Persistant myths to dispell about a sore back

  1. If I hadn't bent down to pick up that box, my back would be fine.
    It's not one event that causes the problem but some behaviour you are not aware of that sets you up for disaster. Then one day, you bend over and...

    Just fix my back so I'll be OK.
    Your pain is caused by injured tissue. You can't fix an injury, you have to allow it to heal. You are probably doing something that places excessive strain on one area of your body. This is often an unconscious holding that prevents movement in some areas thus requiring more work from an ajoining area. So long as the limitation remains, injured tissue is being stressed, it is irritated, the wound stays open and thus cannot heal.

    I was taught to lift by bending my knees.
    That is not enough: unless you are acutely aware of how you are lifting, and how the effort is distributed throughout the body, by keeping your back straight you can actually put more stress on the lumbar area and increase the chances of injury.

    The problem is my posture.
    Better posture would help, but posture does not lend itself easily to being adjusted or corrected. Good posture is that which allows the skeleton to fulfill its role of efficiently supporting your weight without restricting your ability to move freely.

    If only I could stand up straight.
    You cannot make yourself straight, you have to let yourself be straight, in other words, you have to learn how to stop doing that which prevents you from standing straight.
    But then how can you stop doing that which you do not know you are doing?

    I was told to exercise to strenghten my abdominals.
    Most of us have over toned abdominals. Holding the belly in may be one of the main causes of sore backs.

    One leg is longer than the other, also, several vertebrae are out of alignment and need to be reset.
    None of us have perfectly aligned backs or both legs the same length. Again, the origin of the problem is rarely structural, it is most often functional: the problem is not the with the way we are built, it is how we use what we have, the problem is with the driver, not the vehicle.

    Please tell me what to do
    Difficult! Repeatedly telling a child to stand up straight usually makes things worse. We can only learn from direct experience, and that is where Feldenkrais comes in.

If a form of treatment does not show marked improvement after five visits, the only thing that will improve is your practitioner's bank account. If you are still waiting for a promised miracle from a treatment, you will probably wait for a long time.


Why should Feldenkrais give better results?

To attempt to repair a symptom through exercise, adjustment or whatever, is a futile operation. Feldenkrais, through movement classes or individual sessions teaches you to take control of your body and gives you the tools that promote self-healing. Coming from a totally different prespective, the emphasis is on improvement and making better use of what you already have. Once you learn how to stop irritating injured areas of your body and placing excessive strain on other areas, your own, normal healing processes can take over.

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