Learn more about achieving back pain emancipation with news and discussion updated here.

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Dr Sean Wheeler UPRISE Achieve Back Pain Liberation By Tuning Your Body GuitarUPRISE, the new book of chronic back pain expert [and back pain liberation expert] Dr. Sean Wheeler, was the topic of a recent media interview conducted by Christopher Brochon of WFLO-FM in the Richmond, Virginia market.  liberatio

During an in-depth and revealing conversation with his host, and as revealed in his book, Dr. Wheeler discussed his breakthrough findings about the source of chronic low back pain, and how most anyone can achieve liberation from the condition through a new understanding of the cause of the disease.

As Dr. Wheeler described post-interview:

"The interview dug deeply into the new medical thinking discussed in UPRISE.

For example, new concepts such as Bracing Muscles and how these muscles must perform all day, compared to Action Muscles which perform only when needed to move, and why this is so very important to understanding the disease.

In addition, the simple idea of how the human body, and particularly the back, resembles a guitar, and how the notion of tuning your Body Guitar can help many make sense of what causes and how to escape the limitations of chronic low back pain."     

Listen to the interview in its entirety during the first 17 minutes of this link.

Dr. Sean Wheeler back pain expertBack Pain Expert Dr. Sean WheelerOliver Finlay is an accomplished sports performance professional, a highly educated and chartered physiotherapist with over 16 years in top-tier national and international sport, supporting elite players and coaches in achieving the highest levels of athletic success.

Based in Edinburgh, Finlay has worked with Olympic Medal winners and world champions, in addition to championship and cup winning teams, with a client roster including Team Great Britain, including during the 2012 Olympic Games, Scottish Rugby UnionPittsburgh SteelersNew York Giants, and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Given their mutual interest in sports medicine and human performance, Finlay recently reached out to sports medicine and back pain expert Dr. Sean Wheeler, to discuss Dr. Wheeler's new book UPRISE, soon to be published in the United States.

"We struck up a conversation regarding a book [Dr. Wheeler] has been writing over the last seven years.

Dr. Sean Wheeler is one of those guys you wished you had known for years, had the chance to collaborate with, bounce ideas around with & learn from during subsequent conversations.  

Even in his emails, a passion for the work he has immersed himself in resonates loudly & his vocabulary is a refreshing music to the ears of those that work in the rehabilitation battlefield.

I can’t wait to read his book UPRISE, once you read the interview Sean kindly agreed to do with me, I think you might understand why."

During an exclusive interview in which Dr. Wheeler describes why he wants to change the way the world treats back pain, he shares the thinking behind UPRISE and what he hopes to achieve:

OLIVER FINLAY: How do you hope that the approach to treatment in the [low back pain] field could develop over the next ten years in light of the work you are doing?

DR. SEAN WHEELER: I hope to reframe everything that is being done in spinal research. The entire field has been built upon the flawed idea that discs just break down. We have to change that fundamental belief.

I hope to change musculoskeletal medicine with the idea that, in addition to the back, there are five other areas in your body that have to be stable and weaken quickly: the neck, shoulders, hips, ankles and feet. Subsequently, when you get an injury that lasts for more than five days, you must not only address the injury, but also address the muscles that stabilize that area.

For example, I hope to change the way we view the chairs our kids sit in. The posture we accept in our children. The fundamental strengthening of our children as they grow to prevent future back pain, neck pain, knee and hip arthritis, among other things.

Read the full interview for more insights behind the coming revolution—the revolution in medical care for low back pain.

Tiger Woods getty imagesTiger Woods For the third time in his past nine tournaments, Tiger Woods withdrew from further play due to back pain.

Woods made it to the green on his 12th hole of the first round at Torrey Pines North Course before withdrawing from the 2015 Farmers Insurance Open.

As reported by CBS Sports, Woods described his difficulty:

"It's just my glutes are shutting off. Then they don't activate and then ... it goes into my lower back. So, I tried to activate my glutes as best I could, in between, but they just never stayed activated." [emphasis ours]

Woods also says about the Masters in April:

"The whole idea is to make sure that I'm ready for Augusta, so I got a lot of rounds to play between now and then. That's what we're building for..."

Based on how Woods publicly describes his physical condition, ready to compete for The Masters championship he will not be.

Here's why.

Glutes are your butt muscles. They are a key component of your body's power center, as they unleash the strength of surrounding muscle. They're especially important for athletes, because hip extension is a primary source of explosion in many sports, including golf.

To fully understand what Woods is today experiencing, 10 months ago at age 38 Woods had a lumbar microdiscectomy, a surgical procedure of the low back to address a pinched nerve, a source of pain for several months.   

With this context, Woods' explanation of why his glutes would "shut off" and not "activate", telegraphs that Woods misunderstands the orchestration of his body, according to sports medicine and back pain expert Dr. Sean Wheeler.

Dr. Wheeler, who knows the stresses the sport can place on the body, counts among his former patients Byron Nelson, for whom he served as physician for a brief time during 2005-06.

Dr. Wheeler offers this perspective on Woods' pain difficulties:

"With Woods, if his gluteus muscles will not fire and contract, there is an unexpected reason for his pain rather than "my glutes won't activate."

The likely answer is that his glutes are fatigued, in other words, they are incapable of contracting properly."

For an iconic athlete as vibrant and physically strong in so many ways as Tiger Woods, how is this possible? After all, Woods hits the gym often for strength training, with an obsession for weightlifting.

Dr. Wheeler explains:

"For Tiger Woods, as with most everyone athlete or no, the answer to solving his pain woe is counterintuitive

Strength training will NOT improve his recurring low back pain problem.

Instead, based on the pain he describes, Woods should redirect his efforts to circulation training®.

Circulation training, rather than strength training, is needed to improve the endurance of his gluteus muscles, which we label bracing muscles®."

Why is circulation training necessary, and what is it?

The answer should prompt us all to unlearn what we know—and what we believe—about our bodies and back pain, letting go of our assumptions to learn a new way of thinking about pain, in particular low back pain. 

Dr. Wheeler offers a primer revealing the answer:

"Bracing muscles, compared to what we label action muscles®, each perform as their name implies.

Action muscles move—they prompt action—wherever located within your body.

Bracing muscles stabilize—they brace—without moving the body structure they are intended to support whether, for example, your spine, neck, or feet continually throughout the day

Each of these two types of human muscle offer different performance characteristics requiring different care throughout one's lifetime.  

Action muscles are maintained and, if desired, made even stronger through strength training, by use of movement and resistance.

In contrast, as bracing muscles provide all-day stabilization, they require the constant flow of energy achieved through blood flow. Maintaining this blood flow to the low back and gluteus bracing muscles, through circulation training, becomes ever more important as these muscles must maintain their endurance—and bracing capability—as blood flow naturally begins to decrease to our spinal discs as we age, typically in our mid-30s. 

The differences come into sharp relief: 

"Strength training is about pumping iron and building muscle mass for action muscle power. 

Circulation training is about pumping blood for bracing muscle endurance."

Every human being needs both strength training and circulation training for a healthy, sustained life.

Yet, in today's medicine, too often circulation training is overlooked and the obvious benefits not embraced—by physicians, health insurance carriers, and patients. 

Bracing muscle endurance is the single most important key to achieving freedom from back pain, pointing to the counterintuitive answer of how Tiger Woods can be liberated from his chronic low back pain:

Rather than strength, Woods must build endurance in his bracing muscles—those of his low back and his glutes.

For the lumbar spine and gluteus bracing muscles to contract—and brace—they must possess ample endurance.

The importance of the gluteus bracing muscles is that they stabilize the hip. If these muscles fatigue, the hip is unstable. 

psoas-musclePsoas MuscleIF these bracing muscles lack endurance, action muscles spring into—what else?—action, to compensate for non-performing gluteus and low back bracing muscles. As Woods' nearby action muscles—in this instance psoas [soh-uh s] muscles—are likely very strong given his strength training habits, these psoas action muscles attempt to compensate for his lethargic bracing muscles.

Psoas action muscles cross the hip joint, on both sides left and right, and attach to the lumbar/low back region of the spine. Because of where the psoas attach to the low back, when forced to compensate for weakened bracing muscles, psoas action muscles can go into spasm and cause back pain.

Says Dr. Wheeler:

"If the psoas action muscle spasm, the bracing gluteus is unable to contract, as the two muscles compete. The result creates an inescapable, repeating cycle similar to traversing the impossible Penrose stairway; one may ascend or descend the stairs forever yet end up back at the same spot every time.

Fatigued gluteus bracing muscles cause psoas action muscles to spasm which cause the gluteus not to contract, leading to less endurance of the gluteus bracing muscles, repeating the cycle.

Without breaking the cycle, the consequence is sustained low back pain."

But again we are talking Tiger Woods, he with access to the world's best strength training equipment and trainers. Why would his psoas action muscles be forced to compensate for his low back and gluteus bracing muscles?

There could be many reasons, but the most likely is Woods' back surgery of 10 months ago at age 38. 

Woods seeming propensity to focus on strength training benefits his action muscles, yet without sufficient post-operative, restorative circulation training as he ages, Woods' bracing muscles are likely unable to properly perform.

Once one loses endurance in the bracing muscles of the low back, a 180 in 180® is required—a 180 degree refocus in how to care for your back—requiring 180 days to unlearn what you think you know about your body and low back pain, and to develop the good habits needed to restore bracing muscle endurance.

Woods must give himself adequate time which, depending upon his schedule and focus, could be as much as 180 days to restore his low back and gluteus bracing muscle endurance.

Knowing what he means to the world of golf, we trust Woods returns to form soon, after his low back and gluteus bracing muscle endurance is restored.

[Tiger Woods image credit: Getty Images, Source: CBS Sports]

Watch as sports medicine and back pain expert Dr. Sean Wheeler introduces a new medical termBracing Muscles — and why understanding the function and care of your Bracing Muscles is so important in the treatment of chronic back pain, and how caring for them properly achieves back pain emancipation.

Based on an examination and critique of established medical practice, Dr. Sean Wheeler's new bookUPRISE, offers a new understanding of the body as the finely tuned instrument it is – as not only your body, but as your Body Guitar, and a medical innovation to achieve back pain emancipation.

Bracing muscles located in your low back play a crucial role in this emancipation, to assist you in reaching pain freedom.

Dr. Wheeler's new understanding of treating chronic low back pain required the creation of new labels in aid of understanding. A glossary of this new terminology appears here.

Dr. Sean Wheeler back pain expertDr. Sean WheelerSports medicine and back pain expert Dr. Sean Wheeler has long been obsessed with pain. How pain, and its absence, affects behavior, competitiveness, and quality of life.

Drawing upon more than a decade of specialized training, patient treatment and medical experience, Dr. Wheeler came to a breakthrough realization of how to effectively treat patients with chronic low back pain.

This realization is the topic of his soon-to-be published book UPRISE.

In his own words from UPRISE, Dr. Wheeler describes his moment of realization:  

A year or two after finishing my pain management fellowship and while practicing sports medicine, I was slated to give a lecture to a large group of physical therapists one weekend.

In preparation for this lecture, I was poring over research papers when I came across an article that caught my eye. It wasn’t the main point of the article that caught my attention; it was an aside that piqued my interest—how most people develop a lack of blood flow to the lumbar spinal discs in the vertebrae by age 35.

This fact gave me pause. It stuck with me, and for the rest of the week I found myself returning to that article. I couldn’t get it out of my head. It kept me up at night. One thing in particular was bothering me: why was there no blood flow to the discs? There had to be a reason the disc was set up this way. After all, there’s no part of the human body that is supposed to move that doesn’t get great blood flow.

I was mulling this over in the car on my way home from the office one night. It was maybe nine o’clock in the evening, and after a long day at work I was fatigued. Maybe it was something about being fatigued and having trouble seeing the road—the contrast between the headlights and the darkness was hard on my eyes—that put me in a trance and allowed me to think more clearly, but something clicked. 

It was suddenly so clear. The discs. The reason discs don’t get ample blood flow is because they aren’t supposed to move.

The problem isn’t that they move too much in some people—it is that they move at all. The lack of blood flow to the discs indicates they are supposed to remain stable. That is what separates those with discs that break down and those with discs that don’t—the former are unstable because the discs are moving.

Moving discs also mean that the discs are heating up. Anything that moves heats up. The parts of your body that move also have blood flow to take that heat away. If there is no blood flow, you can’t take the heat away, and the disc breaks down.

This was my Aha! moment—almost a spiritual realization—that forever changed my thinking about back pain.

And how to effectively treat it. 

Read more soon in Dr. Wheeler's new book UPRISE, or reserve your advance copy at the link.

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