Recovering flexibility post-injury, surgery or simply age can be difficult. The Backpod can help you with gradually freeing up the tight, extremely stiff and strong structure of the back, ribs, and spine. It can be especially effective in aiding recovery post laminectomy, foraminotomy, and thoracotomy operations.
Why would I need to use the Backpod?
There are some specific operations that the Backpod and its approach are particularly helpful with. Post any surgery the body needs time to recover and often can require therapy or conditioning to support this. It is recommended to follow the surgeons recommendation for healing and recovery, only use the Backpod if you've followed these instructions as directed.
What can the Backpod help with?
1) Laminectomy, foraminotomy and fusion operations in the low back:
Regardless of how the low back operation has gone, freeing up a tight and hunched upper and middle back takes a surprising amount of load off the low back. Essentially, if the thoracic spine can move freely and fully, then the low back doesn’t have to do as much work. Also, the sitting massage shown in the user guide is especially effective for the tethering scarring down the low back after surgical entry there, if you work down that low. This is shown as a video on our iHUNCH page entitled Home Massage (1) - for neck pain, headache and the iHunch.
2) Thoracotomy chest operation:
Persisting pain after these operations is a very commonly reported problem (research indicates potentially 61% or higher). Surgical entry is made from the side between the ribs, and these are cranked apart to allow the surgery access inside the chest. The trauma on the muscles between the ribs, on the rib joints, and around the back, can be very substantial. Unsurprisingly, they will repair afterwards with a lot of scarring which inherently has less elasticity for muscle movement. The nerves are bound down, running through the muscles, and leaving the rib joints around the back adhered and immobile. All these can mean ongoing pain, which is particularly distressing for the patient as it’s easy to think the original problem is coming back.
Tightened movement of the rib joints around the back can also mean overuse strain and pain at the other ends of the ribs, where they join onto the breastbone, since these more delicate hinges then become the only ones that can move to let you keep breathing. This is the cause of most costochondritis chest pain.
These problems respond well and readily to freeing up the frozen rib movement around the back with the Backpod, and massage, specific stretching and general exercises to free up the tethered nerves and scarred muscles. The gentle hands-on stretch for the tight, scarred muscles between the ribs is shown about 10 minutes into our Part (2) costochondritis YouTube video.
3) Sternal split operation:
These are probably the worst for ongoing pain. You get all the strain and scarring to the rib joints, muscles and nerves that you get with a thoracotomy, but also the scarring on the chest itself where they’ve cut through the length of the breastbone and then cranked it apart. The operations themselves are usually essential, highly skilled and life-saving, but it is completely unsurprising that they will often leave ongoing rib cage pain in their wake. This is particularly distressing for the patient as it’s easy to think the original problem is coming back.
Treatment is the same as for persisting pain after a thoracotomy operation – freeing up the frozen rib movement around the back with the Backpod, and massage, specific stretching and general exercises to free up the tethered nerves and scarred muscles. The gentle hands-on stretch for the tight, scarred muscles between the ribs is shown about 10 minutes into our Part (2) costochondritis YouTube video.
The extra scarring on the breastbone itself may need more concentrated massage, and also pectoralis chest muscle stretches. There is a good YouTube video demonstrating sensible pec stretching.