Back Pain – Avada Gym

    80% of people will suffer from back pain at some point in their life

    That’s not some random stat, it was published as far back as 1985 in the Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine.

    But there’s an even scarier stat, especially if you currently suffer from back pain, which I’ll get to in a moment.

    JOC Back Pain PicBack pain is something of a speciality of mine. Simply because I’m susceptible to it.

    First time I got it was when I was warming up for a rugby match way back in 2001. I twisted wrongly and felt a twinge.

    Continued on with the warm up. I was sub for the day and didn’t get to play. Probably a good thing.

    Because then I went training during the week. Felt it go again. Tried to man up and get on with it.

    Got home and seized up.

    I literally couldn’t walk

    I remember having to crawl to go to the jacks.

    Back then I knew nothing about the body. Think I looked up the golden pages or something and got the name of a chiropractor. Yeah I know the golden pages, the actual book.

    So I went to this chiropractor. Got adjusted and he told me to come back in 2 days. Went to him 5 or 6 times over the course of 2 weeks. Talk about a money making scheme.

    But I kept asking him what exercises I should be doing. I knew I needed to strengthen up something. All he told me to do was go for a 10 min walk.

    That’s when I took it upon myself to find out more. A mate of mine had done a personal trainer course. Sounded like something I might be interested in.

    Little did I know it would turn into a full blown career, been named World Fitness Elite Trainer of the year 2013, co-authoring 2 international best selling books and opening up my own fitness centre.

    Turns out hurting my back was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

    But it was also debilitating. Not having that confidence in your back or body for that matter to be as active as you want.

    And look I’m not 100% now, I doubt I’ll ever be. But I can still lift weights, stay fit and play with my nephews.

    That’s all that really matters.

    I know how to keep it strong
    and what not to do

    But what you might find surprising is I don’t do any of the usual recommended exercises.

    In fact I’ve found most of the usual advice is utter horse shit.

    I’ve had many clients come to me with back pain. They’d been given exercises to do but they didn’t work.

    Some exercises made it worse.

    They’ve had to give up playing their sport.

    They struggled to play with their kids because of the pain.

    And things like sitting or driving was absolute murder for their back.

    I’ll give you some specific examples in a bit.

    But first

    What’s wrong with the current advice?

    To put it bluntly it doesn’t work.

    Many people who go under the knife still have back pain after the op. So I’m gonna do everything I can to make sure I stay well away from surgery.

    “…Although disc protrusions detected on X-ray are often blamed, they rarely are responsible for the pain, and surgery is seldom successful at alleviating it.”

    That quote comes straight from the World Health Organisation

    The problem with physiotherapy, and the core training they advise, is it doesn’t work either.

    The studies show back
    pain is not improved
    by core training 

    So all that Pilates and ab work is useless? To an extent yes. Most of the pain reduction would happen with just rest.

    The World Health Organiscation states…

    “Acute back pain is the most common presentation and is usually self-limiting, lasting less than three months regardless of treatment…No single treatment is superior to others; patients prefer manipulative therapy, but studies have not demonstrated that it has any superiority over others.”

    Interesting fact there is most acute back pain will resolve itself.

    But what if yours hasn’t?

    Or what if it leaves you feeling like you’ve a weak back?

    Like you have to be very careful of it. In fear of injuring it again?

    That’s no way to live your life.

    Plus Pilates and core training won’t get you strong for things that require actual strength.

    It’s all very well and good lying on the floor and feeling your core ‘working’ but what happens when you stand up, move, twist and turn, pick up heavy shit?

    What if you want to get fit?

    Or lose some weight?

    Pilates and core training simply won’t give you the necessary function to do any of that.

    All they do is make you good at Pilates and core training.

    And the reason why?

    Because core training is completely misunderstood.

    • It’s not about your abs.
    • It’s not about pulling your belly button in.
    • Or imagining you need a piss. 

    For the simple reason your back pain may not have anything to do with those muscles.

    Your back pain is unique to you

    It is primarily caused by muscle imbalances. Certain muscles are too tight, some are too weak others are over working to compensate.

    But to lump you in with everyone else and just say you need to strengthen your core is utter nonsense.

    You need to know

    • what to strengthen,
    • what to stretch,
    • and very importantly what NOT to stretch.

    Stretching the wrong muscles could make you much worse.

    Especially if those muscles are tightening up to compensate for a weakness elsewhere.

    Releasing those tight muscles, which is what stretching aims to do, can release any stability you might have. And that can make you feel much worse.

    Here are some examples…


    Cormac Moore, one of my members and also of Spin 103.8 fame, was training in a different place beforehand.

    One of those warehouse type gyms full of blokes doing hardcore training. Lifting heavy weights and pushing themselves till they puke.

    He hurt his back squatting or deadlifting. He can’t remember which one all he remembers was every session was a competition to try and lift the heaviest weight possible.

    So when he came in for an assessment he was nervous and sceptical.

    After his assessment I told him there was no way he should be squatting or deadlifting light weights let alone heavy weights.

    His body just wasn’t able for it. It didn’t move that way.

    But with the right programme he’s now squatting and deadlifting again.

    His back is feeling great

    One of the culprits was his hamstrings. They felt very tight. You would think I gave him lots of stretching right? Nope.

    Because the assessment also showed they were very weak. We actually had to get them stronger.

    And it was nothing to do with his core at all.

    OffalyAnother former client of mine, Niall Gaynor, came to me just before he was due to meet a surgeon to discuss going in for back surgery.

    He had been forced to stop playing GAA because of it. He was almost going to wait till he had the op before he came to me.

    But I persuaded him to come to me first.

    What harm could it do?

    He had been told he had one leg longer than the other. Which on first look it seemed so. But after doing a full assessment it was his pelvis that was out of alignment and his short leg was kinda jammed up into the hip.

    I reset it and then we worked on exercises to keep it stable again.

    Sure enough he was able to go back playing football and lift heavy weights again.

    He’s now working with the Offaly team as a strength and conditioning coach.

    I’ve numerous stories like this. And they’ve all required a slightly different approach. 

    Because just like you, they are different.

    And you will have different imbalances.

    I’d love to give you specific examples of what to do. But because I haven’t assessed you I simply can’t.

    I can’t promise you anything here. One man’s medicine can be another man’s poison. 

    So if you want to discover if you have certain imbalances that could be contributing to back pain. And what to do to feel and move better, you can book an assessment with me at my fitness centre in Rathfarnham.

    Even though this is easily worth €100. I’m offering this as a complimentary assessment for two reasons.

    1. You’ve probably spent a small fortune on treatment so you’d be excused for feeling a bit sceptical.

    2. One assessment cannot fix you. Only a programme designed to strengthen and balance your body can make you feel better.

    So to be 100% honest this assessment is complimentary because I want you to do a two week trial at my fitness centre. That way I can show you the difference the right exercises can make.

    The assessment is your chance to put me to the test. If you think I’m full of crap you can walk away, no harm done.

    If you’re impressed with what I discover then we can talk about the trial.

    Sounds fair right?

    Click here to find out more