SPINAL PAIN RELIEF MANEUVERS
MANEUVERS are a series of specific, sequential,
body movements and self-directed mechancial adjustments in posture and
changes in the spine's position designed to manipulate, alter the forces
acting upon, and physically move the effected spinal disc units (the
bones and joints which make up the spine's Intervertebral Discs) so
as to eliminate the pain caused by displaced pieces of the cartilage-like
material pressing against the ligaments and restricting normal range
of motion in spinal disease.
Since the physical actions to be described in this book cause alterations in the body's mechanics, they, too, are most appropriately defined as "MANEUVERS" rather than "exercises." Since the techniques described in this book are designed to move spinal anatomical structures, they are best termed "SPINAL PAIN MANEUVERS." These postural alterations act mechanically to physically move the components of the spinal intervertebral discs by preferentially and intentionally stretching, rotating, angulating, compressing, and manipulating the various anatomical structures associated with the intervertebral discs in such a manner as to apply, in the reverse order, the forces that created the pain so as to eliminate it.
Many orthopedists make an incorrect assumption that once a piece of disc material is "herniated, bulged, or protruded" it can only be managed surgically. The witnessed successes (see TESTIMONIALS) of The O'Connor Technique (tm), routinely experienced, prove that this opinion is not based upon fact. Certainly, acting upon the belief that this mechanical problem can be solved constitutes one of the major advances in medical understanding that are engendered in The O'Connor Technique. In fact, it needs to be understood by the back pain, neck pain, backache, or spinal pain sufferers that their pain is most likely created by physical, understandable, mechanical, forces--not some mysterious entity beyond the average intellect.
It is no leap in logic that mechanical problems have mechanical solutions, the MANEUVERS are those mechanical solutions. Moving the spinal joints (the disc units) through simple postural changes and easily performed body adjustments (using EXTENSIONS, FLEXIONS, TRACTION, etc.) can change the anatomical alignment and positions of disc material; therefore, it is not too difficult to learn how to "manipulate" your own spine in a similar fashion as a chiropractor.
By reading elsewhere in this webbook, the reader has had the opportunity to familiarize him or herself with the anatomical/mechanical abnormalities associated with discogenic pain (see PHYSICAL REALITY); but, up until now, the practical directions for the actual movements, stretches and postures have not been described. The contents delineated as MANEUVERS are dedicated to describing The O'Connor Technique (tm) "SPINAL PAIN MANEUVERS." They are arguably the most mechanically and physically important components of this book and comprise, in large part, the fundamental, actively beneficial, constituent of The O'Connor Technique (tm).
Upon purchase of a MEMBERSHIP, the reader will be directed to an image map whereon they will select the area of their pain. They will then be linked to another page where they will be given a number of MANEUVER choices, their use depending upon the particular circumstance of the reader. If a bed is available, the reader can choose a bed upon which to perform the MANEUVERS. If the reader has access to large couch pillows, those MANEUVERS can be chosen that utilize pillows. There are also MANEUVERS that can be done while standing with a table or other platform, seated in a chair (as partially depicted above), or over the edge of a couch, depending upon the site of pain and the availability of the required platforms. The MANEUVER instructions were designed so as not to require any expensive devices or equipment other than that which can be found in most households without difficulty or substantial cost. The directions, although seemingly lengthy, have been written so that the average lay person can safely perform them in the privacy of their own home within about an hour's time spent reading. It is not absolutely necessary to read the entire 400 page book to be able to accomplish a MANEUVER. A painful spine, especially the low back, can reasonably be expected to be relieved of pain within a short amount of time. In actual clinical practice, the author can diagnose, instruct in the acting principles, and guide a patient through the maneuvers in 30-60 minutes with over a 75% success rate of substantially relieving the pain. The author had been teaching this technique for years before finally writing down the directions so an office visit was unnecessary and the readers could self-treat. Since then, the instructions were given to enough people without one-on-one guidance to convince the author that a motivated person with average intelligence could successfully perform the MANEUVERS simply by reading the instrucitons. Countless others, who were personally instructed have returned to Dr. O'Connor in his practice for other reasons only to relate that they have not had any significant pain for years; and, if they do, they simply do a MANEUVER to instantly relieve it.
To this author's knowledge, these directions on how to perform this unique type of self-administered physical therapy are not available anywhere else in the medical, chiropractic, physical therapy, or lay literature. The author intentionally did not publish them in the scientific medical literature because to do so causes one to surrender their copyrights to the publisher. Then, there would have been no financial reward for all the work it took to develop, because anyone and everyone could simply go to the published source.
The knowledge of these MANEUVERS did not come to the author as a result of sitting at a computer with schematic vertebral designs moving through three dimensional, two hundred and fifty six color, cyberspace with a committee of government-granted University level orthopedists and neurosurgeons mulling over the economic intricacies and politically correct wording of proposed guidelines. He sustained at least three major Lumbar, two significant Cervical, and several insignificant Thoracic disc injuries and, out of necessity, in order to remain functional and pain-free, he developed these MANEUVERS to put his own discs back "in." He tried numerous MANEUVER strategies and devices, then narrowed the field down to the options to which the reader will be exposed upon purchase of a MEMBERSHIP. They may not be perfect, but he tried to make them realistically capable of being done by the majority of people without the additional expense of complicated devices. He tried countless other strategies and experimented with numerous alternatives, devices, contraptions, and methods. What you read immediately hereafter is the end product of all that trial and error.
Now, one could say that "these might work on him, but my back is different and unique." Well, he covered that contingency by trying out these MANEUVERS on too-numerous-to-count patients and acquaintances with back pain. he boiled his instructions down to the minimum and limited what he taught to those MANEUVERS that led to seemingly universally successful relief of back pain in the overwhelming majority of patients he identified with a disc problem presumed treatable by physical therapy. He found that, if his instructions were too complex or patients could not understand them, they couldn't do them; and the outcome was the same as if he had not done anything--they didn't get better until he communicated the most appropriate instructions to them.
The directions on how to perform the MANEUVERS is the product of a rather extensive, truly scientific, trial-and-error process as well. In choosing the MANEUVERS to publish, he considered which ones were the easiest to describe and accomplish. They may seem complex and difficult at first; but when confined to written communications, he has no idea whether the reader is understanding every necessary point. So, he endeavored to be exhaustingly wordy and repetitive in order to get the message across. After reading and attempting a MANEUVER, a reader of average intelligence should readily see how basically simple and easy they are to perform as well as how effective they are at relieving pain in most cases.
In his medical office practice, he can ideally relate one of these same MANEUVER directions with a brief description of the PRINCIPLES underlying the reasoning behind the movements in as little as twenty minutes. However, most patients require more extensive efforts to adequately understand enough to get themselves out of pain. Of course, this book is much more exhaustingly detailed because it must cover every reasonably possible contingency, stand as the substitute for actual face-to-face education, and serve as the alternative to a personal encounter with himself. An entire medical library could be devoted to that equivalent. So, that being said, one must first understand some basic, universal considerations that pertain to all of the MANEUVERS, especially the Lumbar-type.
These MANEUVERS could not possibly hope to help everyone with back pain , neck pain or backache; however, he can honestly represent that they are successful in the overwhelming majority of persons with disease of the intervertebral discs as a source of the pain. That covers the overwhelming majority of people with back pain. Therefore, if repeated attempts using these MANEUVERS over a reasonable period of time result in no relief or increased pain and/or none of the other methodologies described in this book are successful, then it is time to consider the expensive imaging studies and possibly only surgical relief as the last resort. The problem with this statement arises when one asks what is "reasonable." he would probably say a couple of months, by his own experience. If a person's spine isn't very flexible, it may take that long before the MOBILITY is achieved to sufficiently allow migration of the disc material. For a detailed treatise on the theoretical advantages of increased MOBILITY, go to that named Section in the PRINCIPLES Section..
These MANEUVERS are not always immediately successful in all patients, quite often they are, but he has honest, personal, as well as clinical, experience to the contrary. However, putting the MANEUVERS into prolonged practice in the absence of immediate relief never substantially or permanently harmed anyone else known to the author. Too, to his knowledge, there have been no instances of neurological compromise or additional damage in persons practicing this method. He found (through prolonged and extensive follow-up interviews) his patients and he easily tolerate the inconveniences of having to perform these MANEUVERS because the benefit is so rewarding. Above all, there apparently exist no other alternative, equally as effective, self-administered prospects for relief, not withstanding the surgical options.
In the time it took to achieve personal success, his faith in the veracity of his methods was sometimes sorely tested; however, even then, the existence of the probability that he could remain in perpetual pain motivated him to persist in the face of a lack of immediate success. Quite possibly, had he not been successful, he suspects he would eventually have become frustrated and decided to get an NMRI with the intent of eventually seeking surgical remedy especially if the pain became increasingly intense or aggravatingly unending.
At what point the reader may be caused to consider a surgical option is as much a function of their individual level of disease as it is their frustration level versus the belief that eventually they will succeed. One thing is for certain, one will probably not succeed if they give up, and the author encourages the reader/member to keep trying these MANEUVERS until the last and final surgical option needs be exercised. Even right up to the day of surgery, if it is plannned.
In the webbook, there are numerous categories of MANEUVERS presented. They are primarily differentiated by the anatomical site of the pain. Then, numerous choices are offered depending upon your particular situation at the time of pain or convenience. There are bed-based maneuvers which employ the use of a standard bed, pillow-based maneuvers that work with large couch pillows or other floor-based equipment, and assorted other methods to achieve the same end--pain relief through self-administered physical manipulation therapy. To make the selection easier, an image map of the human body is provided with links to the most appropriate maneuvers depending upon the areas of pain involved. In order to obtain this information, one must either