How can one program work for everyone? My back is unique — isn’t this just a cookie cutter program?
BackForever is able to work for over 80% of back and neck pain sufferers because most back and neck pain is the result of two causes: our behaviors — the way we sit, stand, move, and live; and the resulting breakdown in the body’s natural support system for the spine-the core. These behaviors are very similar across all Americans: those with back pain tend to bend, twist, lift, sit, stand, work, and play in the same patterns which degrade and damage their backs over time. BackForever teaches new ways to move and live based on what members tell us they do every day. Members begin the exercise portion of the program from a starting point unique to them, based on their own comfort level and our recommendations derived from the information in their self- assessments.
Once BackForever teaches you to give yourself instant, short-term relief, the real work begins: teaching you how to change those behaviors to make that relief permanent. We teach you to:
- Stop doing behaviors that prolong and aggravate back pain.
- Find the position for your back and neck in which the least amount of damage and pain occurs (your “neutral spine”). Almost everyone (over 80% of members) can find a neutral spine that works for them. This is true no matter what your underlying condition, whether a disc issue, stenosis, spondylolisthesis, arthritis, or any of the other common spinal conditions.
- Build endurance and strength in the muscles that support the spine — the core — so you can protect and support the neutral spine all the time.
- Move, sit, and stand in neutral spine.
- Reintroduce all of your activities with this new pattern of spine-healthy movement, so you can do everything you want to do without damaging your back or neck and without fear and pain.
How can this possibly work without doing it in person with a healthcare provider or personal trainers?
The path to a healthy back and neck starts and ends with you. You have to do the hard work. This is the reason that back pain is such an epidemic in this and other countries, and why it is so poorly treated: we are used to modern, Western medicine fixing things for us. Make no mistake, modern medicine is remarkable at fixing many things. But for some conditions, a simple fix doesn’t work. Heart disease is one of those — you have to change your lifestyle and behavior to prevent or reverse heart disease. Back pain is similar.
Most of you have probably experienced blessed short-term relief from a shot, pill, chiropractic adjustment, or stretch given to you by a health care provider. But what happened after? For many of you, the pain came back. Those providers cannot change your behavior and habits for you. YOU are in charge of your recovery.
Through my years of experience and study of the latest research, I have developed the best system of teaching people to learn these concepts in the fastest, most efficient manner through videos and written instruction. The videos and instruction are here for you whenever you need them. Come back whenever you need to. Go at your own pace until you master it all, changing your behaviors and rebuilding your back and body for lifelong back pain relief. We strongly recommend you consult with a physician before beginning this program.
How long does it take to see results?
Most members who follow the program will see noticeable changes in their symptoms in two to four weeks. True behavioral change occurs in about six months, at which time most members will have learned and implemented all the changes in their daily lives to permanently adopt a spine-healthy life. At this point, should you choose to continue, BackForever will guide you on the path to reintroduce your favorite activities such as golf, tennis, skiing in ways that spare your spine of the damaging forces that these activities can involve. You will also be guided on a path to full back, body, and cardiovascular fitness through safe, challenging, and effective workout routines and nutrition plans updated specifically for you weekly.
Do I do this every day? How much time do I have to spend daily? Weekly?
Yes, like brushing your teeth or eating well and exercising for cardiovascular health, healthy back exercises and movements have to be done daily and the behaviors need to become a way of life. You will be given a combination of exercises (which can be done in the home), tutorials about movement, posture, and work and life-specific activities, and written instruction every day which will take about half an hour a day in the beginning for most members.
What if I do this for the suggested six months and don’t get better?
For our members who complete the six months program without improvement, we provide a liaison who will help you determine your next steps.
Do I need to buy equipment for this program?
No. The initial program requires you to buy no equipment other than a tennis ball, medicine ball, or something similar. Once your back pain is significantly improved and you decide to strengthen your back to be able to lift heavy things, return to sports and demanding activities, or “bullet proof” your back, you will have to either join a gym or buy some basic home exercise equipment such as exercise bands, basic dumbbells, and ankle weights. These items are available from online retailers and local stores and usually cost around $100. Gym memberships now offer very competitive prices as well.
Why can’t I just buy the book?
Chris Crowley and Jeremy James wrote the “Younger Next Year Back Book” to be a standalone product. In the tradition of the YNY series, it is a highly conceptual, thoughtful, and humorous book that explains in great detail how you got into this mess and how you can get out. Because of the limitations of books in both size and scope, it was impossible to cover every movement and exercise needed to address such a complex subject as back pain. We hope that for many people who are already very body aware and have a decent level of core fitness, the book will significantly reduce or completely relieve their pain. For those don’t fit this category or for those who do but want to take their back and overall health to the next level (return to sports or other strenuous activities), BackForever is an excellent accompaniment or standalone product.
What happens after six months?
Six months is the average time for true behavioral change to set in. Most of our members will experience significant or complete relief by then and have enough knowledge and strength to avoid future flare-ups. Now it’s time to take your back health to the next level. BackForever members can shift their programs to focus on how to incorporate spine-healthy movements and habits into specific activities or sports of their choice such as golf, tennis, skiing, cycling, Pilates, yoga, weightlifting, or CrossFit. Hours of video and written instructions are provided to members in all these subjects and more, depending on their choice. In addition, members are given weekly customized fitness workouts that cover all aspects of physical health: joint health, strength, mobility, and cardiovascular fitness. These are delivered by videos you can watch at home or on your smart device, and printable PDFs that you can take with you to the gym.
THE PERFECT MONTH
Take Self-Assessment Quiz
Practice Relief Techniques
Total Time: 1 hour
Review Spine Encyclopedia
Watch videos and read articles
Practice Relief Techniques
Begin exercise work
Total time: 45 minutes a day
Start exercises specific to your lifestyle
Watch new videos
Practice Relief Techniques
Read new exercise sheets
Continue diagnosis-specific exercises
Total time: 30 - 45 minutes a day
Take a progress quiz
Start new exercises daily
Use Relief Techniques if needed
Continue lifestyle-specific exercises
Total time: 30 minutes a day
Retake progress quiz
Move to next level
Use Relief Techniques if needed
Begin strength exercises
Start complex movement training
Routinize program, do every day
Total time: 30 minutes a day
THE PERFECT MONTH IN DETAIL
- Perform your self-assessment at home and immediately get started on the path to a pain-free back in under two hours.
- Watch new member video and read written instruction to learn about the behaviors (posture, movements, work habits, sports) that cause, prolong, and/or exacerbate back and neck pain. Watch videos that show you the detailed movements related to the specific activities that are prolonging your back pain.
- Learn pressure point techniques and stretches from detailed videos and illustrations to immediately relieve or lessen your back pain.
- Learn the concept of neutral spine, how to find it, and how to use the core to support it while moving. Work along with the video tutorial at your own pace, in your own home.
- Take a written and activity-based self-assessment to determine your appropriate starting point in the program, unique to your base level of strength and mobility.
- Learn about your specific spine condition.
- Learn what movements and habits are unique to your lifestyle and condition and should be avoided.. Combination of video and reading.
- Begin basic exercises at your own unique starting point and perform them every day from now on. (These exercises take about 15 minutes a day and eventually become a daily routine that can be done anywhere, without equipment. These exercises have been clinically shown to maintain enough tone and endurance in the core muscles to support the spine in everyday life. Studies also show they must be done daily, or nearly daily, to maintain this base level of tone and endurance. Why? Because of most of our relatively sedentary Western lives.)
- Watch videos and read articles about changing daily behaviors to avoid pain triggers: sitting, squatting, lifting, sleeping, sex.
- Continue daily basic exercises for 15 minutes a day.
- Continue trigger point work and stretching for 5 min.
- Learn squat and split squat pattern to begin correctly getting up from a seated position and begin to lift correctly. Videos and written text/illustrations. Length of time spent depends on how quickly you decide you can go.
- Start gluteal muscle track to build strength in the buttocks to help with lifting by watching videos and reading text. About 3 min each.
- Continue any relevant condition-specific exercises.
- Depending on how quickly you want to go, expect all tasks to take 30 minutes to one hour per day.
- Most will begin to experience a noticeable improvement in pain level and function.
- If ready, take a progress quiz to determine whether to move to next level.
- Start next level of daily exercises if ready.
- If not, continue at current level.
- Practice/master squat and split squat. About 10 minutes a day.
- Length of time spent depends on how quickly you decide you can go.
- Learn rotation movements and exercises through video and text. About 10 minutes a day.
- Continue gluteal track, about 5-10 minutes per day.
- Depending on how quickly you want to go, expect all tasks to take 15 minutes to 45 minutes per day.
- Retake progress quiz if applicable.
- Most will move on to next level of basic exercises by week four.
- Begin basic strength training exercises if ready. (These allow you to return to move dynamic, vigorous activities like working out, outdoor sports, lifting heavier things, etc.)
- Start squats and split squats with resistance.
- Start complex movement training like rotation with flexion and extension (bending and rotating while lifting objects — think unloading the dishwasher and putting dishes on the shelf).
- Depending on how quickly you want to go, expect all tasks to take 15 to 30 minutes per day with an additional 30 minutes of strength training twice per week.
I have had neck and back issues for years that have prevented me from doing simple movements such as lifting anything overhead. Certain movements would cause excruciating neck pain that would last for days. I dreaded these episodes so much I avoided these movements at all costs. Chiropractors and physical therapists would always provide me with short-term relief once I was in pain, but they never showed me how to stop these things on my own. Within days on Dr. James’s BackForever program, it helped me regain enough strength in my back and upper body to allow me to lift overhead without these episodes. In addition, my low back feels better than it has in many years. If I follow the program, I feel great.
I was very limited in the exercises and activities I could do. Jeremy took the time to explain the anatomy and mechanisms causing my back pain. He showed me how to control muscles that support the back that I did not even know existed! In only four days I was free of lower back pain and able to do exercises and movements that I had not been able to do in 10 years.
Most of my friends close to my age have problems with their backs. Jeremy was one of the few chiropractors, trainers, or physical therapists who first analyzed the source of my problem and prescribed exercises that focused on minimizing the pain I was dealing with daily. I have always felt and believed that Jeremy’s attention to my issues were personal to me, and effective in order to help me live my life normally.