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Protocols to Strengthen & Pain Proof Your Back

Huberman Lab

Scicomm Media

Science, Life Sciences, Health & Fitness

4.923.3K Ratings

🗓️ 29 April 2024

⏱️ 128 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


In this episode, I explain how to strengthen and build a stable, pain-free back and how to reduce or eliminate existing back pain. I explain the anatomy and physiology of the spinal cord and vertebrae, intervertebral disks and nerve pathways, and the abdominal and back muscles that together can be leveraged to stabilize the back. Then, I describe protocols: “McGill’s Big 3” exercises, a highly effective psoas stretch, abdominal stabilization, breathing techniques, and protocols to reinforce essential supports for the back, including the neck, pelvis, feet, and toes. I also explain how you can reduce and potentially eliminate back pain and sciatica using a specific type of bar hang, “cobra push-ups,” medial-glute strengthening exercises, and more. Back pain greatly impedes one’s ability to enjoy daily activities; this episode provides zero-cost, minimal time-investment protocols to improve your back strength and stability and allow you to move through life pain-free and with ease and mobility. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman AeroPress: https://aeropress.com/huberman Joovv: https://joovv.com/huberman Waking Up: https://wakingup.com/huberman Plunge: https://plunge.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Back Health (00:03:47) Sponsors: AeroPress, Joovv & Waking Up (00:07:57) Back Anatomy: Spine, Vertebrae, Spinal Cord (00:12:07) Spinal Cord & Nerves; Herniated Discs (00:19:50) Build Strong Pain-Free Back; Bulging Discs (00:24:26) Back Pain & Professional Evaluation; Tool: Spine Self-Assessment (00:34:58) Sponsor: AG1 (00:36:29) Tool: McGill Big 3 Exercises, Curl-Up (00:44:40) Tool: McGill Big 3 Exercises, Side Plank (00:53:13) Tool: McGill Big 3 Exercises, Bird Dog; Back Pain (01:04:10) Sponsor: Plunge (01:05:37) Tool: Back Pain & Oreo Analogy, Bar Hang (01:10:34) Time & Back Pain; Tool: Reversing Disc Herniation, Cobra Push-Ups (01:21:28) Sciatica, Referred Pain, Herniated Disc (01:24:21) Tool: Improve Spine Stability, Strengthen Neck (01:29:23) Tools: Strengthen Feet, Toe Spreading (01:34:35) Tools: Belly Breathing; Stagger Stance (01:42:03) Tools: Relieve Low Back Pain, Medial Glute Activation; Rolled Towel (01:50:59) Tool: Psoas Stretching (01:57:00) Tool: Back Awareness; Strengthen & Pain-Proof Back (02:05:49) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

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Welcome to the Huberman Lab Podcast, where we discuss science and science-based tools for everyday life.


I'm Andrew Huberman and I'm a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine.


Today we are discussing how to build a strong pain-free back.


Having a strong pain-free back has numerous advantages, not the least of which is you're not in pain, as well as the fact


that you can carry out your daily activities, any exercise or sports you might play, interactions


with family members like picking up a kid, leaning down to get things out of a


covered or reaching up to get things out of a cabinet without any pain and back pain is


one of those things that even if minor and certainly if severe


severely impedes our ability to do most everything


even to just sit still or lay still.


And one of the things about pain,


in particular back and neck pain, is that it also has an effect on


our emotional self it makes us more irritable it makes any activity even the most


mundane activities that much more distressing to carry out. So during today's


discussion we will talk about how to ameliorate pain. However pain as a general


topic was already covered on this podcast with an expert guest,


Dr. Sean Mackie, who's a medical doctor at Stanford.


He's actually the director of our pain clinic.


And on that episode, which we provide a link to


in the show note captions,


he talks about the various ways to address pain,


everything from pain medication to epidurals to electrical stimulation, and importantly,


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