thing you can possibly do for your back, if not your core in general. Begin with training the short bridges, which will do much to “unlock” your hips. Then move into the half bridge, full bridge, and, eventually when you get stronger and in better shape, begin doing the stand to stand bridges.

Some of the other fundamental calisthenic exercises will serve to strengthen the core, such as the push-up, squat, hanging leg raise and pull-up (the handstand doesn’t work the core much against the wall, but the free handstand does. I would not recommend doing a free handstand until you’ve worked your way back up to a decent standard of fitness), which give some auxiliary work to the core in addition to the chest, back, and shoulders that most would think would be targeted in those exercises.

As with the bridge, the man recovering from injury should start at the very first of these exercises, no matter how embarrassing it may seem to him. In other words, even if you were capable of doing a one-handed push-up before the injury, you should start with the knee push-ups and work your way back up to the one-handed pushup. Not only have your muscles atrophied, but the neural connections and motor units have also atrophied as well, and need to be gradually renewed. The same applies to the pull-up, squat, and hanging leg raise—start with the easiest steps in the chain of progressions, and then work your way back up to your former greatness.

Once you’ve obtained medical permission, gradually begin increasing the difficulty and length of your workouts. The exercises given in this article should be done with the same “rules” that you would do with any other exercise: resistance training and heavy stretching should be done on separate days, and calisthenics and weights should also be done on separate days.

3. Stretches

Beyond the strength-related calisthenics, there are several stretches that can be done to heal core injury. Notably, several of the ones that I have already taught you for posture and mobility will serve to heal wounds.

The twist stretch has been noted to be a stretch that helps nagging back injury, but of course you should start with the easiest variations of the stretch before you move into the harder steps of this progression.

Another stretch that targets the back for purposes of mobility, but will likely make nagging pain feel better as well, is the static back stretch: Lie on the floor and place your legs on top of a bed, chair, or ottoman. Your knees should bend at a 90-degree angle. Get your hips as close to the object as possible. Lay your arms on the ground at your side. Hold for 5-10 minutes.

4. Weights

I would not do weights until you have gotten “back into the groove” with calisthenics, and until your doctor has cleared you to do so. Once you have gotten the OK, you should perform the compound exercises that target the core:

Deadlifts, squats, and overhead presses are the best for the core; proper form is of the utmost importance, as usual.

5. Conclusion

For those who are suffering from core-related injuries, I hope this information helps. And for those who aren’t, this will still serve as a solid core workout.

Read More: The Thrust Is A Must (The Importance Of Core Strength)

61 thoughts on “A Regimen For Recovering Injuries To Your Core”

  1. Walking and swimming,
    Anything with weights or lifting will likely make it worse. 2 discs …… think 10 years to recover if ever (most people never recover).

    1. That’s simply not true all the time even if it is true some of the time. I am a More than acide weight lifter. I’ve had 5 herniated discs (all stemming from the Two injuries) and most recently one at L5 that herniated backwards into the spinal column.
      With proper treatment you can get back to a full life. Last summer I could hardly walk. Now I am in the gym lifting 7 days a week and in better shape than most people half my age

        1. I don’t go very heavy anymore as I do volume training and with my form correct my back feels much better than ever before.
          Stop lifting weights or never do deadlifts with disc herniations is no different than saying you will get hairy palms if you masturbate or your dick will shrink if you do Coke.
          People are always saying why men shouldn’t lift weights…very few of them are ever in good shape.
          My disc injuries are mostly related to my motorcycle accident and partially to my ego lifting when I thought putting up huge weight meant something.
          I’ll crank out 225x20x5 @8-8.5 RPE and feel amazing

        2. Deadlifts actually help quite a bit if done right. There is nothing better for herniations than a strong back. Ego lifting with deads and trying to hit 2.5 or 3x body weight is going to be bad for sure but smart and sensible lifting will help…especially deadlifts

      1. I have to shake my head at the nay sayers when it comes to the subject of using weights. I’m a pro calisthenics guy myself but having undergone a weight regimen before, the indisputable fact is that, when done properly, they produce results.
        They always seem to miss that key phrase, ‘when done properly’.

        1. They always produce results. However, I have noticed weightlifters and motorcycle riders have one thing in common. They inevitably get seriously injured.
          I performed weights “properly”, under the supervision of top coaches. Wound up with three prolapsed discs. Everyone I know who lifts heavy has been injured, some seriously.
          I won’t say don’t do them, anymore than I would tell someone not to ride their motorcycle. But while weights are the quickest route to a cut physique, they are also the quickest route to injury. Every good thing has its price.

        2. That’s a valid observation.
          I’ll paraphrase Musashi (Book of Five Rings) regarding things like this.
          Men must practice and train and develop an acquaintance with the things that are of use to them.

    2. Walking and swimming is great for girls. Men need to do a little more.
      1 year per disc is the average recovery period.

      1. I have been using the Kung Fu rehab method for about a week: horse stance up against the wall at intervals, in sets of 5. I cannot get very low at all, yet and my posture is a mess– but strangely, I feel like I can now crack cinder blocks with my pelvic floor muscles.

    1. Second this about soft tissue. Does nothing for nerve pain from sciatica or tendon pain but for deep tissue ART is the way to go

  2. I went to high school with a guy who was a bodybuilder. Competed in tournaments. (Or whatever you call them.) The guy has had spinal surgery, back surgery, and cranial surgery – most of it due to lifting weights. So what does he do every time he gets injured lifting weights? He recovers, and starts lifting again. He has so much chronic pain that he has been addicted to painkillers much of his life. But he’s also addicted to the “rush” of pumping iron. (“I feel SOOOO much better after I lift…”)
    Weights are fine, if you are a younger guy. I used to be really into lifting. But then, my left shoulder started to spontaneously dislocate (around age 30), because I built up certain shoulder muscles, while not building up some of the surrounding ones. And that’s the problem with weight-lifting (among many others).
    Now I use resistance bands, and I get more than enough resistance, and a full range of motion. I can target any muscle groups I want with a minimal risk of injury. I can use them anywhere; no gym membership is necessary. I flat-out love resistance bands…guys frequently ask me how I got my arms to look the way they do. When I tell them I use resistance bands, they usually don’t believe it. Which is fine by me; the fewer guys who use them, the less competition there will be (wink).
    That being said, there are some great exercises you can do, to strengthen your core, using resistance bands. Here are seven really good ones –

    1. Fucking good points Bob. I pretty much stopped lifting weights except for kettlebells occasionally. You can get all the strength you need from bodyweight exercises.

      1. I don’t hear of those sorts of injuries with bodyweight. We did PT first thing in basic training & at my duty stations when I was in the Army in the late 70’s…I maintain the habit to this day, it has served me well.

      2. It all depends on your goals and priorities. If you want to have a proportionate, balanced body exhibiting pronounced development of all muscles, you need to lift iron. What the bodyweight people and abstinence nuts have in common, in my not so humble opinion, is that both are snobbish and misguided souls. Just like there is no harm in having a beer now and then, there is no sensible reason to avoid weights completely; both are romantic ideals based on visual images of ancient monks smacking their bodies with rocks and ingesting ancient asian minerals. When you do pull-ups, you’re pulling weight and the weight is always the same unless you add some extra weight but the church of bodyweight training might disagree with that elementary principle of weight training. So what should they do? Should they grow a huge gut so they could pull more weight and get stronger without touching unholy iron? You don’t have to break your back doing max deadlifts in a contorted position but plenty of muscles will be sold short with bodyweight training; that’s why those people have no business entering a physique contest. When done correctly, bodybuilding exercises can be safer than bodyweight trickery and another advantage is that iron and machines allow you to train the same muscle in a multitude of ways which allows for people of different body types and injury histories to make progress.

        1. You display the same snobbishness you perceive in so-called “bodyweight people”. Projecting perhaps? You don’t need to lift iron for a proportionate balanced body, that’s bollocks. You should know that many “bodyweight people” focus on bodyweight exercises because they can no longer lift due to injury. It is a decison based on experience rather than arrogance.
          You are displaying your ignorance of pull-ups. Yes the weight is the same but you can change the leverage. You should do your research before making daft arguments.

        2. Sure you can change leverages but if it actually worked and was worth the effort, I think bodybuilders would be using it. Pull-ups can actually hurt a lot of people’s shoulders unlike machine pulldowns or various weight exercises using the same muscles. You do also have to consider just how obscure these exercises will get once you get beyond push-ups and pull-ups; when you use iron, you can add half a pound of weight per workout and you have tons of historical research to go to in order to see how you measure up.
          I don’t claim to know you or your motivations but, as I understand it, you lifted hard and got hurt. The same happened to me. I became more critical of conventional “big 3 brah” lifting and other unnecessary overhyped BS but also owned up to my own mistakes that ultimately caused my injury. You sound like a person who decided to scoff off lifting entirely, which is an understandable response but not completely necessary.

        3. You sound incredibly ignorant. Bodybuilders do do pull-ups and of course they work! Not sure why you use bodybuilders as your standard since in any case, actual athletes (such as myself) have a very different approach and focus to training.
          Machine exercises are a joke and will mess your body up.. No serious trainer would recommend them for anything other than complete newbies. Bodyweight exercises are only obscure to you. Serious trainers know plenty of them and yes, they are backed up by plenty of historical research which goes back further than modern adjustable barbells.
          Everyone I know, even experts with decades of experience gets hurt lifting. Some so seriously they wind up in wheelchairs. If you read my comments more carefully you would have seen that I did not “scoff off lifting entirely” but merely reduced its significance in my regime.

        4. Bodybuilders may or may not do weighted pull-ups.They don’t do acrobatics once the pull-ups get too easy but add weight. Once you get big enough, the strain on your shoulder joints and what not is often not worth the effort because pull-ups inevitably force your joints to work at a fixed angle unlike the lat pulldown machine with a flexible handle.
          Bodybuilders are actual athletes. That’s why bodybuilding is in the World Games just like women’s weightlifting used to be and some martial arts like karate and muay thai still are or used to be. I guess they are not sports either; they are and many people receive brain damage from doing them, unlike lifting weights.
          Machine exercises are not a joke, which is why professional bodybuilders use them and it takes some hard trying to mess yourself up with them.

        5. Who’s talking about doing acrobatics? You’ve got the lat machine and pull-ups confused. If anything the lat machine forces your body into a fixed angle. The pull-up is a natural human movement, like walking. If you’re too heavy to do pull-ups then you need to work on your strength. I suspect that you can’t do pull-ups which is why you rail against this fundamental exercise.
          Bodybuilders are athletes? Yeah right. They use machines because they don’t care about strength only aesthetics. To a serious athlete they are a waste of time. Athletes care about performance not aesthetics. Bodybuilding is such a small specialist field I don’t understand why you keep bringing it up.

        6. Professional bodybuilding may be a small field but bodybuilding in itself, on a recreational level, is bigger than any martial art or track and field sport. Everyone who lifts weights to improve their size and aesthetics to the max is a bodybuilder and you don’t need a training partner or fancy equipment to do this, which is why bodybuilding is very easy access, cheap and highly competitive. The world is filled with obscure sports where anyone can become The Man. Martial arts with their numerous weight classes are a good example of this.
          The vast majority of people do not build their lives around competing in a sport where they need to maintain a low body weight and that’s why most recreational athletes have no reason to stay away from machines and bodybuilding. Unless your dream is to become the greatest strawweight boxer or figure skater, putting on big, proportionate muscles will not hurt you.

        7. Martial arts are hardly obscure. Collectively they are one of the highest paying and watched sports.
          What most people do in the gym is an insult to bodybuilding, hence this conversation. Anyone lifting weights without proper training and instruction is on the fast track to serious injury. And that is the majority of men I see in the gym.
          You also don’t need fancy equipment or even a gym to do bodyweight training. This is not an advantage of weightlifting (not what you think is bodybuilding) over bodyweight training. And bodybuilding, done properly, is far from cheap. Those guys spend $100s of dollars every month on supplements alone.

        8. It sounds like we do not disagree as much as I thought; you seem to be OK with bodybuilding, despite not calling it a sport, as long as it’s done properly.
          Bodybuilding is the most effective and effectively the only way to work all major muscles (not to mention the smaller ones) in a way that maximizes their strength and size. Any other form of exercise (including olympic weightlifting or powerlifting depending on competition lifts alone) leads to disproportionate and lackluster development but even that looks great to sofa dwellers.
          I would also argue that most information out there regarding the ‘functionality’ of bodybuilding type training relative to bodyweight training is pure broscience and rumors. Nobody goes around measuring the punching power of people who train boxing to see if endless push-ups work better than bench pressing for punching power; judo people understand that strength gained in the iron gym will transfer to competition almost directly because grappling is heavy on maximum strength (“slow strength”) in addition to pure power; endless push-ups will not. What we do know for fact is that once a muscle gets stronger and bigger, there will be SOME carry-over to any activity that makes use of that muscle, although endurance can and will be hindered in the long run. I certainly do not see how endless weightless sit-ups, push-ups and squats will make someone’s thai kick better than bodybuilding but that’s what the ancients liked to do in pre-scientific days and what still goes on in boxing gyms.
          So basically it seems crystal clear to me that bodybuilding is far more useful for some athletes than bodyweight training is. Bodyweight training is the best for people who compete in bodyweight exercises, if such competitions exist. Seasoned bodybuilders have a massive advantage when starting out certain contact sports. This is the genius of bodybuilding; it allows you to shine in fields distinct from bodybuilding but other sports (except for olympic and powerlifting to some extent) do not carry over in the same way.

        9. Completely disagree about bodybuilding. Bodybuilders get their ass kicked in Muay Thai competitions. I’ve seen it and done it. Bodybuilders are a joke when it comes to fighting.
          Nobody sensible does sit-ups but push-ups and squats (and a myriad of other bodyweight exercises) will increase your performance in martial arts. Martial arts works every muscle in your body far better than bodybuilding and bodyweight training will make you much stronger. You speak of muscles but complete forget tendons, ligaments and overall coordination and cardiovascular training.
          Bodybuilding is only good for poncing around on stage in your underwear.

        10. Bodybuilders are absolutely not a joke in fighting; that’s why Geoff Capes and Bill Kazmaier almost killed the world’s best grappler and karate master who was at least 250 pounds himself and a bench press champion.
          Striking sports rely heavily on speed, which is largely genetic unlike strength, which can be increased enormously. That’s why a guy with shitty judo can often beat a far more skilled judo guy if the size difference is big enough.
          Sure they were not aesthetically oriented lifters but lifters nonetheless with zero fighting experience. Had that fight taken place in a stair case with no rules, the strongmen could have won.
          Bodybuilding has allowed men to survive car crashes, motorcycle accidents etc. with their lives intact and their spines partially intact where men of lesser musculature would have been killed or crippled.
          You can still do all the coordination (which is purely sports specific) and cardiovascular training you like but let’s not get off track here, because we were talking about strength and if you want to get seriously strong, you need to lift weights. Even arm wrestlers, whose sport is like a hybrid of a martial art and strength athletics, rely heavily on weight training like wrist and bicep curls in addition to sport specific training.
          When I see a bodyweight guy competing in the world’s strongest man competition, I’ll admit you were right.

        11. You’re conflating sports here. Geoff Capes and Bill Kazmaier were Strongmen not Bodybuilders. Very different. In any case have you actually watched those fights? Capes and Kazmaier lost!
          You don’t understand striking sports. I’m a 30 year veteran. Striking sports rely primarily on fitness, timing and distance. I have knocked out guys much heavier and stronger than me because of these attributes and others. Don’t try to simplify it.
          I’m sure being fit and healthy helps you survive accidents but that’s not being disputed here.
          I think the results of the fights you referred to render your points about “seriously strong” moot. There are many types of strength. There is lifting a boulder strong and there is fighting strong. Who is stronger?
          As far as I am concerned, lifting boulders and showing off your muscles is circus stuff. Its pretty cool but not much use.

        12. The whole ‘functional’ training thing is one of the most arrogant fads/shams in recent history. What’s functional for our species is to store up food and get fat and any kind of serious sports training will wear your body down and cause injuries unlike laying on a sofa. The idea that one sport is somehow more ‘useful’ than another is simple rationalization for choices that insecure guys make to maintain their ego integrity. I can understand that if you have to spend your life clenching your teeth, trying to live up to an image of masculinity set for you by someone else, you’re going to be pretty tired and have to come up with all that shit about it being ‘useful’, ‘functional’ and whatever when you’re necking with another sweaty man.
          Just how many times in our daily lives do we have to hold another man’s head and knee him multiple times above the belt and bang my shins in repetition against his thighs and then allow him to do the same while wearing a mouth guard, cup, shin guards and standing on a padded mat in shorts or trainers? The only time I had to do that was when I was taking thai boxing, which was fun but my club moved away unfortunately and I preferred to stick to dancing because of logistics and not having to deal with trashy people’s egos.
          But if that’s the sport you like, then it’s functional for competing in that sport and for much use within the context of that sport. For someone else with different interests it’s obviously not going to be a very good investment.
          The two sports that I know to have potential immediate carry-over to weekly life, especially during the summer, are bodybuilding and dancing. As a bodybuilder your accomplishments always go with you and you can perform dancing almost anywhere you like without legal, moral or health repercussions but it’s pretty hard to demonstrate your tennis skills in a night club or to make a guy wear a bathing suit in a grocery store and then choke him out with it.
          I still would not muster the arrogance to say that dancing or bodybuilding would necessarily be useful for someone else because I have no way to know what his goals, interests and talents are; if his talent is in writing, then concentrating on writing will probably pay off a lot more in the long run than concentrating on artistic gymnastics unless he happens to love gymnastics despite his lack of natural inclination for that activity. I would at least be quite confident that he does not pick up gymnastics to live up to some mythical movie concept of masculinity instead of his own identity. If he takes boxing, I might be concerned that he takes it because some douche online shamed him into doing it despite how much he hates it.
          Lifting is certainly recommended in the manosphere a lot and dancing and martial arts come up every now and then too.
          What was interesting to me about those fights was that Capes and Kazmaier gave a good fight despite having zero training in that sport but could the dutch guy have given a good fight in the world’s strongest man competition? Maybe he could have but I don’t think he would have repped out the weights the others did with ease. What if it had been a baseball bat match or one-arm-tied-behind the back, train/bus match or something that does not cater to the environment the fighters are used to? When people talk about ‘fighting’ they tend to have this idealized concept of a flat surface with ample space and no dangerous walls, corners or odd objects lying about; confounding factors can make strength, size and youth more important than skill but I’ll be dead before these MMA bad asses admit it. What I’m getting at here is that as far as self-defense investment is concerned, weightlifting is more than enough and even superior in some contexts (certainly not all of them). Any more time spent sweating such a trivial question is a reflection of deeper psychological issues to be worked out with a therapist.
          The biggest difference between bodybuilding and other lifting sports is that bodybuilders get to pick and choose what exercises they specialize in and they train in moderately high rep ranges while other lifters need to specialize in a few select lifts. All professional bodybuilders are ridiculously strong relative to the average person and tend to be have better strength endurance than weightlifters and powerlifters while the latter are better at lifting slightly higher loads for a single repetition.

  3. Why is it everyone that writes an article thinks that a Doctor has to “give you permission” to fix yourself. If I did that; I would be dead by now because the advice of most doctors is glorified garbage in about 90% of cases. Dr’s are designed to fleece you of your cash to build their lake home. I respect surgeons but your normal FP, PA, are 1%’s who got the medica school lottery ticket; over paid primidonas with a “license” to push exclusive meds. Licensed drug dealers.
    You have a muscle strain? Lets run you through an MRI, CT, therapy and few thousand dollars worth of tests, oh, boy I am glad you paid for my new car..
    If you have a strain, this is what you need to do (not a doctor so beware!) – apply ICE like crazy-deep freezing-15-20 minutes 3-4 times a day until the spasms/inflammation goes away and start to slowly stretch it until you start to fully heal. All muscles are like this; and if you don’t see any progress you likely tore something pretty badly or ergonomically something is off and you need to brace it because its retearing as you move.. Only after you have fixed these issues and it doesn’t work-Thats when you go to a specialist and get an image. If I read 1 more article telling me to give more money to build someone elses castle; I am going to puke.

    1. Because all you know is that something hurts. It could be a bone, muscle, tendon, or ligament. Unless you have studied anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the muscoloskeletal system, you won’t know exactly what you injured. This is where an MRI or CT scan can help tremendously. Perhaps in the future we’ll have scanning machines at home that can identify what’s wrong. But for now, you need to know what’s wrong before you can fix it.
      Here’s a good reason why: if you overstretch a muscle, then stretching too soon after injury will only cause the muscle to stretch even more, which is really bad. Here you need to focus on strengthening before going into stretching. On the flip side, if a muscle is tense because it is “guarding” an injury, too much strengthening is bad and stretching is needed. Now this is just muscle/tendon stuff. Ligaments, on the other hand, get poor blood supply and thus cannot be simply healed by exercising. There must be a rest period to allow the ligament to rebuild, followed by gentle strengthening and stretching.
      I’ve partially torn ligaments, pulled muscles and tendons, and I can personally tell you that knowledge of exactly what muscle or set of muscles (or tendons/ligaments for that matter) is crucial to recovery. You can’t simply say “my knee hurts” or “my back hurts” and conclude that you know how to get back to 100% without knowing what’s wrong.

      1. Baloney. If you want to pay 2 grand for an MRI to tell you that you have a strained muscle- have at it. In addition, another $250 or so for the office visit and $300 for the xray and another $1000 for therapy-5-6 visits. Go right ahead – your smarter than the rest of us…. I am sure the doc will appreciate his new vehicle on your behalf. Now your in for 4 grand. Enjoy!. Your like a woman who abuses a husband and the guy asks for more. Yes,- can I please have another financial beating!
        I tell you what -I would follow my own advice on a ligament tear. I would buy some DSMO, ICE and Bromelain to absorb any protein scar tissue around the area. I don’t need to pay the medical industry to fuck with me for 5 grand to tell me stupid shit like this.
        I expect this push back because most folks like yourself have bought the doctor knows best liberal gyno swill. Got a toothache to the er for 2 grand. Cold -get an MRI and ct. .who knows; that headache you got last week might be a brain tumor.

        1. Whatever you say bro. I wish you the best of luck for any future injuries or accidents.
          BTW I never said to trust your doctor blindly. His/her diagnosis and treatment advice should make sense should be explained clearly.

        2. Let me know when that MRI is a 100 dollars and that doc visit is 50 .. then I will come visit your sham.

        3. then I will hire a surgeon to repair me. We are talking about muscle pulls and minor tears or are you going to shame me like a woman? oh no, that surgeon who is bringing down 500 k a year isn’t going to be there to fix me up…what will I do!

        4. How will you know to hire a surgeon? You gotta see a doctor for an assessment first. Or would you like to try your RICE therapy first? No shame in admitting our weaknesses. Or would you rather “man up” and tough it out?

        5. You’re the one shaming people into not seeking help for legitimate injuries.
          Wounded in combat? “Don’t go to the medic, just tough it out! Man up!”

        6. A serious car accident will require an Wambulance. They take you to the hospital and the ER doctor orders what you need or sends you on to be airlifted etc. So little lady; please keep shaming. I suppose next you will tell me that this glorified meat cutter won’t be there for me.

        7. You’re the one shaming people into not seeking medical help. Got boils on your skin? Just man up! If that’s not shaming I don’t know what is.

        8. No, I am shaming people into not going into see a doctor for stupid medical help like minor sports injuries-because I value my money. The point of this article – determined that unless I go to doctor; all hell will break loose….It does boil me as I see the medical industry as a giant fraud with no competition-one of which you bought in; lock stock and barrel. Like I said- have at it. your money is your money. Your probably part of it and have your ego to keep. Make no mistake- not everyone is buying what your selling.

        9. No I actually see much wrong with the medical industry. I would like a democratization of it, but it’s gotta be based in science. I agree that too much medicine is dispensed for minor injuries, but there are medical professionals that help people recover from injuries without medication and through proper physical therapy. You yourself might have some information on how to fix minor muscle issues, but many others will have to wade through all sorts of false stuff on the internet if they want to learn. There’s a reason that there are experts, even though they may fail from time to time.

        10. I had a foot issue where I strained my tendon. I went to a board certified top 10 – US Medical school Sports medicine physician a podiatrist and an board certified orthopedic surgeon who prescribed PT. Didn’t work. This simple fact – I needed a insert for my shoe to stablize my foot from supinating and now am fine after 4 years. The internet saved me from more years of pain. Not these guys ; so yes- I don’t like them. People take doctors as gospel- they are not. thats my point. When I have a problem; I expect the experts to know what the f they are doing. Not this. 10 bucks versus 5 grand.

        11. I agree that doctors are overpriced, but sometimes you need them as they are the “gatekeepers” for you to get diagnostic tests. I wish I could just buy a machine that did what an MRI could do (non-invasively look at my insides and see if there is any torn ligaments, etc.) but at the moment I can’t. I’m looking forward to when there are robot doctors like in the movie Big Hero 6 or that medical machine in the movie Elysium. I know it’s many years away, but there are people working on that kind of stuff now.

        12. Not sure where you’re getting your pricing info, but here in the Northeast, you can get an MRI for about $300-400..Certainly a reasonable price if you don’t have insurance, as opposed to winging it & trying to heal yourself if you’re in pain.

  4. Standard Pilates exercises are both excellent prevention and rehab for core injuries. I’ve also gotten a lot of benefit from Gyrotonic for improving range of motion. This is on a body racked by years of construction work and competitive strongman training, which even features the genetic freak of an extra lumbar vertebra.
    The weirdest unperceived benefit was that after about a month of Pilates I had a doctor’s appointment, and they measured my height as a full inch taller than I had ever measured before. (It isn’t like I just stood up straight; my normal posture is such that people mistake me for a Marine.) And ever since then I’ve been an inch taller. Go figure.
    So that stuff is definitely worth a look on general principles. Lest anyone think me a shirker, I also chopped two extremely hot Pilates instructors during the process. There are few ugly ones and no fat ones.

  5. Having prolapsed three discs myself I will point out something important. These exercises are great but they have to be coupled with exercises that rebuild the finer muscles in the back. These are the muscles that atrophy due to the spinal injury. They only grow back with specific and deliberate exercises. Conventional calisthenics and weight training programs will not target these muscles.
    Anyone with disc injuries should contact a spinal injury exercise specialist who will give you the precise exercises you need.

  6. I have a couple herniated discs. It started when I was 30. I’m 32 now, lifting heavy again and looking more buff than ever before. After my herniation I could not even stand in place without having to fidget and shuffle on my feet from the pain; the first two days I was crying. I still have symptoms but nothing major. Weightlifting is a risky thing but the one thing that had me fooled all these years is the false idea that you have to do powerlifting exercises to grow and improve. I would like to punch the face of every T-nation writer or whoever came up with that dangerous misinformation. Had I stayed away from exercises that cause the discs to be subjected to extraordinary pressure from forward bending (bent over row standing up, deadlift, squat etc.) I don’t think I would have had any injuries at all. I still train all my body parts hard after taking a year off but I steer away from risky lifts. Why should you do ATG squats when you can do leg extensions, hack squats, wall squats and weighted back extensions for the same gains and almost zero risk? Just because some people compete in a few arbitrarily chosen lifts does not mean you should do the same. My injury was almost a blessing in disguise as it caused me to lift more responsibly and now my body is getting more defined than ever.

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