There appears to be some workability with exercising and stretching because patients may get some relief for a period of time. However, when they discontinue the stretches or exercises, many patients have told me the pain comes back. Other patients find exercising kind of hurts and others barely get relief from stretching or exercising.
When in pain, patients already naturally stretch the tight areas to get relief. So it is interesting that patients want to know what secret exercise might actually finally make them better when I meet with them.
Unfortunately there isn’t any exercise that will fix the problem. When the bones are twisted out of place in a way they cannot realign themselves, stretched muscles will eventually tighten back up because they are connected to misaligned bones. The muscles DON’T pull the bones out of place. Bad alignment twists muscles, causing them to tighten. Exercising your body temporarily changes the positions of the bones and muscles. But due to the mechanics of the spinal column and the inability of a vertebrae to realign itself BACKWARDS, there is limited workability in exercising to fix pain.
For many problems, there ISN’T any exercise that can fix certain misalignments because there’s no muscle that pulls the vertebrae backwards.
Once patients begin ABC care, their spine is realigned in the direction that the spine CANNOT fix on its own. Then they don’t NEED to stretch the muscle to get relief from the tightness or pain. But after beginning a course of care, any exercise they do WILL benefit them tremendously. Stretching will feel more natural and easier. And strengthening exercises will give the postural muscles better tone. Stronger muscles hold the body in place, making it less likely for the spine to misalign. Exercising will also FEEL better to the patient who is under ABC care once they aren’t so twisted up. Exercising a very twisted spine will merely strengthen the misaligned posture that it is already in.
Do you worry you just haven’t exercised ENOUGH to finally get rid of the pain? Don’t beat yourself up. We have treated Pilates instructors, fitness trainers, hard-core exercisers, Cross-fit athletes, triathletes, cyclists, runners and horseback riders who exercise more than you would ever DREAM of exercising. And they have badly misaligned spines that do not just “straighten out” from a lot of exercise. Once these athletes have begun our program, their training enters a whole new realm of possibilities due to improved posture, untwisted bones and looser muscles.
On my Secrets to Good Posture DVD, I demonstrate the most effective stretches and strengthening moves for supporting good posture. But those exercises cannot FIX the actual problem. They can only hold the spine in the existing alignment pattern, good, bad or indifferent. So get the chassis lined up and then take the old girl for a good spin. The drive will be much better and you won’t chew up the tires due to a bad rear-end alignment!