Disc mechanics are frequently discussed in rehab exercise particularly principles of loading or unloading the spine. Previous posts have discussed Professor Stuart McGill’s work and the advice that most people with back pain or at risk for back pain should likely avoid repeated, loaded end-range flexion, such as avoiding sit ups.
Recently posted on myrehabexercise.com is an interview with Mike Adams, PhD discussing his research on discs. I’ll let you read Dr. Phil Snell’s interpretation of his interview and listen to it for yourself. Adams Interview
The summary I will leave is simply this:
- Continued research and thoughtful challenge to current thinking is always necessary.
- We need to be careful in taking things that may be beneficial in late stages in appropriate cases and generalizing it to the public or average back pain patient.
- Joints have a neutral zone, not just a neutral position.
- Judicious assessment and monitoring is necessary before and while attempting higher load and higher risk positions and exercises. [Read: Individual assessment by a skilled rehab specialist]