Several months ago I read "Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move With Confidence." I read about this book in Bicycling magazine. I'm all for ending back pain, and I tried some of the exercises but did not do them regularly. The book claims that if you do the exercises regularly (three times a week) for two weeks your back pain will be gone. Although you do need to continue doing the exercises for the pain to stay away. (They do say MOST back pain. Nothing that requires surgery.) So I'd do it for a week, then not make time, then do it again, etc. I have degenerative disc disease, which for me means annoying pain in my lower right back. Sometimes it feels pretty good, sometimes I have to lean my forearms on the sink to spit after I brush my teeth or squat when I want to pick something up. No bending over!
So after several starts and stops I decided to DO IT beginning January. Last week I did it Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday. After Sunday I had some muscle pain (different than my "regular" pain) but it was gone by Monday night. Pain free through Wednesday. A little less muscle pain after Wednesday's session. The real test was Friday at my circuit class. My back does not appreciate it when I run, and we ran a lot in my class. We jumped rope for a minute and ran a lap around the gym track. We did this three times, then ran two laps where we sprinted the straights and jogged the curves. Then we did the entire running/jump rope/running thing one more time. The whole time I thought, "I am going to pay for this tomorrow!" However, Saturday morning came and...NO PAIN! So first thing that morning, I did my third exercise session of the week.
This week I made time last night to do it. The moderate exercises take about 30 minutes. I put on music and it goes by pretty fast. You do each string of exercises three times. They are mostly yoga moves and not hard at all. I do "feel the burn" so to speak while doing it, but it doesn't really hurt.
I am hooked. I feel so liberated to not have the pain any more! I can bend over at the gym's water fountain and not have to brace myself on my knees. I can bend over and pick up my weight workout sheet. It doesn't hurt when I go to sit on the mat to stretch after a workout.
I highly recommend this book to anyone with general back pain. There are three levels of exercises (beginner, moderate, advanced) and the book contains pictures of the proper form. The exercises are easy to do and they really don't take that much time. For me, the time it does take is SO worth it!