Top positive review
Foundation Results Over Five Months
Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2016
I purchased the Foundation book to see if I could relieve my back pain where other methods hadn’t worked. Some background. I'm 52, active, and am in relatively good shape. (I also like long walks on the beach and drinking red wine. Oops, wrong web site.) Two years ago almost overnight I began having chronic lower back pain, which means I was in pain or discomfort 24/7. For over a year I tried cortisone shots, working with a massage therapist and sports chiropractor, going to 3 different medical doctors, etc. Nothing helped the problem. An MRI showed I'd degenerative discs. In total I spent several thousand dollars trying to recover including a new mattress, desk chair for posture, and other devices and gizmos. The upshot is this: I didn't have any success in relieving my lower back pain using non-exercise methods. (Although I did go to physical therapy, it was a huge disappointment. The exercises were so tame I didn't really get any benefit.)
Several months ago I began researching exercises to cure back pain and came across Foundation. I did a fair amount of research on it including reading 80% of the Amazon reviews on the book. I'm going to repeat several things from those other reviews. The most important point is to make sure to watch online videos of Dr. Eric Goodman showing the Foundation exercises. You will get a much better idea of correct form. The video I found especially helpful was of Dr. Goodman showing Dr. Mercola how to do the basic exercises. One of the negatives of the book is it doesn't show alternative techniques if you're experiencing back pain for a particular exercise. The videos will occasionally show these alternates.
The book takes you through a six week training regimen. The first two weeks introduces the basic exercises of Foundation and concentrates on fixing acute pain (reoccurring pain); the second two weeks is to fix chronic pain (pain all the time, which is what I have); and the last two weeks on exercises to strengthen the core and prevent future back pain. The basic idea of Foundation I believe is to both strengthen the back and stretch different muscle groups.
I kept a diary of my progress and thought it might benefit people to know my results over time. On a side note, I should mention I was very dedicated to the program and went beyond what was suggested. I would do the Foundation workouts between 4 to 6 times a week and would hold the poses 30 seconds instead of the 15 to 20 as they state in the book. (After six weeks I started alternating Foundation every other day with core exercises, which mainly consisted of planks.)
For the first three days of starting Foundation I concentrated on making sure I was doing the exercises with the proper form. That meant before each exercise I'd study what it said in the book, watch Youtube videos, and then perform the exercise. It took me about a week to get comfortable with the positions. Are the exercises easy to perform? I found them initially uncomfortable because they are poses I hadn't done before. You will definitely work up a sweat holding the positions. I don't think you need to be an athlete, but if you've never worked out, you might not like Foundation at first. Stick with it though. After only a little time you'll get comfortable with the exercises and the results are worth it.
Even after two weeks, I still wasn't convinced I was making progress. I felt less stiff in my lower back but my pain level remained the same. It wasn't until the start of the third week that I really could tell that my back pain was slightly better. It wasn't much of an improvement but an improvement nonetheless.
Before Foundation if I did yard work for 15 minutes, this translated into several days of a fairly bad back pain. By the fifth week of Foundation I could work in the yard 15 minutes and only have bad back pain the next day. This might sound minor or not worth using Foundation to some people, but to me it was a huge improvement. It also let me know that I was making significant progress using Foundation.
By the fourth month I felt like I'd reached a plateau and wasn't noticing any more improvement. However, I was really doing well as compared to before I started doing Foundation. Now I'd wake up in the morning with the usual amount of back pain but by lunch feel fairly good. By evening I wouldn't really feel any back pain. This still wasn't where I wanted to be because I was looking for more dramatic improvement (to reset the clock to the months before my back pain even began).
It was during this fourth month I decided to take a yoga class. I experienced slight back pain during the class, but when I woke up the next day I felt really good. I started incorporating yoga into my Foundation workouts and the results have been amazing. A lot of mornings I wake up without back any pain. This is a novelty to me. Morning back pain has been a part of my life for almost two years.
I think yoga and Foundation are complimentary. I would suggest doing what I did: start with Foundation and if that doesn’t fix your problem, consider adding yoga to your routines. I don't think I could've even done yoga before I started Foundation. It would've been too painful, and I suspect I might've injured myself. Foundation gave me the basis to move on to yoga.
Two final notes: First, if you're considering either the DVD or the book on Foundation, definitely get the book. Maybe get the DVD later for additional exercises, but from a beginners standpoint the book is much better. I can't stress this enough. Second, consider adding the bird dog exercise into your routine with progressively higher ankle weights. The book The Multifidus Back Pain Solution book by Jim Johnson makes a strong case that this exercise can be one of the best to fix lower back pain.
To conclude, I highly recommend Foundation to anybody experiencing lower back pain.