New York Post
The surprising secret to beating back pain
A strong butt is one of your best defenses against back pain, which affects 80 percent of the population, according to Chris Crowley and Jeremy James, authors of the new book “The Younger Next Year Back Book” (Workman).
Your behind “is the most overlooked aspect of back treatment,” James, a chiropractor in Aspen, Colo., tells The Post. “The big, powerful muscles in your buttocks were designed to help you do really important things, like pick things up or keep you erect while you’re walking. They were not meant to be cushions.”
When we make a habit of lazing about on our derrières, it leads to a phenomenon that Crowley, who co-writes the best-selling “Younger Next Year” book series, calls “gluteal amnesia.” “Your glutes are the big muscle, the biggest support to your back,” he tells The Post. But when they’re routinely under-exercised — or over-sat-on — “your butt goes to sleep. Your glutes turn into drapery.”
Besides ruining your shot at a decent belfie, weak glutes have a scary domino effect on the rest of your muscles in that region. When those big gluteal muscles aren’t fulfilling their destiny, smaller muscles in your backside try to make up the difference, Crowley explains. It’s a noble effort, but “those little guys aren’t up to the job,” resulting in strain, pain and a dangerous game of Jenga for your spine.
But the duo has some good news: It’s likely that you can build your butt back up to heal your back pain without serious medical intervention. “The problem here is that your brain has lost connectivity to those muscles and nerves,” James says. “So the fix is reminding your brain how to use them.” To that end, he’s devised a series of exercises (below) to help perk up your posterior. If you do them correctly, he says — “and we’ve gone into painstaking detail here to make sure you do” — odds are good that you’ll start to feel better.
That’s the thing about back pain: “It isn’t a disease or an affliction that happens to you. It’s not arbitrary. It’s a result of the way you live your life,” James says. “That means you have control over it. In most cases, getting better is really up to you.”
Three exercises to wake up your glutes
For all of these, make sure your spine is in a neutral position (not hunched or arched). Brace your abs before any movement.
Lie on your side with your hips and knees bent. Place your top hand on top of your hip. Dig your thumb inside your hip bone and prod your gluteal muscles with your other fingers. (That helps your brain identify them.) Slowly and carefully raise the knee, with your leg moving slightly away from your body, and then lower it. Repeat 10-to-12 times on each side.
Quadruped hip extension
Get on your hands and knees and find a neutral spine. Keeping your knee bent, push your heel up to the ceiling without arching your back. You should feel the squeeze in your seat crease, not in your leg or back. Repeat 10-to-12 times on each side.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step one foot about 2 feet in front of the other — a little bit wider than you want to. Slowly and carefully bend your knees, until your thigh is parallel with the floor. Your back knee should point straight toward the floor, and your back should remain straight like you’re sliding down a wall. To rise, begin squeezing from the seat crease of your back leg — not from your quads. Repeat 10-to-12 times on each side.
Excerpted from The Younger Next Year Back Book. Illustrations © 2018 by Andrea Charest and Karina Metcalf.
How to Fight Sitting Disease
Stuck sitting all day? In this exclusive excerpt from The Younger Next Year Back Book, authors Chris Crowley and Jeremy James explain how to improve your posture at work and the safest way to get up from your chair to beat back and neck pain.
How to Sit At the Office
For those of you who work at a desk with a computer, the posture on the right is the ideal posture, for short bouts of time.
You want your elbows to be close to a 90-degree angle and the screen positioned so that your head looks naturally forward while sitting squarely on your shoulders. If you work on a laptop or tablet, I strongly suggest you use it on a desk instead of your lap. If you work exclusively on a tablet, get a keyboard for it and put the tablet on a stand when you plan to work on it for a while. (Though if you have neck or back issues, a desktop computer is a better choice than a tablet or laptop.)
Another strong recommendation is to alternate between sitting and standing, with an adjustable standing desk if possible. This position shifts
the potentially harmful loads that can accumulate throughout the day to different parts of your body, and prevents overload in one particular area. I don’t recommend going from eight hours per day of sitting to eight hours per day of standing, because this can cause a host of other problems that are not just related to your back. Go back and forth throughout the day.
Getting Out of a Chair
Getting out of a chair is just doing the second part of a squat—the rising part. This also applies to getting off the toilet and any other related movements. Have a seat in a chair in which your feet are near the ground or on the ground when you are seated. Follow these steps to perform a squat out of the chair. Make this a habit and do it every time you get up.
Step 1: Slide forward so that your sits bones (the bones you can feel in your buttocks when you sit) are at the edge of the chair.
Step 2: Find neutral spine and brace your core to lock it in place.
Step 3: Hinge forward at the hips so that your low back doesn’t move, and put your feet on the floor. As you start to shift your weight from the chair onto your feet, push outward on the knees/heels while you bring the hips forward as if you were trying to “spread the floor” apart. Another good cue is this: Picture a piece of paper on the floor on which each of your feet are on the outside edge. As you rise up and bring your hips forward, you want to rip the paper apart with your feet. (Your feet don’t actually move; you are just pushing outward on them into the floor.) This will engage the glutes as you rise.
Excerpted from The Younger Next Year Back Book: The Whole-Body Plan to Conquer Back Pain Forever by Chris Crowley and Jeremy James. Copyright © 2018. Illustrations © 2018 by Andrea Charest and Karina Metcalf.
Dr. Jeremy James teams up with Chris Howley with ways to reduce back pain without visiting the doctor! The new book “The Younger Next Year Back Book: A Whole-Body Plan For Conquering Back Pain Forever” has seven cardinal rules from Dr. James that will help you fight the pain!
The Mountain Life – Chris Crowley – Younger Next Year Back Book
Chris Crowley has experience in aging gracefully. In fact, he’s effectively written the book(s) on it. He started the Younger Next Year book series and for each of these books he partners with another expert. This time, Chris is back with Dr. Jeremy James of the Aspen Club Back Institute and backforever.com and they’ve co-authored The Younger Next Year Back Book: The Whole-Body Plan to Conquer Back Pain Forever.
Fox News and WRSP, by Good Day Marketplace
Reduce back pain without visiting the doctor
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) — At some point in their lives 80% of Americans will seek expert help for back pain.
It’s an epidemic, with a cost to society in medical expenses and lost productivity.
But there’s a cure of an exact rate of 80%!
To explain it all is Dr. Jeremy James, a Doctor of Chiropractic who got on this path because of his own severe injury-induced back pain.
Local Memphis Live
A Whole Body Plan for Conquering Back Pain Forever
News 3 WTKR, by Coast Live
A whole-body plan for conquering back pain on Coast Live
HAMPTON ROADS, Va – At some point in their lives, 80% of Americans will seek expert help for back pain. It’s an epidemic, with a cost to society in medical expenses and lost productivity that is steeper than heart disease. We talk with Jeremy James, Author of The Younger Next Year Back Book about his whole-body plan for conquering back pain.
The Younger Next Year Back Book: A Whole-Body Plan for Conquering Back Pain Forever.
In the latest installment of the Younger Next Year books, series coauthor Crowley and chiropractor James empower people with often-agonizing back pain. They tackle proper diagnosis, exercises, and surgery, noting that doctors overprescribe spinal fusion, which costs about $100,000. They take turns writing alternate chapters, and both are funny. When he laments how people today neglect their glutes, James says, “The use of the buttocks exclusively as a seat-cushion is a recent development in evolutionary terms, and a rotten one.” They also clearly explain medical terms. The spinal cord, for example, is an “information highway” that sends and receives messages. A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament, whereas a strain is a stretch or tear in a tendon or muscle. They’re almost like personal trainers: they expect patients to do some work and include clear instructions for such exercises as crunches. So instructive and descriptive are Crowley and James that everyone curious about the mechanics of the back and everyone with back pain will benefit from their easy-to-understand guide to preventing and treating that common ailment.
— Karen Springen