My name is Russell Lang and I am 64 years old. I have had back problems since I was 16 years old. I tore my lumbar muscles in gym class when I was16, I wore a corset-type back brace to stabilize my back for a month before I could resume normal activities. I had been involved in weight training since I was 15 years old, and like all young body builders I believed I could lift anything. At the age of 20 I helped a friend move a very large freezer out of his basement. I tore the connective tissue in the thoracic area of my back and was numb from the neck down for over a month. I couldn’t even write my name since I had no feeling in my fingers.
I never really recovered and made frequent visits to the chiropractor until I found an osteopathic doctor who taught me how to self-adjust my back. He told me that I would probably need adjustments to my back for the rest of my life. He did this to save me the cost and inconvenience of weekly appointments. God bless him because to this day I adjust my back everyday.
Moving forward to the present; I continued weight training. While attending the University of Pittsburgh, I worked in the Adaptive Weight Training Facility. This came about through my interest in physical education and body building. At the time I was considering a career in medical illustration. So I took courses in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and personal conditioning. My instructors also encouraged me to start running to improve my cardiovascular efficiency. I love running, but as I aged my spine hated it. I stopped running in 2004.
While working in the Adaptive Weight Training Department as a work study student, I was constantly confronted with students who had various injuries, and physical handicaps. I started to see how certain exercises could improve injured knees, shoulders, necks, elbows and backs. Anatomical dissection ended my pursuit of a degree in medical illustration and I settled for a degree in Art and English Literature. For years following my graduation from the University of Pittsburgh I pursued my interest in physical conditioning and nutrition.
Friends and coworkers frequently would ask me for advice concerning fitness and nutrition because they knew of my deep involvement in both. Willingly, I would answer their questions and help them by demonstrating an exercise or giving nutritional advice.
While at work I injured my lower back resulting in two herniated discs at L4 and L5. The pain kept me from working. I got on the computer and started to research the best course of action. In 2004, I settled on a Nucleoplasty operation. This was considered to be less invasive than open-back surgery. Back surgery comes with its own set of problems and with this surgery, they try to reduce the size of the disc by tunneling through the center nucleous to shrink it. The operation was not successful. Because of my back condition, I could no longer do my job. This led me to apply for disability which I fortunately received. Being physically active all of my life I refused to be crippled by back pain. So I began my search to improve my back condition without further back surgery. Naturally, I went for physical therapy, but I was unhappy with the results. Chiropractors and spinal decompression centers were also not the answer. I decided to take the health of my back into my own hands and with my knowledge and experience I formulated my own plan.
The exercise routine which I designed for my back has been successful, and I began sharing this information with other back pain sufferers, and now with you. These exercises, along with good posture, can be very helpful in obtaining relief from pain and getting back to a normal life. When combined with decompressing the spine by using a roman chair or now popular gravity inversion table, anyone with back problems can gain some degree of relief.
In my quest to get my life back I have gone beyond these back maintenance exercises and began a full body workout three days a week and cardio program three days a week. None of the exercises which I do with cables puts undue stress on the spine. I will be offering my full body workout routine in the near future for those of you who want to take their physical conditioning a step further. If any of these exercises cause pain, skip that exercise and use the ones that you are comfortable with. Every back problem or injury is slightly different and what works for one individual may not work for another.
One last note about back care: Sleep on a firm mattress and please use a curved lumbar cushion when sitting for long periods. When sleeping, use a pillow or cushion under your knees or under the small of your back. One may be more comfortable than the other depending on your back condition.
I hope my back repair program helps you as much as it has helped me, but please remember being consistent is the most important part of any exercise program. Exercise #15 is the back adjustment movement that I use everyday. This movement was given to me by my Osteopath prior to his retirement from practice.
You must stay with this program and try not to skip a day through the first month. Now it is all up to you to get your life back. If anyone has questions about this program, or other related questions feel free to email me with the Contact Page and I will reply as soon as I can.
God bless and take care of your back.
Russell Lang

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