The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Comments, A Medical Conference, New Findings on Discs

By the time this post comes out, we should be halfway out West to a medical conference. I'm presenting a study, which took years to do, and which found something unexpected.

I am a medical researcher. I find out the things that doctors (with any luck) then learn and put into practice. A research career has all (and more) of the medical schooling, but without the burden of the medical salary. In previous studies, I found that chronically overdoing the inward lower spine curve pinches the lower spine. It forces the spine joints, called facets, backward against each other, eventually wearing them out, and compresses surrounding soft tissue. After long periods of standing, exercise, and lifting with too much inward curve, lower back pain is not a big surprise or mysterious to fix. In the work I am presenting, I found that although it is known that the main factor to injure vertebral discs is too much bending forward, that overarching backward can hurt discs too. This is a new proposed mechanism of disc injury.

There is supposed to be a small inward curve to the lower spine. With the (very) small normal inward curve, spine bones line up on top of each other like stacks of cups so that there is equal pressure on discs from front to back. That is called normal lordosis (inward curve). Chronic bending forward manages to unequally load the discs so that they push out in back. Overarching also unequally loads the area. It seems to pinch already protruded discs, and may even factor in the herniation process. I will be presenting on years of my work that lead to this finding.

I made a diagram showing the disc injury coming from overarching/ hyperlordosis/ hyperextending the spine that is so common in pop fitness. The Healthline blog software is still not loading any new photos of my own. Stock photos or those from other people's sharing sites appear, but I the blogger is not letting us get my own diagrams and student photos to you, for now. I mailed the image to staffer Jerry, who said he could upload it for you. It should appear here, below this paragraph, so you can understand better why hyper-lordosis, although common, and often taught, it not neutral spine and can make unnecessary pain. The damage and pain can be quick to fix when you know how. Click the labels "facets" and "lordosis" for posts explaining this issue.

I have to pay the travel to get to the conference, pay the conference fee, essentially, pay to work. I have to bring a computer and projector to give my own presentation (or pay an AV fee to the conference) but won't have Internet access to see or answer questions. Leave fun comments but hold questions for the next two weeks.

Neutral Spine or Not?
What is Neutral Spine and Why Does Sticking Out In Back Harm?

Friday Fast Fitness - Neutral Spine in 5 Seconds
Aren't You Supposed To Stick Your Behind Out to Sit Down or Do Squats?
Using Abdominal Muscles is Not Tightening or Pressing Navel to Spine
Prevent Main Factor in Back Pain After Running and Walking
Back Pain From Running
Disc Pain - Not a Mystery, Easy to Fix

Our Travel to Another Conference Last Year:
The Coming Two Weeks

Story of Past Travel to Underwater Medicine Conference:
Hyperbaric and Aquatic Medicine On Travel

Photo is me, taken on the way on the way to a previous medical conference, out for some barefoot climbing.

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.