Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

October 7, 2013

Just Standing


I was talking with a patient about my experience last Monday standing alternately on one leg at a time on an unstable surface (disc-o-sit in this case) for three and a half hours. It was profound. Not just the calve muscles one day after but the lower back muscle soreness two days after signaled a very powerful muscle strengthening stimulation – the balance training (neurologic) aspects go without saying!!

I was mentioning it to him because he just came through the very painful stage of a severe acute low back pain episode, and could start considering rehab activity if he was so inclined. He stays so active that he figures that’s enough.

Today, I read Scott Meredith’s Blog Post which happened to talk about standing in Tai chi postures. I decided to share it so that you get the impression that I am not the only one saying what I have been saying. His Post is about Tai chi so it goes beyond the scope of this conversation but it relates.

How? And why would I be telling a patient to stand on one leg to rehabilitate his back. Well, I have often mentioned standing on one leg to train balance and avoid falling. Falling is a big deal.

What I wanted to impart with this conversation is how simple and easy it is to stimulate balance and strength training in the back muscles. He (and you likely) doesn’t need an unstable surface; standing on one leg all by itself with do. He also doesn’t need to do it for over three hours to hit the low back muscles hard enough to matter; much less than thirty minutes will likely do. The average American adult spends three hours each day watching TV, so the opportunity is probably there.



  1. […] for some folks. So they don’t try. I mentioned the power, or hinted at the power, of simply standing recently. That’s an […]

    Pingback by Simple Solutions Are Too Much For Some Folks | Everett Chiropractic Center Blog — October 16, 2013 @ 8:42 pm

  2. I love the challenge of standing on one leg. I use a Bosu (first flat side up, then round side up). I’ve been adding to my balance/strength workout (part of vestibular rehab therapy) by adding mental challenges: count backward from 500 by sevens; make my way through the alphabet with women’s names (A for Anna, B for Bonita, C for Carol, etc.) and then men’s names; then the alphabet backward. I’ve been surprised (and a little dismayed) to notice that when my balance faded, so did my verbal acuity (I call it being the noun vortex). I feel sharper after just two weeks of combining some cognitive exercise with my one-leg stands.

    Comment by adel b — October 17, 2013 @ 4:22 am

  3. Thanks for Commenting Adel. Yes, your mental-drills-while-balancing are what’s called “novel” training in the literature. It’s getting a lot of attention right now because it amazes the research community and because it helps to explain so much in terms of how/why doing certain things (tai chi comes to mind, but many other things apply) produces the results they do.

    I Posted on this subject here before (https://doctordilday.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/same-but-different/) and hinted at it many times, but my favorite example of both the method and the results are in the “Spry Guy” Post. To me it’s thrilling and I know that it will continue to impact your balance in a positive way.

    Comment by doctordilday — October 17, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

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    Comment by Tyrone Franssen — July 23, 2016 @ 4:53 am

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