Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stretching , twisting and cracking your back?


If you stretch twist and crack your back I have one message for you: pack it in!!

“Soft tissue injuries result from excessive tension, so excessive tension in the rehabilitation situation is counterproductive…stretching of …chronically tight tissue is counterproductive. It may give an initial sensation of relief because the muscle spindles have been deadened, but this practice…weakens the tissue further because of the weakened proprioceptive response.”

Boo Schexnayder

“stop trying to Stretch and mobilise! Let tissues settle and regain their proprioceptive abilities so they tell the truth”

Stuart McGill

Avoid extremes

Part of the programme we will teach you is to maintain a natural lordosis , most of the time, especially when squatting or lunging. However its possible to attempt to over engage  your lordosis and crush joints together. the flexibility for squats and lunges comes through the hips, not by excessively arching your lumbar curve. The mantra is “find the problem, fix the problem”.  If when squatting you find ankle and hip flexibility issues, do not compensate in your back.

The role of axial torque in disc herniation.

Marshall LW and McGill SM. (2010) The role of axial torque in disc herniation. Clinical Biomechanics, 25(1):6-9.  you can review an abstract here

Which is worse  lifting and twisting or twisting alone ? Or was the 10960’s dance, the twist, actually safe as long as you didn’t lean forward

This study investigated the role of “repeated dynamic axial torque/twist combined with repeated flexion on the disc herniation mechanism”

1) Axial torque/twist in combination with repetitive flexion extension motion, regardless of order, encouraged radial delamination within the annulus .

2) Alternatively, repetitive flexion motion alone encouraged posterior or posterolateral nucleus tracking through the annulus.

3)  Axial torque/twist alone was unable to initiate a disc herniation.

4)   X-ray images with (contrast and computed tomography) are   not good at detecting radial delamination

The problem this paper gives me is whether or not “twisting exercises” ( without flexion) should be removed from back exercises . It concludes afterall that “Axial torque/twist alone was unable to initiate a disc herniation”. Ill try and find out