One day in late August I hosted Hunter Franqui and the team from his weekly television program, SoFlo Health. It airs on Sundays at 12:30 p.m. on WPLG Channel 10 in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, and Hunter covers just about anything having to do with maintaining a healthy lifestyle: exercise, sports, nutrition, leisure, rest, illness and recovery, prevention—well, you get the picture. And anyone who knows me knows that this is right up my alley.
The subject: Back pain. The solution: ELDOA.
Our subject for this program was back pain, and specifically, ELDOA, the single most effective tool in my therapist’s toolbox for ending and preventing back pain. ELDOA is a French acronym for Longitudinal Osteoarticular Decoaptation Stretching, and it consists of a series of one-minute exercises, each one of which targets a specific joint area. ELDOA works against the compression that occurs particularly in the spine as we go through life and gravity does its work. The marvel of ELDOA is that it counteracts compression by increasing the space in the targeted joint and relieves pressure on the nerves that are causing pain.
Correcting for Posture
Hunter is a high-energy 28-year old in excellent physical condition, and anyone who has watched SoFlo Health knows that he is game to try anything. He volunteered to try ELDOA, and what better way than to work on an area that might be giving him some discomfort? As it turned out, Hunter did have a complaint, one that is fairly common these days. He was concerned about his posture, that his shoulders were rounding and his head moving forward from the constant use of cell phones, computers and other devices.
The Most Powerful ELDOA of All
I took Hunter through a range of exercises, beginning with the T6-T7 ELDOA, which targets the joint between the sixth and seventh thoracic vertebrae. ELDOA can be deceptively strenuous, and like many people who experience ELDOA for the first time, Hunter was shaking a bit during the exercise.
But he was also blown away by the results and said it was really powerful stuff. He said he could feel it right in the spot he was concerned about.
I told him, “I haven’t even shown you the most powerful ELDOA of all, the L5-S1.”
L5-S1 targets the joint between the fifth lumbar and first sacral vertebrae, the most commonly injured vertebrae in the human body, and it is generally the exercise I prescribe to end every ELDOA session. Whether you do seven different exercises in a session or ten, you’ll normally finish with this one.
“Great, let’s do another segment,” he said. So we did.
Try physical therapy before surgery.
Hunter also interviewed one of my favorite clients, Vinod Prasad, an exceptional 18-year old golfer from Sri Lanka who had suffered a large L4-L5 disc herniation. A surgeon had recommended fusion surgery for him, a drastic step especially for someone so young. He and his parents were wary of surgery and concerned about how it might affect his golfing career. I think it’s generally best to try physical therapy before resorting to surgery, and more and more surgeons agree. Vinod came to Florida so I could work with him, and he is now hitting golf balls again, pain-free.
While they were there, I worked with the show’s producer, Manny Elgarresta, who had suffered a shoulder injury. I took him through some range-of-motion exercises and a Global Dynamic Normalization, and he felt immediate improvement.
Watch ELDOA on SoFlo Health.
My first ELDOA segment aired on SoFlo Health September 22 on Channel 10. The next one will air on October 6, and they are all available online.
And Hunter? He got in touch to let me know that he was doing the ELDOA exercises I prescribed for him regularly, with excellent results.
Thanks to Hunter and Manny for the opportunity to share ELDOA with the South Florida community. More detailed information on ELDOA, including our weekly ELDOA classes at H3 by Dan Hellman, is available here.