Medical physicians commonly use Botox, a medication intended to treat wrinkles, on patients with headaches. They also give Singular, an adult asthma/allergy drug, to children with atopic dermatitis. This practice is called “off-label prescribing” and it’s so common that the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality estimated 20% of all prescriptions are written for off-label use. Since this now […]Continue reading
Tightness, stress, and pain at the base of the skull has long been an issue that required hands-on therapy from a chiropractor or massage therapist. The sub-occipital release maneuver performed by these professionals can open up the space between the skull and spine. Patients with this type of pain pattern would ask, “Is there anything […]Continue reading
If you’re experiencing intermittent pain on the bottoms of your feet, here’s a simple solution: Buy a lacrosse ball. While more expensive alternatives exist, a solid rubber ball is the most cost-effective home remedy that I can recommend. You can use it while standing, as shown in the video below, or seated. I prefer to use it while sitting at […]Continue reading
In the video below, observe this person doing sit-ups. See how her hands are clasped tightly behind her head? Never do this, under any circumstances. The amount of strain she’s applying to the muscles of her neck is terrifying, and it will absolutely wreck the joints of her cervical spine.
I’m not showing you this simply to pick on her. This is how a lot of other people do sit-ups as well. Monkey-see monkey-do is pervasive at the gym.
So What Does a “Proper” Sit-Up Look Like? (Not This!)
Search YouTube and you’ll find, “Learn to Do a Proper Sit-Up.” Sounds legit… It’s well made… plus it has over 15,000 views. But is it truly a proper sit-up? Not at all.
First, the black & white photo of the guy doing a sit-up isn’t even what they recommend in the video. People who skip the tutorial might think that clasping your fingers behind the head and wrenching it forward is “proper” form.
Watch and you’ll see that they recommend crossing the arms over your chest instead (like a dead guy in a casket). While this is a good way to prevent neck strain, curling all the way up in the suggested manner will stress the spinal discs in your low back, predisposing them to needless bulging or herniation.
I know the name “sit-up” implies sitting up, but if you want to avoid injury, don’t do sit-ups that way either…
Here’s a Safe Sit-Up; Do Them This Way.
This method is much smarter and safer for your low back and neck:
Spinal Movement Myths
Here’s an old interview with the godfather of spinal biomechanics, Dr. Stuart McGill. He discusses various spinal movement myths, and it’s well worth seeing.
The most important take away from this video is that muscles of the spine, core, and torso aren’t intended to create movement. Instead, they’re designed to stop movement.