View Full Version : Bad Back Sufferers - Great new book available

06-08-2004, 08:37 AM
I just finished reading a very good new book about low back problems and ways to prevent and rehab them. It is called "Low Back Disorders" by Dr. Stuart McGill, PhD. Dr. McGill is considered one of the world's leading experts on the biomechanics of the spine and the proper way to rehab injuries. In fact many of the world's leading athletes come to him in secret for help with their chronic bad backs.

For over 20 years, Dr. McGill and his staff have studied the spine and have come to some surprising discoveries. For me the most eye opening is the damage that many commonly prescribed back rehabiliation exercises can do. The first part of the book is an engineer's dream as all of the research data is presented. You'll learn more about the spine and how it really works than you ever thought. Part 2 discussed ways to protect the spine during work and play. Part 3 shows how to diagnosis the specific problem area(s) in the low back, then how to develop a non-destructive program to strengthen and/or rehab an injured low back.

Be warned, this is more textbook than general book, but Dr. McGill's writing style is well suited to the informed layman. While some of the hard science parts can be a bit obtuse, they present the important background data you need to understand why the specific diagnosis and rehab exercises work the way they do.

If you struggle with low back problems or are interested in preventing them before they start, this is probably one of the best books you can read. I've read just about everything out there on the low back and this one definitely ranks in the top 3.

You can find it at Amazon. He also has another book called "Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance" that I have on order. Will review once I've finished it.

06-11-2004, 08:46 AM
Any chance of you giving us the Cliff's notes version of the maintenance required to keep us going. I have an L5 that craps out about once a year.

06-11-2004, 09:52 AM
Sorry. Not really. You need to see the detailed instructions on how do the rehab moves for it to make sense and to tailor to your unique needs.

I viewed it this way, it cost me less than one visit to the doctor to buy the book. Since I've been through the whole gamut of back cures and rehab, I was able to understand the logic and use the book's guidelines to tailor a routine for me that seems to be working wonders. McGill stresses each person's issues are unique and no one program will work the same on each individual.

FYI, my problem area is also L4-L5 (as is most folks). It was worth the price of te book just to see what exercises I was doing (taught to me by various "experts") that were prolonging the problem. Simply stopping those exercises has made a world of difference.

06-15-2004, 10:39 AM
I recommend Pilates. I have 3 herniated disks in my back and 1 in my neck from a car accident. Seems to be working for me as it reallys strengthens the abs and takes pressure off the spine.

06-17-2004, 10:28 AM
I have been using one of those big exercise balls for core muscle strength training. The ball I have been using came with a video tape and I just followed the video tape everyday for about 30min to an hour and it has helped me in my everyday activity as well as my tennis serves!

The exercises you do on the ball are low-mid impact and the ball gives you air cushion, which prevent from hurting your joints and straining other muscles which aren't supposed to be used in a particular routine.

I recommend getting an exercise ball to anyone who has back/stomach problems, whether it's actual pain or just for the appearances. I actually went down a size in my waist.

Another benefit is that I no longer have back pain after 3 sets of tennis. I get stiff back after 2nd set from serving, etc, but after I have been doing the exercises on the ball, the pain is gone.

You can buy these balls inexpensively at TJ MAX for about 10-15 bucks. I can tell you it's one of the best buys I got at TJ Max....

hope this helps.