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Old 08-23-2006, 08:14 AM   #26
Carol Shifflett
Location: PA
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 53
United_States
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Re: Back Problems

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote:
Only thing missing there is the hurdle stretch which to my mind would help the hip abducters right?
The antidote to strained, shortened ABductors is ADduction. I really can't think of any standard Aikikai exercise that specifically addresses hip abductors. Closest would be the standing hip circles (stand while leaning hips out and around in a circle). In Judo it would be the action of leg sweeps. But let's be clear on meaning of "hip abductors."

Stand with your back and heels firmly against the wall. If you move your heel away from your body, but keeping your heel in contact with the wall, you are ABducting the leg (taking the leg AWAY from the body -- think "ABsent.") Naturally you're using your hip abductors to do that. If you raise your arms, staying in contact with the wall, you are using your arm abductors -- hip abductors are the equivalent of your deltoids, etc. Unfortunately, neither of these get stretched much -- the body's in the way. So we tend to ignore them in favor of the easy and obvious like hamstrings. Somehow we tend to think mostly in terms of the front/back plane (flexion / extension).
Quote:
Could you mention and desrcibe a few for me to start off with? I would be familiar to some of the more general exercises, but if its too obscure I'll just look it up.
Simplest is to:

1. Lie on your side on the very edge of a firm bed or bench.
2. Drop your top leg over the edge. Keep leg as close to the edge as possible, don't kick it out. (You're trying for ADduction in the same plane as the ABduction that caused the original problem).
Just allow a gentle passive stretch w/ gravity -- and notice the feel of it. This approach has the advantage of using your already strained and overworked adductors.

You might also have a therapist work out any adhesions or fascial shortening that will probably also be there restricting function and effective stretching. (BTW, think "gentle lengthening", never "strain".) There's a really good standing stretch that I won't describe as live demo -- or experimenting until you can reproduce the feel of the bed stretch -- is best.

You haven't mentioned knee pain, but if this situation propagates on down the ilio-tibial band and adductors (already being strained to compensate), you can expect that next. There's a standard medical superstition that knee pain comes from weakness / imbalance in quads and hamstrings. (There's that easy and obvious front/back thing again). It's great nonsense, but you really do NOT want to be the proof of that. Best to stop trouble before it starts by getting everything working properly -- and that should help your back as well.

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett
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Old 08-23-2006, 07:05 PM   #27
Carol Shifflett
Location: PA
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 53
United_States
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Re: Back Problems

Quote:
Carol Shifflett wrote:
Just allow a gentle passive stretch w/ gravity -- and notice the feel of it. This approach has the advantage of using your already strained and overworked adductors.
Oops! Typo! This should have stated: This approach has the advantage of NOT using your already strained and overworked adductors." That is, the passive stretch obtained by using gravity avoids the problem of tightening up one muscle in order to stretch another.

Apologies!
Carol
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Old 08-24-2006, 04:47 AM   #28
Avery Jenkins
 
Avery Jenkins's Avatar
Dojo: Litchfield Hills Aikikai
Location: Litchfield, CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 139
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Re: Back Problems

Carol and Kevin's suggestions are both good, but may not be enough, particularly if the sacroiliac and lumbar facet joints are restricted, as seems likely to be the case here. You should be examined by a chiropractic physician. There is one at the Back in Motion Chiropractic Centre, at:

14G Jalan pjs10/2
Petaling Jaya Selangor Darul Ehsan 46000
http://www.backinmotion.com.my

I don't know where this is in relation to you, but, again, I would strongly suggest checking in with Dr. Kluner there or another chiropractic physician. These sorts of things rarely sort themselves out with soft tissue techniques alone.

Avery
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:03 PM   #29
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
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Re: Back Problems

I used to have back problems, but those are all behind me now. (take *that*, John Matsushima!).

Just to use a piece of some rudimentary qigong therapy, you could try this... it is helpful to me and it's a basic idea that is often used:

Inhale to the lower-abdominal area while slightly pulling in the adomen/stomach-area muscles to conteract the swelling of the belly as you do it. You'll notice an increase in pressure in the abdominal area. Do it a few times and see if you can "focus" the general pressure to various general areas like the front of the abdomen, the side of the abdomen, just under the xyphoid, in the quadratus-lumborum/lower-kidney area, etc. I.e, just play with it a little bit to get some familiarity with maneuvering the pressure to where you want it.

Then inhale again, pulling in the ab/stomach area and try to focus the pressure against the lower lumbar verterbrae and hold it there a few seconds... you may have to very slightly bow the back out in that area to help focus the pressure against the Lumbar-vertebrae. Then slightly lean forward and feel how this will squeeze the pressure against the inside lower spine. Then exhale. Do this daily, about 10-20 times a day. It will begin to assist in the stabilization of the back because it will stretch and contract the tissue structures in that area. Not too hard; not extremes of pressure. Don't let pressure go up into your head. Accept that it takes time to work, so persistence is necessary.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:34 PM   #30
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Malaysia
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Re: Back Problems

Carol thanks for the exercise, not to sure I'm doing it right but the stretch feels along the buttocks as well the upper part of the thigh near the groin area. Btw, I do have bad knees especially on the right side. The pain is strictly acute and usually when I do seiza. It feels like a tight drawn string or ligament or something on the outer back part of the knee. Nothing at the joints itself. Chiro says its tight back muscles.

Avery! Heaven sent... you've had personal experience with these chiros? I'm seeing a south african one in Subang. But I'll check this guy out. Btw, if you stop by Malaysia sometime - pm or email me - we can meet up and train or something.

Mike... is this reverse breathing? I'm trying it out, also feels a like i'm about to do mingwen when applying the pressure to the spine through the abdomen. are you sure I shouldn't just do that? Although I haven't reached the stage where i can circle the energy unconsciously, and i mimic hip circles to get the circular motion, sometimes I do feel the internal movement go on its own. Which is best?

thanks.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:48 PM   #31
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
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Re: Back Problems

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote:
Mike... is this reverse breathing? I'm trying it out, also feels a like i'm about to do mingwen when applying the pressure to the spine through the abdomen. are you sure I shouldn't just do that? Although I haven't reached the stage where i can circle the energy unconsciously, and i mimic hip circles to get the circular motion, sometimes I do feel the internal movement go on its own. Which is best?
Hi Ahmad:

Yes, it's reverse breathing, but on a functional level. Breathing exercises have their inception in functional physiology, not just imagination. It's only after the functional abilities develop that the more mind-body stuff develops. So just do the exercises at first and feel the pressure-stretch-support they do for your lower back and utilize the benefits they provide. Worry about the rest later.

All the Best.

Mike
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