Frequently Asked Questions

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These stretches are aimed at helping musculo-skeletal pain caused by strain.

That is, pain in your feet, calves, knees, legs, your hip joints, sacroiliac joints, low back, upper back, neck, shoulders or arms. And some headaches.

Pain that is caused by the strain of stiff joints, misaligned bones and tight, unbalanced or weak muscles.

Probably. There is no one answer for every problem but doing enough of the right stretches can make a huge difference, if it is appropriate. It depends on what is causing your pain. This app and these stretches are aimed at strain based pain.

If strain is causing or significantly contributing to your problem, there is a really good chance that this information and these stretches, done in conjunction with the Progress Chart, will help you to significantly reduce and better manage or completely eliminate your pain.

Do the stretches, use the chart. Give it a week or 2. Most people feel a tangible improvement in the first few days. If you have no significant improvement in 2 or 3 weeks, you probably need more personalized, specific treatment.

For some people, yes, there is a possibility of extending their injury or causing other problems or pain.
Care must always be taken when you are doing any form of exercise and especially so when you are already in pain.

If you are unsure or have significant pain, ask your medical professional.

When you are stretching, if you experience pain, numbness or tingling that is worse or different to usual, stop. Go and get it checked out by a medical professional.

Some discomfort or pain are OK, but significant pain is not.
When you are stretching, push to the pain not through the pain.

If you are in bad or severe pain, or pain that is worse or different to your usual pain, if you’ve had an injury, or hurt yourself lifting or falling, or if you have new neuro signs like a line of pain down an arm or leg or tingling, numbness or weakness –

You need to get it properly assessed, diagnosed, and addressed by a medical professional.
Stretching may or may not be appropriate.

Definitely. As you get older there is an increasing tendency for your muscles and joints to get tighter.
You get slower and tighter and weaker and everything gets harder.
Unless you consistently do something about it.
Do some sort of exercise to keep yourself strong and do these stretches to stay supple and balanced.

If you stretch for 5 to 10 minutes once or twice a day you will make and maintain a dramatic improvement in how your body works, moves and feels. And stretching feels great to do. So you are better off now, in the present, and you will be way better off in the future. Working, moving, feeling dramatically better.

15 minutes is 1/100th of a day. You do have time.

My name is Bruce Sutton. I have been an osteopath in private practice, treating and teaching stretches to people in pain since 1989. I work in the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney, Australia.

The stretches in this app are the home version of how I treat people at work. They are the stretches I give my patients. They have been tuned and developed with the feedback I get from my patients day in and day out. Week after week, year after year, for over 25 years.

These stretches are based on my experience, and designed to be easy to use and as effective as possible.

Most professionals do not fully consider the biomechanics of pain.
The stiffness of joints, misalignment of bones and tension, imbalance and weakness of muscles, and how they weave together to give us predictable patterns of strain, pain and eventually, degeneration.

This is a whole body approach that addresses the overall pattern of strain that runs through your body from head to toes. It also works directly on the bits that actually hurt.

For example, if your right calf is tighter than your left calf, which is the case for most people, that pulls behind your right knee, which makes it want to bend a little. When that happens, your pelvis rolls forward and down on the right, and turns out a little to the left. This generally makes your low back turn to the left.
To compensate for this your upper back turns right and your neck turns back to the left.

This is the Typical Strain Pattern. I see it in most of the people I treat. It underlies most of the problems with pain that I deal with.

Try this now. Stand up. Bend your right knee while you keep your heel on the floor. What happens to your pelvis? Drops forward and down on the right and turns out a bit to the left, right?

This chronic imbalance of the Typical Strain Pattern usually comes from the legs, runs up through all the bones, joints and muscles of the pelvis and low back and can cause strain which can cause pain.

So we have to address these characteristic imbalances in the legs to have a long lasting effect on everything above them, especially the pelvis, low back and neck.

This whole body approach is what these stretches are all about.

That depends on what is causing your problems. Generally 5 to10 minutes twice a day will give you substantial improvement from the get go. The app is designed for you to figure out what are the best stretches for you to do in the least amount of time to have the least amount of pain. This revolves around using the Progress Chart, (and doing the stretches of course).

It depends on what is causing your pain. Stretching may ease strain around an area of degeneration or damage so it may help.

If your pain is caused by prolapsed disc or bony growths (osteophytes), impinging on nerves, especially in the spine, or osteoarthritis so severe that it has mostly, or completely worn out the cartilage, and is damaging the underlying bone, especially in knees and hips, surgery may be your only alternative.

Right after you have surgery, go with the rehab that is part of the process. In rehab, ask about what you should and should not be doing in the future. What are your limitations and for how long?
Once you have finished rehab, you need to work on your strength and flexibility with exercise and stretching on your own. This app and these stretches are perfect for that.

These stretches are based on a whole body approach, addressing the most common underlying patterns of strain and individual restrictions I have found that occur time and time and time again.

You need to address the causes of your pain, the overall strain pattern, not just were you have the pain.
This whole body approach is going to do exactly that.

Most likely. Pain is your guide here. If any stretch makes your pain worse than you are used to, or makes you feel lighted, dizzy, nauseous, or strange in any way, or causes any numbness, tingling, weakness, or a line of pain down an arm or leg, stop and go and see your osteopath, doctor or other suitably qualified health professional, to get it checked out in person.

This is the blood supply to your brain and the nerve supply to your limbs we are talking about here, so take it very seriously and go and get it checked out.

The bare minimum is the First Super Stretch and one or more calf stretches. These are 2 of the 4 stretches in the free version of the app. Use them in conjunction with the Progress Chart. The Progress Chart logs what stretches you do, how long you do them for and what your pain levels are as a result. This will clearly tell you which are the best stretches for you to do and what is the optimal time doing them to give you the best result. Experiment and find out for yourself.

I do not have a problem with anti-inflammatories or painkillers, I sometimes recommend them to my patients. For acute, transient pain, that may be all you need. But they will not fix any chronic or recurring problem. They will just mask the pain while the cause of the pain, the stiff joints, misaligned bones and tight, unbalanced muscles just keep persevering, and your problem, over time just gets worse.

Bulging discs usually do not cause back pain. It has to be a very large bulge to press on pain sensitive parts like the nerves that come out of either side of your spine. The more likely culprit actually causing the pain is strain caused by the stiff joints, misaligned bones and tight, unbalanced muscles.

Possibly. Prolapsed discs usually cause bad or severe low back pain and sciatica, that is, a line of pain down the back of your leg, anywhere from your mid buttock to your heel.
The only way to definitively diagnose a prolapsed disc is with a CT or MRI scan.
You cannot tell from a plain X-ray. X-rays only show the bones.
Take the painkillers prescribed and let it settle first. Plenty of rest but do keep moving around as well. When the really acute painful phase has passed, try some gentle stretching. Start with the calf stretches.
Stop doing anything that aggravates your symptoms.