I'm here with Brian Richey, and I'm sticking this episode in the middle of my copywriting series that we've been doing the last couple of weeks, because the topic he's going to cover is so darn important for us entrepreneurs and really anybody that works in the way we work. And I kind of got my wake up call from sitting too long. Well, 30 years of it. But I got to the point where one little tweak and I'm screaming like a baby. I'm sitting in that easy chair, you know, working my internet stuff and helping my students and, boy, I got my wake up call.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 849
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See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[02:55] Tom's introduction to Brian Richey [04:55] Sitting is the new smoking but there's more to it [07:08] Saying your back hurts doesn't tell much [09:45] What exercises to do… up to a point [13:45] Referred pain is really from the somewhere else [25:05] How to take care of your back [33:50] Tips for fixing your work environment [45:59] What planks are all about
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Episode 849 – Brian Richey
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody! It's Tom here with episode 849 of Screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Brian Richey, and I'm sticking this episode in the middle of my copywriting series that we've been doing the last couple of weeks, because the topic he's going to cover is so darn important for us entrepreneurs and really anybody that works in the way we work. And I kind of got my wake up call from sitting too long. Well, 30 years of it. But I got to the point where one little tweak and I'm screaming like a baby. I'm sitting in that easy chair, you know, working my internet stuff and helping my students and, boy, I got my wake up call. So I bought Brian's book. It's called back exercise, stabilize, mobilize and Reduce Pain. And, you know, there is a million books on back pain. The reason I liked his best is because he, like me, doesn't preach, get fixed, or get rich quick stuff. He's realistic about what you need to do to better take care of yourself. In fact, he's got this acronym t I n s t a f e l and it says there is no such thing as a free lunch. I don't know how the last part fit in that, but anyway, uh, that's what I really like. And I really want you to pay attention to this episode so you can take care of yourself before you're screaming like a baby, like me. And one more thing. This guy got attacked by music at a Foo Fighters concert and hurt his own neck.
[00:02:04] And let him tell you about that in a minute. So there we go. If you like our training episodes, make sure you go to screwthecommute.com/training. We're going to be pushing 500 training episodes and I think 400 or so of our interview episodes. And of course you want to check out my mentor program. It's the longest running, most unique, most successful ever in the field of internet and digital marketing at GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com and absolutely pick up a copy of my automation e-book at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. The techniques in this book has allowed me to handle up to 150,000 subscribers and 60,000 customers without pulling my hair out with a small crew. So check that out and then, uh, catch me on TikTok at tiktok.com/@digitalmultimillionaire.
[00:02:56] All right, let's get Brian on here. Brian Richie, he's an author, a personal trainer, an educator, an industry leader in the fields of medical and corrective exercise. He's got a unique approach to managing clients medical conditions through exercise and has helped thousands move better, stand taller, and exercise pain free. Besides the book that we'll get into more later, he can be seen around the world bringing medical corrective exercise, lectures and workshops. So, Brian, are you ready to screw the commute? I'm ready. And, uh, he is in the heart of DC. Right. Um, how's how's the weather up there today?
[00:03:42] Not too bad. It was snowing the other day. It was a little harrowing coming into the office. Uh, but yeah, it was, uh, it was, I think the first time in over two years that we had any snow here. So it was a little harrowing. Everybody forgot how to deal with it. So yeah, it was a it was an experience, but we survived it.
[00:04:01] I'm not sure they forgot. They just don't know how to deal. That's a good.
[00:04:05] Point. That's a good.
[00:04:06] Point. 13 years. Do you have to fight the Beltway much?
[00:04:09] Yeah, I come down I live in Gaithersburg, so I had to come down to 70 and the Beltway.
[00:04:14] So it's no wonder you, you got there's plenty of back pain on on that route. 270, I'll tell you that.
[00:04:20] Oh, you're not kidding.
[00:04:22] So anyway, uh, uh, the reason I got I hooked up with you is because I did a disservice to myself. For 30 some years, I've been preaching, helping thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs around the world and not taking care of myself. And, um, I mean, I literally was screaming like a baby about six, eight weeks ago from sitting too long, you know. Of course they say the sitting is the new smoking. Well, I don't know. I might have been better off smoking than than what I was doing to myself. So. So give us your take on it. You've seen thousands of patients and a lot of people that, uh, especially after the pandemic, work out of their home and just sit in any kind of crap they can find, rather than maybe their company has a logistical chairs for them, you know? But, uh, but tell us your experience with this.
[00:05:15] Well, actually, my experience is I actually suffer from back pain. I did something when I was really stupid when I was in my early 20s and gave myself a couple of herniated discs. Yikes. I kind of got me started in the whole medical exercise field because in fitness everyone knows what to do for exercise. You know, you want to, you know, go to the gym, you do this, you do that. And I was already doing personal training, but I realized that hardly anybody was working out or focusing on people with pain. And that was in my 20s. I'm 52 now, so we're talking 30 years later. I'm only seeing more and more and more people who are suffering from some kind of medical condition. You know, whether it be orthopedic, which is most of the people I see or neurologic or even metabolic. So it's really interesting to see people who don't move that much. And those are the people that really are the ones that all of a sudden they go to do something and oh, they throw their back out and it's because they're not moving. Their body isn't used to doing, you know, regular exercise, regular motion and moving is actually the key in keeping your body, you know, healthy and fit. Yeah.
[00:06:24] And and that's been, you know, prior to meeting you. And of course, you probably go along with it, uh, for back pain. A lot of them said don't just lay around forever. Move. You got to move with back stuff. But but for instance, I've got a guy. My girlfriend's brother hurt his knee the other day, and he keeps wanting to work and beat the hell out of it. And I said, no, no, you got to give it a chance to to re relax. He wants to move too much, too fast with that. So anyway, I was screaming like a baby. Now a lot of a lot of this back stuff. It says, oh, if you sit down you'll feel better. Well in my case it was opposite I was sitting. If I stand up, I feel better. And I, um, I was in reading your book, it says, well, you got to get evaluated to see what the heck is going on down there because people come in and just tell you, my back hurts. Well, that doesn't really tell you that much, does it?
[00:07:20] It doesn't. And what you just told me, if you came into my office, I always do a assessment. Uh, we go through everybody's medical history. What you just told me tells me a lot about how I would work with you on exercise. Uh, there's something called spot. Uh, we call it pelvic bias, but it's also spinal bias. And that's what position your spine really likes to be in. And people who sit a lot, you know, are sort of in always a flexed position. Their their spine is always forward flexed and almost like you're trying to bend over. Now for some medical conditions, uh, I'll give you a couple like stenosis and spondylolisthesis. That is preferable. They feel much better. So if someone comes in to me and says, you know, I asked them what makes it feel better if they say, oh, I'm sitting down, it hurts. If I stand, it's great. If I sit, then I know how to work with them and give them the proper exercises that are going to get them stronger. You're the exact opposite for you. Sitting makes it worse, so standing feels better. So for you, it's an extension posture. You know, getting more of a neutral spine to extension, almost like leaning back. So that tells me a lot on how I would want to work with you as a client here in my facility or even in the book.
[00:08:37] You know, it explains what posture your body works best with and sort of gives you, you know, an idea of where to start. And as you said, my idea with the book was I wanted to be able to examine the body and tell people exactly what their condition is, because, let's face it, how many times have you gone to a doctor and by the time you walk out, you may have a diagnosis, but you don't know what it means. And so I wanted to sort of break down each of those diagnoses, whether it be a herniated disk, bulging disk, spondylolisthesis stenosis and really say, okay, here's what happened, here's what's going on in your body and put it in everybody's terms that you're going to understand and then say, okay, here's where we need to start. Here's the basics, and then give you like six months of progressions to get people stronger because too many people go to physical therapy. And while that's great, it only lasts for so long and they may not have an idea of how to progress beyond that. So that was my idea is let's get people out there. Let's progress them beyond just the first 3 or 4 weeks. Well, what I like better.
[00:09:46] What I liked about the book was it broke down. Once you get kind of a diagnosis of what's going on, the different section of the book told you what exercises to do if you have that particular affliction. So I love that. But here's the deal, Brian, up to a point. Okay, okay. And this is not against you. This is against the darn doctors. I mean, I think I must be pregnant because the only thing the doctor said, well, I'll give you an injection, an epidural, you know, so I must be pregnant. I don't know, that was his only solution. And and actually, with my diagnosis, you know, at my age, some of the discs are compressed a little bit and some of the stenosis. So I said, well, one's flexion and one's extension, you know, back. And so which one should I do. And he's like I don't know, flip a coin. And and I heard, I heard you and is it Nora on your podcast Moving Conversations talking about that also that what if you have both what's where should you start.
[00:10:55] Yeah, that's that's sort of the tricky thing. I also because of my age, I say anybody who's over the age of 50 probably has a little bit of spinal issue, whether it be, you know, a little bit of stenosis, a little bit of, uh, degradation of the joints, somewhat stenosis.
[00:11:14] Yeah. Go ahead and define that for everybody.
[00:11:16] Well, stenosis is basically means a narrowing of the joint. And there's two different types. There's central stenosis which is a narrowing of the actual central canal where your spinal cord goes. And there's also lateral stenosis where the nerve roots come out of the spine. It's an area called the intervertebral foramen. And basically there are holes in the side and the back side of your spine where all the nerves come out. Well, you can have those occluded too. And that can be caused from arthritis. Uh, it could be caused by bone spurs and things of that nature. You also can have a point where if your discs themselves begin to shrink, uh, through either wear and tear or disuse, move your spine really likes movement in general, but if you're not using it, you can actually begin to compress those discs. And if they get smaller, well, when they get smaller, those spaces where the nerves come out also get smaller. And that's what can also cause some of that lateral stenosis. And that's when you often will have the numbness, tingling, radiating pain down the leg, uh, or sharp shooting spasms in the back.
[00:12:20] And those are the things that can be crippling and debilitating. And for me, when I'm working with someone who has something like this, like I say myself, I've got disc issues. Plus I've got a little bit of the stenosis my facet joints have, you know, worn down a little bit. It's about finding what range of motion is most comfortable for you. So if I had you come into my facility, the first thing I'm going to do after my assessment is have you lie down on your back and find a pain free range of motion? Because it may be that there's only like a five degree range of motion, that you can move without pain. And that's fine. We'll start there. We begin strengthening where you're pain free and sort of move along from there. So even and I mentioned in my book, if a position causes you pain, find a position that doesn't, you know, try and find that position. And that's kind of what the doctor was telling you was like, hey, flip a coin. Whatever works works. It's like, whatever doesn't hurt. That's what you do.
[00:13:16] Well, he was happy, though, that booked me for an injection as fast as possible, too. I think he had like a sharp like. Like an old cowboy with a sharp gun. You know, he had his his, uh, injection right there, ready to shoot me. You know what I said? Wait, just hold on. Let me see what I can do on my own. And and with your book and, uh, six weeks of paying attention to this, I probably made 85 or so percent improvement. I'm not screaming like a baby anymore. But I wanted to ask you about, uh, a thing that happened to me a long time ago. Uh, at the dental office. I went in, and I had severe pain on the left side of my jaw. And I went in there and I said, I must have cracked a tooth, telling the dentist on this left side, and she she's looking. She said, no, it's on the other side. She said, that's called referred pain. I said, what? I could not believe it. The pain was massive on one side, but it was from the other side. Does that ever happen on the spine?
[00:14:16] Oh my gosh, yes. Referred pain is just think of it as just a traveling symptom. So I've had some people come in and they say, yeah, I'm having this. My inner thigh hurts. I'm thinking, okay, what does it feel like? And they'll say, well, it's kind of numb and achy and things like that. That actually could tell me that it could be a hip problem. It could be a back problem. That's a referred pain signal. And sometimes it will travel where the dermatome is and a dermatome. If you ever look up the terme, uh, online, you'll see sort of lines across the body, and it's where the nerve root goes out, where it exits the spine. That area affects that sort of band around your body. And when you get into the lumbar spine, it actually goes down your leg. So we know that, for instance, if you have an issue between L5 and S1, you'll probably feel it around your big toe. You're talking 4 or 5. It'll be more in the calf.
[00:15:11] Hold on that L5. You mean lumbar disc lumbar vertebrae? Yeah. Number five. And it starts. Exactly. So that's pretty down near your butt then, right?
[00:15:22] Exactly. Uh, go in that direction. Lumbar spine has five discs. Or as, excuse me, has five bones, and there's a disc in between each. Think of it as like your shoulder joint is a joint, right? Each one of those levels is a joint, and each one of those levels has two nerves that come out in that area. Well, between L3, L4 nerves come out. L4, L5 nerves come out all the way up and down your spine. And where they come out and where they affect is known as a dermatome. Well, for me, for instance, I've had lateral calf numbness the outside of my calf ever since I was in my 20s when I damaged a disc. And it's just a little bit of numbness sensation. It's not it. I've gotten used to it, you know, over the years, but it told me exactly where I had a little bit of that nerve compression and it was at L4, L5. So based on the Dermatome, it will have referred pain signals to different parts of the body. And I've, I've had some people. A great example of this is in the shoulder where we have someone will have rotator cuff pain and sometimes they'll feel it, you know, midway down their arm, you know, down by between their bicep and tricep, uh, and other people will have it in the front of their shoulder. Some will have it on top of their shoulder. But when I palpate, when I just take my thumb and put it into the muscle that I'm pretty sure is affected, uh, immediately they go, oh my gosh, that's it. And it's actually on the back side. And they'll say, well, why does it hurt here? Well, that's just the referred pain signal most of the time. And that can happen in various parts of the body.
[00:17:05] Yeah. Another thing happened to me, I did, uh, I'm kind of a tennis nut, and I did a thousand kick serves, which is a violent bend over backwards, make a weird spin on the ball. I did about a thousand of them in a month. I got up one day and my wrist is. My hand is tingling, and I'm saying, oh, my God, I must have blown out something. And turned out it was my, I think, seventh c7.
[00:17:31] Yeah, it was your neck.
[00:17:33] Uh, and uh uh, and so I did certain exercises and it went away, you know. So I paid mostly attention to this, this book because it was, you know, for low back, but, uh, you could help anybody with, I mean, you helped yourself with when the Foo Fighters came after you, right? Yeah.
[00:17:51] Yeah, my neck was feeling it after that concert. Let me tell you about that. Oh, no. I was there with my son. Uh, we went, uh, actually not far from where you guys are. I was in Virginia Beach and. Oh, okay.
[00:18:03] Yeah. That's right.
[00:18:03] Traveled down there and had a wonderful time. But, you know, by the end of the show and it didn't bother me at the time, but all that head banging, you know, the next morning you wake up and it's like, oh, man, am I stiff. And it's just overworked muscles that aren't used to doing that. And for you, you said it perfectly when you talked about it bothering your hand. It was the number of repetitions you did. Thousands and thousands of repetitions. We see this often with people who might go to a tennis camp, for instance, and is taught, you know, how to do topspin, or, you know, they may all of a sudden take up right now, pickleball, I mean, during the pandemic, right? That's become the big thing. And they play and play and play and their body isn't used to that many repetitions at one time. So then we get what's known as an overuse injury, often tendinitis. Sometimes it turns into tendinosis. And that can be a real issue for some people. But I want to talk just briefly about what you said about you had numbness in your hand. Mhm. Okay. Depending on what doctor you go to.
[00:19:08] And I'll tell you a story about a client of mine. Client came in and he said he went to the doctor and he said yeah I have to have carpal tunnel surgery. Now he's a golfer, demon golfer and he's a big guy okay. He's a big guy. Used to play football. Big bull neck, big arms. And he said, I can't feel my putter anymore. And I said, okay, when did this start? He said, A few weeks ago. He said, the doctor says, I have carpal tunnel syndrome. And I said, okay, now let me ask you this. What doctor did you see? It was a hand specialist said, okay. Said knowing his history and knowing his neck and how inflexible it was, I said, I'd love for you to have a second opinion just because there may be something else going on. And he went to an orthopedist who immediately said, no, no, no, no, no, this is coming from your neck 100%. You've compressed the nerve. It has nothing to do with your hands. His hands were fine. He was scheduled to go in for a carpal tunnel surgery. Oh my.
[00:20:05] God. See, that's, uh, that's, uh, you know, it's kind of like my epidural guy. Uh, even when I called to make an appointment, the the receptionist made it a point to say the only, you know, things we have are injections here. Yeah. You know, it's like, if, you know, everything's a hammer when all you gots a nail, right?
[00:20:24] I was just going to say that. Exactly. If you're only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And I've told people this, I said, I guarantee if you got a toothache but go to a podiatrist, they're going to say you need something in your shoes, you know? Of course.
[00:20:40] We all have our specialties. And unfortunately we sort of are very myopic sometimes. And I find that there are physicians who are like this that know their specialty so much that they try and shoehorn other conditions into that. You know, I had another client who was suffering from leg issues, and he was a diabetic, and he immediately went to the doctor and they were saying, oh my gosh, yes, this is the diabetes. You've got peripheral neuropathy, which means you not having good conduction of nerves to your feet. Oh my gosh. And all this kind of stuff. And he had test upon test and everything came back negative until he went to a rheumatologist who discovered, oh no, you've got low back issues. And immediately it was, well, I just wasted the last six months.
[00:21:25] But he went to a different doctor. So I always say, you know, if you're unsatisfied, be your own best advocate. Get a second opinion. Yeah, yeah. And a second opinion. It doesn't.
[00:21:36] Hurt. Some of them get arrogant about it, but too bad. I mean, it's your body. They're not the ones suffering when they go home and buy their new Mercedes. You know, from your epidurals. So. Exactly, exactly. So now, uh, I was listening to your podcast again. It's called Moving Conversations, folks. And they can find that anywhere. I know I think I listed on Spotify, but, uh, is it. Yeah, it was uh.
[00:21:59] I think we're mainly on Apple Podcasts. Spotify. Yeah. The main things.
[00:22:04] Okay, great. So I was listening to the one on sciatica, and I heard your cohort there, Nora, a very accomplished woman in her own right, for sure. Oh, yeah. And I heard her say something, and I'm thinking, wait a minute. I heard her say that sciatica is, um. Never is she either said it's never on the front of your leg or it's always on the back or, uh, your leg. Is that. Is that. Did I hear that right?
[00:22:31] It travels. Depending on where the dermatome is and where it's affected, rarely are you going to feel it. Like in the front of your thigh. Occasionally people feel it in their inner thigh. Most of the time they feel it lateral. Uh, especially if it's in their hip. They may feel it lateral hip or in the inner thigh. It may be on the lateral calf. It may be down, uh, in the toe. And if you've ever had sciatica, you know, it's relentless. Well, it's just the reason.
[00:23:00] Brian, that I grabbed on to that so hard is because for years and I've ignored it and worked through it. But the from, uh, my left thigh, from the knee up to the hip burns like a bitch. Uh, if I stand too long and right in the front and everybody always says, oh, you got sciatica. And then I thought I heard her say, well, no, it's not going to be in the front of the thigh.
[00:23:27] It's rarely it can be, though. Okay? It can be, uh, that could be a lot of different things. Okay. And, you know, I'm not.
[00:23:36] Asking for a diagnosis on the thing here, but I'm just.
[00:23:39] I'm not a doctor.
[00:23:40] I'm telling you that, uh, you really got to get, uh, an evaluation. You can't 100% look at every video on YouTube. I mean, there's and especially I get emails every day. As soon as you start looking at something about back pain, you start getting bombarded with stuff. Oh my gosh. With one exercise, you're going to be pain free for the rest of your life. That God, I wish.
[00:24:06] Well no you don't. You wouldn't make any money.
[00:24:09] But I got to tell you, sciatica is one of these things and I call it a garbage diagnosis. My mentor, you know, told me that it was a garbage diagnosis years ago because it doesn't actually tell you what's wrong. It just tells you a symptom, you know, like it's an ache, it's a pain. And you really need to figure out what is causing that. And when you do, for instance, if if you would come to me five years ago and said that you had this numbness, burning, you know, sensation when you stand too much in your thigh, that would be a clue for me. Okay. Could it be the thigh? Could it be the low back? How can we work with this to get to sort of relieve you of this? And it might have been that it was your low back talking to you that you didn't even realize at the time because you didn't have that centralized, you know, sharp shooting pain in your low back.
[00:25:01] Yeah. Yeah, it.
[00:25:02] Could have been a symptom.
[00:25:04] Exactly. So, so tell us, you know, I know in the pandemic, there's there was a lot of people working at home. I mean, I've been working at home my whole life and I preach that. But but, uh, a lot of people were taken from the, the corporate environment and shoved into their house. And they're sitting on their bed cross-legged. They're sitting on their couch. They're, uh, binge watching Netflix while they're supposed to be at work. Yeah. So, uh, so tell us how you should be taking care of your back. Uh, even if you're home or wherever you are in a car, if you're driving a lot, what are some of the things you should be doing?
[00:25:45] Moving. Body craves movement. Uh, and.
[00:25:51] Yeah, but what if you got to drive for six hours?
[00:25:54] Stop and walk occasionally. I hate to say it's as easy as that, but it really is as easy as that. When I. I took my son to see, uh, Metallica up in new Jersey this summer, and, you know, that's a three and a half. Four, I think it was four hour drive. We stopped often, and I would walk the parking lot a little bit, you know, and I would just let my body move. Your body craves movement. The problem is, it feels so good to let inertia sit in and just sit here and do nothing. The problem is with inertia comes gravity. And I don't know if you've noticed this, but what I noticed mostly with clients, uh, was when the pandemic hit, we went online within two days because Washington DC shut down and no one was coming in to see me, but I think I had two clients. So we went online immediately, and I still have about a third of my clients that either moved away, or I've opened up to seeing people around the world through zoom or through FaceTime or whatever online, and we're able to see people. But what I've noticed was they weren't moving as much, and their posture was starting to get worse and worse because they're sort of engaging with the camera, engaging with their screen instead of with people. So they start leaning in. So I was seeing a lot more forward head carriage, a lot more rounded shoulders. So I was seeing postural issues and that was leading to neck pain. That was leading to shoulder pain, and that was leading to low back pain. And those things were like, okay, we got to reverse some of this. We got to really work on those postural muscles to get people to sit up straighter. And I'll be honest, I suffer from it too. If I've got 2 or 3 zoom meetings in a row, I find myself sort of leaning forward in my head going forward. I'm like, wait, wait, wait, sit up, sit up. And sometimes I just stand up and walk around my desk a little bit while I'm watching, you know, them exercise.
[00:27:43] Yeah, well.
[00:27:44] And I'm all for that. But when I was talking about, like, the driving, I mean, it shouldn't, um, I heard you talking about in your pickup truck. The chair was different. And in a car, it was a lower. And you're. Yeah. So tell them about that.
[00:28:03] If you think about a position and I learned this myself with my back is I felt much more comfortable in a pickup truck and I couldn't figure out why. Because this I learned this 20 some odd years ago, and I realized that in a pickup, you sit much more like you're in a chair, your knee, your knees are bent to 90 degrees. Your feet go down at an angle more. Mhm. Uh, depending on where you set the seat, you can really set the seat lower. Now that we have electronic seats and things like that you can set it low. But in a car in general your feet are out in front of you. And when your feet are out in front of you, for a lot of people who have limitations in their hamstring flexibility or low back flexibility, they're going to sort of become more round shouldered. And I'm sure you've seen in cars nowadays, the headrests are much further forward than they ever have been. My wife can't stand it because she's actually got good posture, and it hurts her head to drive in a car that the headrest. I had to modify her headrest. Wow. Pull it back because it was too far forward. So when your feet are out in front of you, the limitation of your hamstrings, the limitation of your hip flexors, the muscles in front of your hips and flexibility can cause people to have that sciatica down their leg and to eventually get sometimes low back pain.
[00:29:17] And actually, one of the things that I did for one client who, you know, was in his car and he was driving distances, uh, to and from a lake house is his he would have sciatic down his leg occasionally. I said, okay, here's a small ball. It was a a basically a t ball that was soft. You know, a softer T ball is for practice. And I say, keep this in your car. And when that starts happening, I want you to put this under your butt and lean against it. There's a muscle in there called your piriformis. And the sciatic nerve actually runs right by the piriformis. And in a small section of society can actually run through the piriformis. But if that muscle of your glutes or your piriformis becomes tight, it can actually pinch off on that, uh, nerve as well. So he would sit on that ball just for a few minutes and sort of wiggle back and forth, almost like doing a self massage. And he said it always cleared it up. He said, I do that clears it up in no time. And he actually found that what worked best for him was a big, uh, Kong that he used for his dog. He said, that works even better. I said, hey, whatever works, man. I'm all for use. Whatever works. But that self massage technique works.
[00:30:28] That's funny.
[00:30:29] My dog just started barking when you said the word calm.
[00:30:34] And I'm.
[00:30:35] I'm one of these weirdos that I travel all over the world teaching, uh, medical exercise and corrective exercise. And, uh, I can be on an 18 hour flight or a 12 hour flight, and I bring that small ball with me or a likewise a ball like that. And I'm the type of person that sometimes you'll see me in the airport, on the ground, stretching before I get on a flight, sitting on the ball, trying to release my hips, trying to get those muscles ready for what may be, you know, a while, sitting in a seat. I do get up and walk around as much as I can when I'm on a plane, but you can only do that so much. So I sort of prepare myself beforehand for those things, and there are times when I'll put the ball against the wall and just massage my back or massage my hip, and I got to tell you, it feels great. And it also not only massages the muscle, but it also stimulates more blood flow to the area, which can promote more healing as well. So it just it just helps it in general.
[00:31:33] Well, that's a.
[00:31:34] Laying on the floor in the airports. That's a good marketing technique. People are like, what the hell is that guy doing?
[00:31:41] So I've had a number of travelers come up to me.
[00:31:43] Afterwards and say, what were you doing? And I showed them and they say, man, that's a good idea. What can I get one of those balls exactly?
[00:31:51] Or give me a card. And speaking of balls, uh, besides. All right, everybody needs to go out and buy a pickup truck today. All right, um, but, uh, this man's.
[00:32:01] Work, too.
[00:32:01] Yeah, I think I just got this thing. I haven't tried it yet, but. Because in your book, you talked about a togoo ball. Is that how you pronounce it? Yeah, tell them about that.
[00:32:12] The token ball is an inflatable ball. That is. And I'm an.
[00:32:19] Is not like.
[00:32:20] It's hardly like one breath. It was inflated enough to do what.
[00:32:25] You were teaching.
[00:32:26] You don't want to inflate it all the way, inflate it all the way there about anywhere from 16 to 20in. And I say that I have no idea how quality control is with this company, because I've had small ones and I've had very large ones. I've come from them. But all you do is put 1 or 2 breaths in it. And it's funny because I'll have these uninflated in a class of, you know, 100 instructors or people who want to learn about back pain, and immediately everybody wants to blow it all the way up. And I'm like, no, no, no.
[00:32:53] Wait 1.
[00:32:54] Or 2 breaths. That's all you need, because you put it under your sacrum and it actually creates this floating surface that you can, you know, go into pelvic flexion or extension or rotation very easily. And it allows your body as almost act like a teeter totter or a seesaw, sort of a fulcrum to allow movement to be more gentle and easier. And it gives people more proprioception than just lying on the ground. And when I discovered this ball, I was like, oh my gosh, this is the best thing.
[00:33:25] And all these terms he's throwing at you folks, um, they're clearly explained in the book. Very, very easy to understand, uh, some of the things that are in there because like I said, I don't get too excited about many books, but this one has really helped me, and I know it'll help everybody out there. Um, so. Yeah. Yeah. No, you did a great job on it. Now, um. So we know we got a lot of people here working in front of the computer. Well, I think you're going to have business for the rest of your life and afterlife because of these kids with cell phones.
[00:34:00] They're all hunched over.
[00:34:02] Like they're monkeys, you know, uh, and you can't go into a restaurant and see young people talking to each other. They're texting from across the table, you know? So, uh, so I think you're going to have a lot of a lot of business from that. But. So what should our people do? Uh, to some general tips to fix their work environment, to start working against this now before it's too late.
[00:34:28] There are a couple of easy things that you can do, actually, uh, your shoulder blades, just even when you're just sitting down, squeezing them together and then relaxing, squeezing them together and relaxing, uh, I'll try and walk you through an exercise that I give to people, and it's called a cervical reset. In fact, if you go on to my website, backexerciseBook.com and go under the videos section, uh, you'll see, or the blog section, you'll see me demonstrating this exercise and it's a postural reset. And basically it's you take your arm straight out in front of you and then you with your elbows out wide, bring them back behind you. You want to squeeze your shoulder blades back together and draw your elbows out wide. Then I'm going to have them rotate their arms so that their palms are facing forward, while continuing to squeeze their shoulder blades back. Then drive those elbows down like you're putting them in your back pockets, still squeezing the shoulder blades and then relaxing the arms. I learned this a long time ago from one of my mentors, and it's a great, simple exercise that I have people do at their desk that really does help to sort of reset the shoulder blades and those postural muscles and just remind them, hey, I need to start working. I need to continue working. I say also setting timers, every computer, you can set a timer every 15 minutes, have it go off and just do a postural reset where you just sit up straight or pull your chin back a little bit going, you know, and that in and of itself can begin to correct some of these issues because like you said, that forward head carriage, I mean, I was watching I was at a Cub Scout event with my kids, and my kids didn't have cell phones, but some of the older kids that were 12 and 13 did. And I could tell their age, and if they had a cell phone just by their posture.
[00:36:18] Wow, wow.
[00:36:19] And that's parents.
[00:36:20] Listen to that. Parents out there. Uh, I got to tell you, because it's a lot of years, you know, when I was a kid, we didn't have this stuff. But these kids are coming out of the womb swiping screens, and they're going to be hunched over and lose a foot of height by the time they're in high school. So, yeah.
[00:36:39] And that's something else to think about, is they are losing height. Yes. When you have a forward head carriage, when your head is forward and I teach a class about text neck, we call it a lot. And it's trying to get people to go into retraction where they're pulling their chin back, almost like it's on a shelf, because when you have that forward head carriage, it actually drops your height by about 2 to 3in depending on the height of the person. So it's like all these kids want to be taller, and yet you watch them, what they do and they're all hunched over, their head is forward and they're basically shrinking. And I guarantee we're going to start seeing more and more cervical issues with these youngsters and 20 year olds and another 10 or 15 years when they get into their 30s and 40s, we're going to start seeing a lot more cervical issues. And I, I mean, you're right, I'm never going to want for work because.
[00:37:32] You're going to need help. Yeah.
[00:37:33] And and parents out there, if you just want to be selfish about it, just think of all those basketball scholarships that are going to go down the drain. So, so so now let's talk about chairs a little bit. Now, I heard, uh, Nora on your podcast that's moving you. I heard you say moving convos, but it's actually moving conversations, right? Is the title, the.
[00:37:54] Podcast is Moving Conversations, but we're firstname.lastname@example.org is one of our is the podcast email.
[00:38:02] I see. Okay. And Instagram.
[00:38:04] And she said, uh, she uses a kneeling chair. Well I looked into that a little bit. And big fat butts like me, uh, are their knees are going to sleep, their legs are going to sleep. The chairs, most of them are crap, you know, you can get them on sale on Facebook Marketplace. People are giving them away because, uh. So what's your opinion on chairs?
[00:38:26] A lot of it comes down to the body. And I had a kneeling chair for a number of years, but I didn't use it for a prolonged period of time. Uh, I didn't find it to be that comfortable for me. Mhm. Uh.
[00:38:42] And one regular.
[00:38:43] Weight size guy too.
[00:38:44] Yeah. At one time I was very heavy. I was over £420 at one time.
[00:38:48] Are you kidding me?
[00:38:49] Oh no. That was when I was. I graduated, uh, high school. I was.
[00:38:53] £420. Oh my.
[00:38:54] Goodness. I see I'll listen to you even more now, because I get so sick of skinny people that never, you know, had a, uh, you know, a bout of eating too many donuts, telling you how to lose weight.
[00:39:08] So we actually are.
[00:39:10] Just recorded two podcasts that are going to go out in the next couple of weeks on weight loss drugs and how to work with people who are larger sizes. Uh, in the gym environment. Uh, but yeah, I was much heavier, and it's been a fight all my life. Uh, and I'm £190 now, but it's been a constant battle. Uh, so for me, being a larger, I always say I'm a larger mammal. You know, sitting on those chairs didn't feel as good to my to my knees. Yeah, yeah. And so when it comes to chairs, I'm this guy who I would go into Staples or Office Max or any of these places that would have 20 or 30 chairs, because you can't tell unless you try them out. Yeah. It's hard.
[00:39:54] To find those.
[00:39:55] Places anymore now too.
[00:39:57] That's the problem.
[00:39:57] Closed down or keeping low inventory?
[00:40:00] Absolutely. I actually found a chair that works great for my body, and I know exactly which one it is. And every year or two, I buy another one off online of the exact same brand because it works for my body. Now, there are some that are highly adjustable, those Aeron chairs and things, and they're thousands of dollars. If it works for your body and you can adjust it so that it keeps you in good posture, it's fantastic. The problem is, I find most people don't really understand ergonomics, and they just sit in it thinking that it's going to correct everything. And if it's not set up properly to your body, that can be a negative. You can actually do harm as well by not having it be set up for you or to your body.
[00:40:44] So they have that. Everybody's body is a little different.
[00:40:47] They have the ex chair that they push really hard, that, you know, just a hundred ways, but if you don't know how to adjust it or what for you, that doesn't really make any difference.
[00:40:56] Exactly, exactly. So I always say find something that works for you and that's comfortable because you're the one that's got to be sitting there. But at the same time. I want to remind people to work on that posture and make sure you are sitting up relatively sitting upright. And when I say that, I don't mean, you know, sitting with a ramrod straight back, because for some people they can't maintain that and it'll actually cause their muscles to overwork and become in pain. So you want to find something that gets you into close enough good posture, but that you can maintain as well for some time. For my body, what works best? The chair I'm in. I'm actually leaning back at about a five degree lean, and that works great for for me. I can sit here and I'm comfortable. My back is supported and I'm I'm sitting up straight. I know if I sit up perfectly straight with no lean, my back starts to bother me just a little bit. So I found what works for me and I try not to slouch. So anything that'll get you from slouching into a more upright position that's going to be great for you.
[00:41:57] Well, you know, what I did is years ago, I, I saw these guys. I think they're from Harvard or something. They, they invented or coined a firm called the I plod. I plod instead of iPod. And and what I did is I had a treadmill and it had handles on it, and I put a piece of shelving across it and made a stand up desk before it was cool to do so. Yeah. And you know, you can't believe what a good places to hang clothes and throw your coat on. You know, when you when you don't use it for a couple of years. So but now since I've been screaming like a baby in the last month or so, I started using it. And so I've been standing up. Uh, the only problem is, is I get that pain in my leg after a while, but but it's really helped my back quite a bit. So what is your opinion on stand up desks?
[00:42:51] Standing desks are great. They're fantastic. My only issue with that is you people have to watch what their posture is doing. And I say that being saying that a lot of people, when they stand up for any length of time, they have a tendency to shift down into one hip. I call it sexy hip because, you know, they automatically sort of shift to one side. Women, especially, who have, you know, had children. They have one side that they'll go to more often. It's often the side they carry their child on. And I've seen people after 20 years, their kids in college, they still have a tendency to sort of jut that hip out without even noticing it. Yeah, well, that can also cause back problems. So if they're going to use the standing desk, I say fantastic balance between both feet. Make sure you're wearing good supportive shoes. You know, a lot of people want to be barefoot. And if you're comfortable being barefoot, that's fine. Uh, but if not comfortable, supportive shoes, you know, and for some people, if you have, like, I have a luxury vinyl tile underneath my desk, if I stood on it for too long, it may not be as comfortable because because it's concrete underneath there an anti-fatigue mat. And you can get these even at like Costco and whatnot. Uh, chefs use them in the kitchen. Standing on that can actually help as well.
[00:44:03] Um, and.
[00:44:04] The other thing, when people stand up, make sure you don't lock your knees. Too many people have a tendency to lock their knees. And as soon as they do that, I mean, people at home stand up, lock your knees and see what happens to your low back. You go into more of an extension, and you're actually collapsing those discs a little bit just by softening your knees a little bit. I'm not saying squat, I'm saying just softening the knees actually can open up the intervertebral spaces in your back just enough. And I've had some people say, man, just that alone relieves a lot of pressure in their low back. So these small hints and tips can actually go a long way. But I like standing desks, I think using them periodically through the day. So sit for a while, stand for a while. Those desks are the kind of the best, you know, rather than just all in on one.
[00:44:51] Yeah. And and you know, occasionally I'll turn the treadmill on at about one mile an hour.
[00:44:57] That's perfect.
[00:44:58] And just walk a little bit. And especially if I got a giant big screen on the wall. So if I'm going to watch a movie or something, I can I can walk while I'm doing it rather than sit on a terrible couch. Um, and, and and here's the thing, Brian. I'm I'm not any kind of medical person, but I caught something here that I think would help all the ladies out there have twins, and you'll be balanced carrying them down the street.
[00:45:27] I would say you might be balanced. However, you can't do anything because we only have two arms.
[00:45:33] Oh, man. When I used to fly a lot, I'd see these ladies coming on that had kids. I mean, they looked more like camels to me. There's bags hanging off of them every which way. And the kids and.
[00:45:45] Remember doing that, uh, we traveled with just our oldest for a while. And, you know, when they could fly for free and, oh, my gosh, the amount of stuff that you have to carry with you and bring with you. Oh, you're right, you're not wrong. You're not wrong.
[00:46:00] All right, one last thing I wanted to ask you about is, uh, everybody just goes crazy over promoting. This thing called a plank. What do you think about that?
[00:46:10] Planks are great. Planks are a great abdominal exercise or core exercise. A long time ago we stopped calling them ab exercises and started calling them core exercises. And I think it's a little bit more accurate because if you think how I tell people is you want to train the body sort of like this, imagine your body is an outline and it's a crystal clear lake. You want to drop a pebble where your belly button is. And as the ripples go out, that's how you want to think. That's how you want to train. Uh. If you do it from the center and work your way out, you're working your core first. So you're working your abdominals, you're working your hips, you're working your low back. All of these muscles, if they're not strong, nothing else can be because they are the actual foundation for your body. So a plank is a great position. However, that being said, not everybody can do a plank. Not everybody can get on the ground and hold their body up in a push up position or even on their elbows. So what I tell people to do is start in a position where you can, whether it be against a wall where you're literally just going off of your natural, you know, vertical plane going a little horizontal, leaning forward, holding yourself up.
[00:47:23] As soon as you go off your vertical plane, your core has to become active. And I'll have them do that. Then I'll have them do it off the kitchen counter or off of a desk so that they're not putting their whole body weight, they're just using what they need to. And then eventually we get them down to the floor or to a table or whatever they can do. But it's a way that I regress the exercise to make it. Make anybody be able to accomplish it. And to me, that's the key. A plank is a fantastic exercise because it involves no flexion. So someone like yourself, if you didn't know if you should be flexed forward or arching your back, if you found a range of motion that was perfectly stable that you felt, okay, I can do this. Just leaning forward, holding on to the wall at an angle, getting your core engaged but keeping you pain free is a great way to start that plank.
[00:48:13] Yeah, but, you know, I heard Norris say that you and Nora have heard every kind of excuse on earth of not doing the exercises, and. Oh, yeah, the one person said they didn't have any walls in their house.
[00:48:28] Yeah, exactly.
[00:48:29] There's no walls in my house. Oh, really? That's what I said.
[00:48:33] Good. You live in.
[00:48:33] A tent, right?
[00:48:35] Exactly, exactly.
[00:48:37] Now, people will always, no matter what, find excuses. My thing is all about. Look, I said it before. There's no such thing as a free lunch. Well, in general, when it comes to anything you want to change, it comes down to a few basic words. How bad do you want it?
[00:48:54] Yeah. You know, and I get it. I mean, I was in high level sports and everything, and I know what it takes to to accomplish things. And I got my wake up call, to be honest with you, Brian, that's how I'm talking to you right now. Is is like, Holy crap, I'm known as a badass and a and I have a brutal self-defense website, and and I'm screaming like a baby and it's my own fault. I nobody's fault but my own. But sitting in that chair for 30 years and not paying attention to this. So I'm getting a second chance. Luckily, you know, so. So, uh, everybody out there, you got to pay attention to this. You know, you haven't heard me talk about this kind of stuff at all, and now you will. So. So this has been awesome. Awesome, awesome. Now you can help people remotely, right?
[00:49:40] Absolutely. I see a number of people, uh, online, like I say, each day, I probably see between 2 to 3 people, uh, online. And I've had people as far away as the middle, you know, Middle East, Africa, uh, London, uh, I teach a lot in Asia, I believe it or not. We sort of joke and say I'm big in Korea, uh, because I go there probably three, four times a year, uh, to teach. And. Yeah. So I have some people from there, and it's it's great. It's great. And and the new technology makes it so easy that as long as we set the camera up in the right place, I can see just about everything I need to see and I can walk people through it. So I just had a gentleman from Florida who bought the book and said, I just want to I just, I just need a session or two just to get me started and make sure I'm doing everything right. And after a session, he was like, okay, I got this. I feel comfortable and confident that I can do this on my own, and we're going to have a check in, you know, in a couple of weeks just to make sure he's still doing it well. And that works for him. And I'm I'm thrilled that it does. Yeah.
[00:50:43] Beautiful. So where do they go to check this out?
[00:50:47] Uh, you can if you want to reach me directly. Uh, the best way is just email me Brian@fit4lifedc.com. It's my company's name. Fit for life DC or go to back exercise book com. It's the website for the book. Which easiest way to get that is on Amazon. I tell everybody, hey, I make a buck 50 every time one sells. So please, I want to retire one day. So buy my.
[00:51:15] Book. Yeah. There you go. Uh, and.
[00:51:17] The title is back exercise, stabilize, Mobilize and Reduce Pain with Brian Richie. Yes. Beautiful by that darn book. And pay attention. Use it. Because even if you're not hurting now, man, I was I was like, uh, nothing's never going to happen to me. And boom, you know, I got two by four to the head awake, a big wake up call. So so get started on it now. So thanks so much for coming on, man. I really appreciate it.
[00:51:48] I appreciate it. My pleasure. All right.
[00:51:50] Everybody, uh, pay attention to this. Take care of your health and your back, and, uh, and you won't have to be crying like a baby like me. Uh, and you'll even be able to go to the Foo Fighters and then be able to recover from it. So. All right, everybody, we'll catch you on the next episode.
[00:52:06] Thanks a lot.