If you’ve got back pain, stiffness or an ache - surfing the internet for a solution is normally one of the first things you do.
And with YouTube, you’ve got 1000s of video to choose from all claiming to have the ‘No. 1 cure for back pain with a 20s stretch!’ or something of that ilk.
Some American dude spends the next few minutes breaking down why you’ve got back pain and what stretch will cure all.
And after watching the video one of three things happen:
You try the exercise, feel temporarily better, but the pain comes back
You feel 10x worse
You don’t do anything and scroll on to the next video which claims to have the cure!
In this article I am going to share with you some key reasons why this will NOT give you any kind of long term relief from back pain.
1. It's Wrong
The main reason why YouTube won’t get you better is because a lot of the explanations are entirely wrong.
Most of the time, videos are talking about the wrong things that don’t make a difference like the position of your pelvis or your tight hip flexors.
Back pain is affected by 100s of different factors. Stress, sleep, fitness, flexibility, movement control, muscle endurance, time spent sitting, training loads, the list goes on (and on).
A lot of recent research proves that posture is fairly low down on the list of things that are linked to back pain.
This explains why Usain Bolt has a scoliosis but is still the fastest man on the planet and why a lot of my patients get better and out of pain, even when their posture hasn’t changed.
2. No assessment = No results
How does every examination with your doctor start (normally with a 2 week wait!)? With an assessment. At that point the doctor can move on to prescribing you the right treatment for your ailment. This is the same with all problems. Skipping this step is the reason people find exercises don’t help or worse, make their pain worse! For example some kinds of back pain respond very well to movement, stretching and strengthening. Other kinds of back pain respond extremely badly to these things.
3. YouTube hits
Don’t get me wrong, there are some people who are genuinely out there trying to move people in the right direction and help them. But what I see the majority of the time, is people looking for 'hits'! The financial gain of getting loads of people to watch is the singular reason they have posted their video.
4. No Progression Means No Progress
Lets say, you do find an exercise which helps. You feel better and you think wow, this stuff actually works! And you go back to this particular movement or exercise whenever your back feels sore or you keep doing the same thing over and over. The trouble is, to make progress there has to be progress. What I mean is - to achieve your goal of getting better, the treatment you receive needs to be progressively challenging and change as you change.
5. There is no certainty
When it comes to your health, getting certainty on:
a) what is wrong
b) what can be done to resolve it (from a human, not a YouTuber on the other side of your phone screen!) makes a huge difference. Having peace of mind that someone has assessed your spine who can talk you through your diagnosis, the possible causes and what can be done to get you better is crucial. Despite a lot of the folk on YouTube having great charisma and speaking with confidence, they don’t know your body and cannot give you any real certainty.
So there you have it, 5 reasons why YouTube exercises will not ‘fix’* your back pain.
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