I have a new client who, when he had X-rays of his back, was told that he had very little left of the discs between L4 and L5, and L5 and S1. The strange thing is there is no pain or discomfort, and his flexibility is quite good. Now, obviously I do not want to do anything to aggravate this condition, so my question is, are there any exercises you would absolutely avoid with this client, and are there any specific exercises you would recommend?
Thank you for your question. We strongly recommend you review A Simple Guide to Stretching for a practical assessment guide. This guide and corrective chart will explore an assessment for dynamic flexibility and provide a corrective thought process to answer your question. Many times when we assess flexibility, it is assessed statically as opposed to dynamically. A person may appear to move with enough flexibility, but usually with articular dysfunction (your question) the person is demonstrating relative flexibility, in which case the person has developed compensation patterns due to the body’s need to avoid further injury? (FYI: Relative flexibility is defined as the body’s ability to find a path of least resistance during functional movement patterns.) After your dynamic flexibility assessment, choose core exercises that increase the intrinsic stabilization mechanisms known to stabilize the lumbo-pelvic-hip-thoracic and cervical spine. Review The Inner Unit and The Outer Unit articles by Paul Chek for an awesome exploration of science and practical application to your question. With the aforementioned articles at your fingertips, you will be able to construct a great individualized plan for your client's condition.