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Back RX: A 15-Minute-a-Day Yoga- and Pilates-Based Program to End Low Back Pain Paperback – January 22, 2004

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Back RX: A 15-Minute-a-Day Yoga- and Pilates-Based Program to End Low Back Pain + Stop Pain: Inflammation Relief for an Active Life + Arthritis Rx: A Cutting-Edge Program for a Pain-Free Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (January 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592400450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592400454
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“After three months, the results have been striking: 80%… reported that their pain was reduced by at least half”—The Wall Street Journal

“[Dr. Vad’s] holistic approach can work for anyone willing to put in just a little time and positive thought.” —Ellen Barkin

“[His] innovative research on the professional tennis and golf tours and the practicality of Back Rx make it suitable for professional athletes and weekend warriors, as well as couch potatoes.” —Bill Norris, athletic trainer, Association of Tennis Professionals Circuit

Back Rx has been medically proven to have significant positive effect on low back pain caused by disc pathology.” —Don Aspergen, Sports Medicine Division, the PGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour

About the Author

Vijay Vad, M.D. is a sports medicine physician and researcher specializing in minimally invasive arthritis therapies at the prestigious Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan and a professor at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He is also the physician for the PGA golf tour and the ATP tennis tour.

Customer Reviews

These exercises are easy to do and effective.
This book has been a great guide in relieving my back pain.
Michael N MacNeal
The exercises in this book have really worked for me.
K. Appleton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By dondo on September 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently suffered my first real back injury. I spent almost a week on my back completely incapacitated by pain. As soon as I was able to move, I read this book and began doing some of the exercises from it. I found that the exercises had an immediate and very positive effect, first in reducing the pain and now building both strength and flexibility. When I was able to schedule physical therapy, the therapists were happy with my progress and added only a few exercises. My recovery has been very rapid and I'm certain this book played a significant role.

I found the introductory commentary quite helpful in introducing the physiology of the back, describing various causes of pain and remedies, and mapping out the future of my spine as I age. The advice on posture when sneezing or coughing post injury ("lean back, look up!") was worth the purchase price on its own.

I don't think there is any "one-size-fits-all" answer to back pain. Workouts need to be tailored to the needs of the individual, and will change over time as injuries heal and muscles strengthen. As such the ideal program will incorporate elements from many different sources. Because this book outlines three different workout regimens -- one for during healing, one for during post-trauma recovery, and one for ongoing strengthening -- I had a lot of options to help find a workout which works well for me.

I do have a couple of criticisms of the book. The discussion of some of the exercises do not make it entirely clear what muscle group should be affected, which made it a little harder to figure out whether I was doing it right or if I was ready for a more challenging exercise. Also, the book is firmly focused on the lower back (and hips).
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Martha McKinnon, Simple Nourished Living on March 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Back RX - A 15-Minute-A-Day Yoga and Pilates Based Program to End Low Back Pain is an informative book written from the perspective of a physician and back pain sufferer. Its author, Vijay Vad, MD, is a sports medicine specialist, professor at Cornell University Medical Center, and Back Care Advisor for the PGA Tour. The prescribed program blends traditional physical therapy/rehabilitation with yoga and Pilates poses and has been shown effective for relieving low back pain in clinical trials.

This program focuses only on low back pain, so if your pain is in your mid back, upper back, or neck, this is not the program for you.

The first part of the book (Chapters 1 - 6) provides background information on the structure of the back, including basic anatomy and an exploration of the major causes of back pain including muscle imbalance, herniated discs, stress, age, and lifestyle issues. The four stages of low back pain care and recovery from stage 1 (the acute phase) through stage 4 (where spinal fusion seems necessary) are explained. The three aspects of a healthy back - flexibility, strength, and endurance are defined. Strategies for keeping your back healthy are explored, including the suggestion for positioning your body during sleep - on your side with your knees bent and a small pillow placed between them - which can provide significant pain relief. There are also explanations and illustrated examples of proper desk/chair ergonomics and methods for lifting, pushing, and pulling.

The actual physical exercise program begins with chapter 7, which provides an introduction to the poses - floor based yoga and Pilates poses modified to eliminate any potential stress to the back- and outlines a 9 week program schedule.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By GreenGirl on August 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book about a week ago and have done the exercises every day since. I notice an immediate difference after going through the routine each morning (I generally wake up with enough pain that I am hunched over as I walk from the bedroom to the coffee maker; after the routine I am able to stand up straight as well as walk and sit on a chair with little or no pain). I am also noticing an overall reduction in pain in my lower back at all times -- I can sit on the stool at my breakfast bar for longer than I could before, and just generally my back feels better and I am less hunched over than before.

Couple comments related to other reviewers' complaints:

(A) "The exercises are too basic." I am generally fit and have done a lot of yoga, so after four days of doing Series A, I decided to "graduate" myself to Series B in advance of the recommended eight weeks. So far, this is working well. Series B is only a little more challenging, but more to the point, it includes stretches and poses that I can tell (because I can feel it) are targeting the precise areas of my back that need it.

(B) "Anyone who has been to a therapist already knows everything in this book." Probably true, but I think the book is a great idea for people like me who tend to avoid the hassle of going to a doctor. Sure, I've talked to my PCP about my low back pain, at which point she tells me it's probably muscular and offers to refer me to a specialist -- total hassle, time out of my life, plus god knows how many co-pays and added HMO expenses.
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More About the Author

Dr. Vijay Vad is the founder of Vad Scientific LLC, a biotech company that specializes in cartilage repair for arthritis and back pain using stem cells. He is the author of Back Rx, which was named The Wall Street Journal's favorite health book of the year in 2004. He has authored two national PBS television specials: "Stop Back Pain" and "Active with Arthritis."