After several years of pain from sitting (too) many hours in front of a computer, I decided that this has to stop. I started actively searching for a solution that I could implement into my already busy week.
I’ve learned about and implemented tens of “hacks” that seemed to provide the exact result I wanted, which was to cure my symptoms. Now, I know that it was a mistake. Why? Because all the while I was trying to find a cure for the symptoms, rather than for the cause…
If you ever had or maybe still have chronic pain in either your lower back or your neck or basically anywhere else, you probably tried one or more methods to “fix” yourself. Though the fixes I personally found were not a valid option for the long term, looking back I understand that it was a good learning experience.
A few months ago, whilst going through the “Time of Your Life” program from Tony Robbins, I heard him talk about a 20 minute workout he does whenever he’s in a rush (which is almost all the time) to strengthen his entire body.
Hmmm, – I thought – I’d better look into this!
The Egoscue Method
Pete Egoscue relentlessly studied the functionality of human anatomy for several decades. He is the creator of “Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain” and I can tell you from personal experience, the method lives up to its title!
At the beginning though, because of the sheer simplicity of Pete’s advice and exercises, I failed to take him seriously, but after carefully reading his book, I finally understood how and why his method works. (and trust me, it works!)
In his book, he talks about many concepts that were new to me, one of which was the difference between DRM and IRM. I know, right? Never heard of it! Allow me to explain: DRM is short for Design Range of Motion and represents how our bodies *should* function, whilst IRM mean Individual Range of Motion and is how our bodies *do* function.
The lower the difference between the two, the less pain you’ll feel. The opposite is true also, the more you move in a way that is not aligned with how you should move, the more pain your body will generate.
Fix the cause, not the symptom!
Another thing the book opened my eyes to is the real meaning of physical pain. I don’t know about you, but before, I thought that pain is the body’s way of saying that something is already broken/bad and that it’s telling me to fix it.
I wasn’t even close! I learned that pain is nothing but a warning! It’s your body screaming “You’re not doing something right! Something bad *will* happen if you don’t adjust!”
For me it was crucial to fully understand the difference. Why? Because with the first mentality, I was constantly trying to fix the symptom. Now, whenever I feel pain I know that I need to figure out what am I doing wrong that makes my body send warning signals.
For the most part, the cause of almost all chronic pain is disengaged or weak posture muscles. Yes, even if your wrists hurt, there is a high probability that it’s because of a misaligned posture.
The Solution is Motion
Yet another eye opener for me was how I (and almost everyone I know) mistakenly thought that a valid solution to stop my lower back from hurting was to lay down in bed or somewhere else.
You cannot believe how far off I was with this one also! Within the first chapters of his book, Pete explains how we humans are made to MOVE! The hundreds of muscles and bones in each one of our bodies are designed to aid us, not hurt us!
We unintentionally produce chronic pain in one or more parts of the body because we deprive ourselves from motion, so trying to heal ourselves by depriving ourselves of even more motion is like trying to heal someone who suffers from diabetes by giving them more sugar!
It’s crazy! I’ve been working from a desk for over a decade now! Just imagine for how many thousands of hours I deprived my body from the motion is was meant to sustain! Especially considering that I work about 200 hours per month!
And I’m 100% sure that I’m not the only one in this situation. This article goes out to all of my friends, and to everyone that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, but that is also going through useless amounts of pain, when we could all enjoy the pleasures of a pain free life.
Ok, so what now?
Now that we’re on the same line and you know most of what you need to know, it’s time to see exactly what we can do to either completely eliminate or effectively prevent any and all chronic pain.
If you read the book, Pete tells you about different routines for different people. For example, if you use the computer just an hour a day, then he recommends a specific set of exercises, but if you’re like me and spend half (or more) of your day at the desk, then he recommends a very different set.
I personally follow the “Pain Free Workout Series.” Every week I do both the Beginner and the Advanced workout at least once and on the other days I do the 20 minute set that Pete describes in his book.
Though I highly suggest you invest at least in the book, there are many videos on YouTube that show you the exercises. I don’t know if all of them are there, but there are quite a few.
If you’re an office worker like myself, I cannot recommend this method enough. It has seriously eliminated the lower back and neck pain that have been bothering me for years now! I’m really grateful for Mr. Egoscue’s work and this is my way of giving back by spreading the word!
As always, thank you very much for reading and if you have any questions, I’m here to help! Also, we’ve recently launched a 7-day health course entitled “The Path to a Truly Healthy Body.” Be sure to check it out and tell us what you think!
Creating a better tomorrow,