Return of the Bad Back!

I guess I have to be grateful to my “chronic back pain!” What the heck does that mean?

Well, the little article I wrote yesterday about my bad back apparently touched a lot of other bad backs! In fact, many of these “bad backs” wrote back! (Sorry I couldn’t resist!)

You’ve already offered 20 comments on this subject and more keep coming in. This is what I really like: a stimulating dialog between you and me, an intelligent exchange that can be read by people all over the globe. Anyone so inclined can join into the discussion. Ah, the new world of the Internet! Things will never be the same.

Do you know what else happened? A gentleman from Denmark gave me a homework assignment. Can you believe it? Here’s what he says: “I am happy for your recovery but your story/information is really not of much use to others unless you would be so kind as to elaborate on what kind of Yoga and what specific exercises have made the difference. I could personally not manage to try out all different styles of Yoga and all exercises to rediscover what you learned. Please help!”

Point well taken. I think he’s absolutely right. Here’s what I promise to do very soon… like next week. I will write in some detail about what kind of yoga I have practiced, and what seemed to help the most. I will talk about a couple of setbacks I had in my yoga training because I pushed too hard, and how I learned to be more prudent. I will further talk about how I set up my schedule to ensure that I do my exercises regularly. I will find a couple of links to yoga routines on youtube for those of you who don’t have easy access to yoga instruction. Finally, I will go out in the garage where I have my little dojo set up and demonstrate on video the simple yoga exercises I have incorporated into our aikido warmups!

Ok? Is it a deal? Good!

Thanks guys and gals!


  1. Stan, my words on spine and aikido are being written :-), you will get them soon:-) hands first:-)

  2. Hey Stan,
    I use a lot of back stretches in my warmups. I have also added bo katas into my weapons teachings. I practiced 13 different Karate bo katas in my back yard every Wednesday for about 8 or 9 years. (It was different weapons on different days of the week.) As the bo got lighter, I got a heavier bo. When I got up to 1 1/4″ steel rod I hit a limit on the stresses my joints could handle. When it was moving fast, who knows what the equivalent weight stresses were involved in reversing directions. My abs developed beyond 6 pack. They went to chain-link, (diamond pattern). Everybody I was throwing in class got so light.

    I believe the key to a strong back is a strong gut. The weapons work develops both the back and the gut. The bo katas work your gut muscles in every direction you can think of without stretching them out too much at once.

    I like your newsletter. I look forward to seeing your Yoga techniques. Now I need something that keeps Arthritis from developing in the knees.



    • Tom,

      Very interesting input on your weapons training and how it impacted your physical development and abdominal strength. Keep up the great work!


  3. http://traumaprevention.com/ try it out, but remember to fatigue the thigh muscles thorougly

    go to youtube

    ie thats why systema , shake after punchced


    youtube Trauma Release of Tranquilised Polar Bear

    youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByalBx85iC8&feature=related
    Trauma, Somatic Experiencing and Peter A. Levine PhD

    youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSjityEv4M8&feature=related
    Rebounding from Trauma with Peter Levine

    youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoKxe1dt3JE&NR=1
    Resolving Trauma in Psychotherapy. With Peter A. Levine, PhD.

    youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXeuUdyA9ng
    Rough cut peter interview

  4. POST back pain 11-7-11

    Yes, indeed sir!
    TBOTBB, the brotherhood of the bad back :)

    I’ve been tested for the last forty years with a L5 injury after catching a 44 gallon drum to save a life from getting crushed. I may have survived except for bad terrain requiring me to bend forward.

    My first year of Aikido was pain free because it was before that incident. After that, some stages were like, immense pain, like getting teeth drilled without anaesthetic all day. A fortune spent on chiro/osteo/acupuncture. For a period of some months, at one time I was laid out, unable to move, having to be carried to the toilet etc.

    I continued forward, rebuilding myself as gradually as it was possible to do under the circumstances. Indeed movement is life… Have no regrets. I would rather be me than anyone else. Aikido enriched me, saved my life and.. well too much of a story.

    Minimising ukemi when you have to, does not harm Aikido training. Try to get to a good level before your back pain catches up, then you can continue your training by teaching and controlling the amount of ukemi. (Just like the budoka of old.)

    Please try these for maintenance:

    * Reverse back raises. (Raise the legs, not torso whilst stably suspended balancing the hips on a hip high beam or the like.) Return s-l-o-w-l-y and follow with bending backwards lightly (looking up)
    This one opens the vertebra slightly and just enough for the disks to get sucked in and readjust, thereby often removing pressure on sensory nerves.)

    * Forward lunge motion, one leg in front from seiza.(adjusts the iliopsoas – immense almost instant relief in some cases )

    * Crunches (not sit ups). And buki. This strengthens the entire girdle and the frontal support minimises the pressure on the lower back. And light strength training from time to time.

    * LOTS OF WALKING. Even if it hurts!

    * Finally, BAD PAIN IS NATURE’S WARNING that something is amiss. It pays to take heed and to learn to discern between good pain and bad pain. Working with the former and accepting the cautions of the latter teaches practical wisdom.

    And yes, yoga is the best! So is walking everywhere. And with glucosamine supplement, the resultant improvements are augmented.

    Over the years, despite ups and downs, it has improved despite age. Or maybe its awareness and correct posture, noticing, wearing a hakama (great back support- makes me wonder about the old Japanese warriors and their backs :)

    Take care and keep well

Speak Your Mind