MedX put 90 million dollars into research to develop safe effective exercise equipment for the lower back. This equipment is often used for rehab. I first used this equipment in a doctor's office. Their Core exercise equipment was developed to strengthen the muscles of the abs and lower back. At Austin Fitness Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers we have all the MedX Core equipment plus full lines of MedX strength training equipment. The equipment and the protocol we use has contributed to our success working with those who have back problems.
Mark was plagued by neck and back problems. He had very little range of motion, little strength, and a lot of pain. He ended up having neck surgery, went through physical therapy, and after he was finished he began training at our facility on our MedX rehabilitative exercise equipment.
One of the features of the MedX equipment is that the resistance is provided in an arc. Bow your head and then lift up and look at the ceiling. Your neck follows an arc. The same if you bend over or if you flex the lumbar region. Your body follows an arc.
All barbells and many types of equipment provide linear (straight line) resistance. The MedX low back machine provides resistance in an arc congruent with the arc created by the motion of your back. This makes for a much safer exercise. You don’t have weight bearing down on your back from above, so there is no vertebral compression.
This man (pictured here at this link toward the bottom) used to spend 12 hours a week in the gym. By age 24 he'd already had two rotator cuff operations. Because of his rotator cuff injuries he couldn't lift a 100 pound barbell over his head without aggravating his shoulders. He began training with us on our MedX rehabilitative exercise equipment. With the MedX overhead press he did not aggravate his rotator cuff and his strength improved; he eventually was able to lift 316 pounds smoothly and safely using the MedX overhead press. He reported that he was stronger than he'd ever been.
Several years ago I was discussing with a cancer survivor the possibility of her starting an exercise program. I told her it might be difficult. She replied, “John, I survived cancer; I can do your workout.” Boy was she right. She responded very well to exercise. All the cancer patients we worked with have responded positively to exercise - everyone, but some cancer survivors were often discouraged from exercising. A quote from this New York Times article,Balancing Painful Swelling With a Desire to Exercise:
“FOR almost 20 years, the prevailing wisdom among most doctors has been that breast cancer survivors at risk of contracting lymphedema — a debilitating, irreversible swelling of one or both arms — should avoid most upper-body exercise or lifting anything heavier than five pounds. For many women, the stern warnings meant they could not shop for groceries or even carry their children. Running and walking were safe, but anything that taxed the arms was considered dangerous. ”
I was watching Brazil versus Columbia when Brazilian Soccer player Neymar went down. At first I thought, “Oh boy, more flopping”. When they were carrying him off the field I saw the pain he was in, and it did not surprise me to learn that Neymar broke a vertebra. I broke a vertebra in my back 40 years ago.
My recovery was pretty straight forward – rest, pain meds, and a brace. The most difficult for me was sleeping. Sleeping on the floor was my only relief from the pain. I slept on the floor for years after that.
Years later I developed back pain that stayed with me for the better part of two years. Nothing gave me relief. I did everything I could to relieve the pain – new bed, swimming, getting rid of my chair at work, no long trips in the car, and standing instead of sitting during the night school classes I was attending. Exercise seemed to make it worse.
Arthur Jones the founder of MedX and Nautilus is said to have spent 100 million dollars on the development of the MedX low back machine. Arthur said that if everything in his life up to that point were evil this exercise machine more than made up for it. As one who has suffered serious back injuries I can attest to the positive results. Studies report amazing results, and our clients have benefited.
Some of the advantages the MedX low back machine:
We lose flexibility in our backs as we age. To avoid injury to our backs we become increasingly less inclined to go to the fully contracted or stretched position position. It's a classic case of if-you-don’t-use-it you-lose-it; we lose considerable strength in the fully flexed and extended positions.
A recent NYT article (Getting a New Knee or Hip?
Number 14 in a series about what clients have to say about their workouts.