Isolating and exercising the lumbar muscles can make the pain go away

I first used the MedX lumbar exercise machine in a doctor’s office.  At the time I had been suffering for two years with constant back pain. I thought that I was destined to live that way the rest of my life.  Amazingly my pain went away.  Many of our clients have had similar results. Their stories and further explanation here and here.   

When attempting to exercise the lower back typically the more powerful muscles of the hips do much of the work while the lumbar muscles move through a limited range of motion and contribute little to the movement. The MedX Lumbar Machine safely addresses that problem by isolating and effectively working the lumbar muscles.  The video explain how that works.

At Austin Fitness Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers we have the MedX lumbar machine plus full lines of MedX strength training equipment. 

Strengthening lower back muscles

MedX put 90 million dollars into research to develop safe effective exercise equipment for the lower back. This equipment is often used for rehab. I first used this equipment in a doctor's office. Their Core exercise equipment was developed to strengthen the muscles of the abs and lower back.  At Austin Fitness Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers we have all the MedX Core equipment plus full lines of MedX strength training equipment.  The equipment and the protocol we use has contributed to our success working with those who have back problems.

Alleviating back and neck pain

Mark was plagued by neck and back problems. He had very little range of motion, little strength, and a lot of pain. He ended up having neck surgery, went through physical therapy, and after he was finished he began training at our facility on our MedX rehabilitative exercise equipment.

One of the features of the MedX equipment is that the resistance is provided in an arc. Bow your head and then lift up and look at the ceiling. Your neck follows an arc. The same if you bend over or if you flex the lumbar region. Your body follows an arc.

All barbells and many types of equipment provide linear (straight line) resistance. The MedX low back machine provides resistance in an arc congruent with the arc created by the motion of your back. This makes for a much safer exercise. You don’t have weight bearing down on your back from above, so there is no vertebral compression.

We follow is that we restrict the range of motion to a pain-free range of motion. With our equipment we are able to restrict the resistance to just a few degrees of motion if need be. Overtime that range will likely increase. It is a wonderful feeling when over time that range increases without pain. For safely we are able to make very small increases of weight as strength improves; over time you will dramatically increase your strength. More motion and more strength mean better circulation and better lubrication of the discs resulting in a healthier back.

I had once lived in constant back pain for two years. I first started the MedX equipment in a doctor’s office 25 years ago. That pain is gone now. Others report similar results.  Now Mark reports greater range of motion and more strength which have enabled him to purchase a treadmill and walk at an incline daily. He has a better quality of life, and his wife, also a client, is very happy to see her husband return to "himself". At our Austin Fitness Trainers facility we have had success working with those who have back problems. Come see us.

Memories of a Broken Vertebra

I was watching Brazil versus Columbia when Brazilian Soccer player Neymar went down. At first I thought, “Oh boy, more flopping”. When they were carrying him off the field I saw the pain he was in, and it did not surprise me to learn that Neymar broke a vertebra. I broke a vertebra in my back over 30 years ago.

My recovery was pretty straight forward – rest, pain meds, and a brace. The most difficult for me was sleeping. Sleeping on the floor was my only relief from the pain. I slept on the floor for years after that.

Years later I developed back pain that stayed with me for the better part of two years. Nothing gave me relief. I did everything I could to relieve the pain – new bed, swimming, getting rid of my chair at work, no long trips in the car, and standing instead of sitting during the night school classes I was attending. Exercise seemed to make it worse.

I stopped all exercise. Still it did not get better; it got even worse. I gained weight. I went to all kinds of specialists. One gave me some pain meds and told me if it got worse they could operate. I did not want a road map for what to do if it got worse; I wanted my back to improve.

I finally saw a doctor of physiology, and he had me exercise on a MedX low back rehabilitative exercise machine. At the time it was the only one of its kind in the city. My back improved. I began exercising again – a few exercises at first and gently then I progressed. I lost weight. I often walked to work. After about six months the pain that I learned to live with and thought would always be a part of my life was gone – my back pain had totally disappeared.

I learned that exercise can help a situation or aggravate it. It depends where you are in your recovery cycle. It also depends on what type of exercise you perform, what type of equipment, and the protocol you use to perform the exercise. The MedX low back rehabilitative exercise machine at the time cost $34,000. It was computerized. The company was mulling over producing a non-computerized version for the gym but hesitated because they were afraid the gym version would take away sales from there $34,000 machine. In the end they did produce gym version of the machine – still very expensive but not $34k.

At both our locations, Austin Personal Training and at New Orleans Fitness Trainers we have: 

  • MedX low back rehabilitative exercise machine
  • Other MedX core exercise equipment
  • The expertise in how to use the equipment safely
  • Plus long list of testimonials of those who have benefited from using it.



Living without back pain or living with it

There are many changes that come from exercise - increases in strength, stamina, body leanness, speed, and flexibility – that can be measured. Changes that cannot be accurately measured include the decreased likelihood of injury and the attendant pain and how well you feel. The right exercise can result in an increase in one’s quality of life. In some cases it can be dramatically life changing. As trainers this is the most rewarding result we experience with clients.

One client: “ A year ago at this time I was experiencing frequent bouts of aches and pains in my neck, shoulders, and back. I figured it was just part of growing older. Since I started strength training last January, these problems have gone away. Amazing!”

This was the experience of Bill Milliken who trains with Timothy, one of ourAustin Personal trainers. Carole had a similar experience: “I woke up every day with back pain. Going up and down stairs was painful for me knees. I am now pain-free”.

Exercise can go a long way in relieving pain and decreasing the likelihood of injury if it is the right exercise and the right amount of exercise. We use exercise protocols that were derived from exercise studies and have been proven effective for all ages and levels of fitness. At New Orleans Personal Trainers and Austin Personal Trainers and we use MedX rehabilitative exercise equipment that can be adjusted to accommodate those with limitations and the equipment is easier on the joints. We also have many years of experience working with those with pain, so that they can avoid the trial and error and the possibility of additional injury that can result by doing it on their own.

Previous blog entries in the series What Clients Are Saying:
1. Under no circumstances stop exercising because that is what is keeping you going
2. This would not have happened to me if I had a personal trainer
3. A Radical Transformation
4. I saw a remarkable change in my body
5. I don’t think I would be alive today
6. Amazing and remarkable
7.My doctor said it would not be necessary to start taking drugs to preserve my bone density
8. Seems too good to be true, but it actually is that good
9. After each session, I always felt better on all levels.
10. I was in tears walking on the Great Wall of China
11. I love this workout

12. More results in eight weeks than I had in three years.

MedX low back exercise

Arthur Jones the founder of MedX and Nautilus is said to have spent 100 million dollars on the development of the MedX low back machine. Arthur said that if everything in his life up to that point were evil this exercise machine more than made up for it. As one who has suffered serious back injuries I can attest to the positive resultsStudies report amazing results, and our clients have benefited

Some of the advantages the MedX low back machine:

· The range of motion can be precisely confined to a pain-free range of motion.

· The resistance is variable – it becomes lighter in the part of the range of motion where you are weakest. This makes for a much safer exercise.

· The exercise can be performed through a full range of motion that supplies resistance even at the full contraction.

· Resistance is always at a 90 degree angle to the back regardless of where you are in the range of motion. There are no compression forces on the vertebrae. When you are in the finished position of a dead lift there are compression forces.

· The knees and hips constrained so that the lumbar is isolated and must do the work.

As we age we become less flexible. The lumbar becomes increasingly inflexible leaving muscles supporting the hips and knee to do much of the work. This machine done properly will give you more flexibility and strength plus an added measure of protection from back injuries. You’ll less likely have chronic back pain with strong flexible back muscles. 

You are not likely to find this equipment in most health clubs. We have extensive lines of MedX equipment at both of our locations: New Orleans Fitness Trainers and Austin Personal Training.

After Ten Exercise Sessions Dramatic Increases in Back Strength

We lose flexibility in our backs as we age. To avoid injury to our backs we become increasingly less inclined to go to the fully contracted or stretched position position. It's a classic case of if-you-don’t-use-it you-lose-it; we lose considerable strength in the fully flexed and extended positions.

From this study Effect of resistance training on lumbar extension strengthcome some significant results. Subjects exercised using the MedX lumbar exercise machine. Once a week for ten weeks subjects performed one back exercise of six to 15 repetitions. Subjects in the study made the following improvement:

* At fully flexed position (72 degrees) strength increases ranged from 427% to 607%

* At the fully extension position (0 degrees) strength increases ranged from 180% to 364%

The largest increases in back strength were at the fully and flexed extended positions. There were two components to the improvement:

* The newly acquired strength in excess of what had been their previous peak strength,

* The recovered lost strength.

At the mid-range there was less loss of strength, so the improvement was not as pronounced.

Subjects experienced a serious increase in back strength after just ten exercise sessions. Half of Americans will suffer back pain in the course of a year. Most wait until they experience back pain to do anything about it. A proactive program of regular back exercise can help prevent back injury. A stronger more limber back is less likely to get injured. It does not require hours in the gym. As one who has broken bones in my back on two separate occasions, I can attest to the results that come from minimal back exercise using the right equipment and the right protocol.

At Austin Fitness Trainers and New Orleans Personal Training we have hadsuccess working with those who have back problems. For that purpose we use MedX strength and rehabilitative exercise equipment.

Pictured above is a lady who had three herniated discs as a result of a car wreck. Two doctors told her she required an operation. She opted for exercise instead; her back problems disappeared.

Strength training better than aerobics for easing back pain

In a 16 week study using two different modalities to ease back pain one group performed aerobic training such as walking on a treadmill, jogging, and using an elliptical machine and another group exercised used barbells, dumbbells, and other load-bearing exercise equipment. The aerobic group experienced a 12 percent decrease in back pain, while the weight training group experienced a 60 percent decrease in back pain.

From this Science News article Use Weights, Not Aerobics, To Ease Back Pain, Study Suggests:

“Any activity that makes you feel better is something you should pursue, but the research indicates that we get better pain management results from resistance training. The extra benefits stem from using the whole-body approach required in resistance training, We tried to strengthen the entire body and by doing that, we decreased the fatigue people felt throughout the day. They were better able to perform their activities of daily living."

The researcher concludes: “People who use weight training to ease their lower back pain are better off than those who choose other forms of exercise such as jogging”

I believe that the real added value of strength training lies in the fact that a stronger body is less likely to have back pain to begin with. People wait until they are plagued by chronic back pain before they do something about. In 2005 Americans spent $85.9 billion looking for relief from back and neck pain.

We believe a better solution is to be proactive and get your back stronger and lessen the likelihood of future back pain. With the right equipment one can experience dramatic increases in back strength.

At New Orleans Fitness Training and Austin Fitness Training we have extensive lines of MedX rehabilitative and exercise equipment. It is the most technologically advanced fitness, sports and medical/rehabilitation equipment available. We work to prevent injuries as well as helping those with injuries become pain-free.

MedX exercise equipment

Twenty years ago John Kelly, the owner of Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Fitness Trainers, had been living with chronic back pain for three years. Sitting was painful; he avoided long trips and going to the movies. Even at night school which would often last more than two hours he would stand the entire time. He did everything he could short of the recommended surgery to alleviate it; he walked, swam, stretched, and bought a new bed. About this time he began using the MedX Lumbar machine in a doctor's office twice a week and then once a week. Over several weeks his back finally became pain free. Studies show others have had similar results. For the last twenty years he has remained pain free except in rare times when he has strayed from a regime of regular exercise for his back. Others have had such profound improvement in the health of their lower back they have bought this $7000 piece of equipment for their home.

There a number of devices for of exposing your muscles to the demanding work that stimulate the muscles to become stronger: heavy rocks, bar bells, a variety of brands of strength training machines, elastic bands, and there is MedX rehabilitative exercise equipment. Researchers at MedX spent 100 million dollars developing the first piece of MedX exercise equipment, the lumbar machine. Their exercise equipment has numerous patents that other exercise machine manufactures have tried to copy. The difference is MedX does not cut the corners that cheaper imitations often do. The result is equipment that is unmatched in it smoothness and safety. This allows us to eliminate jerking movements that cause injury, and smooth movement means minimal momentum. Minimizing momentum increases the intensity which produces the results you are looking for. This makes MedX uniquely suited for high intensity training (H.I.T.).

With most other equipment is it just not possible to move as smoothly because of all the friction. The result is a workout that is not as safe or as productive. The higher intensity allows us to get the job done more effectively and efficiently. There is no need to spend time dissipating energy on warm up sets. The equipment allows to safely and controlled momentum that increases intensity that produces the results.

For many the biggest benefit of strength training is to lessen the likelihood of injury and the pain that comes with it. The trouble is exercise for some can cause injury, or exacerbate an already aggravating condition. That can be caused by too much exercise, repetitive use injuries. These can take years to become evident. One of trainers, Kyle Kloor, has had two rotator cuff operations as a result of years of doing too many shoulder exercises. He cannot even do a conventional overhead press, but he is able to work out with over 300 pounds using the MedX overhead press because of its unique design. His shoulders are stronger than ever.

Injury can also be caused by doing the wrong type of exercises. Exercise done with great force, strain not only the muscles, but the joints and the connective tissue. In one single instant of great force one can sustain an injury that will heal. Those injuries often come back to haunt you. The injured joint is never quite the same as it was before the injury.

Because of the unique design of the MedX machines you are able to go through a much greater range of motion safely without the risk of injury. A muscle group can be worked effectively through a greater range of motion without resorting numerous less effective exercises for the same muscle group.
There are several routes to take to obtain a strong healthy body. It often comes down to personal preference or it comes down to what one can afford. The protocol and the equipment we use allows us to get it done in 30 minutes, without multiple sets, warm-ups sets or set of limited effectiveness.