- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Plume; Updated edition (December 30, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142180696
- ISBN-13: 978-0142180693
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 183 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life: How to Rapidly Relieve Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain
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“Patients who have learned to use McKenzie’s exercises assert for the first time that they could effectively manage–or banish–their own pain.”—"Dear Abby"
“A fantastic guidebook for people with back or neck pain.”—Dean Edell, M.D., author of Healing Back Pain Naturally
“I think Robin McKenzie’s work is wonderful.”—Art Brownstein, M.D., author of Healing Back Pain Naturally
“The McKenzie Method has become a keystone for back and neck care, and this book is an invaluable tool for better health."—HealthNewsDigest.com
About the Author
ROBIN MCKENZIE was an internationally acclaimed physical therapist, who spent 40 years perfecting the McKenzie Method, now the keystone for back and neck care around the world. He died in 2013.
CRAIG KUBEY is the author of seven previous books. He lives in Davis, California.
Top customer reviews
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Ever sine then... almost 40 years... I would eventually "go stupid" and not take precautions when lifting or moving something, or maybe, simply bending over to brush my teeth or shave, and my back would "go out". And each time I would rest, maybe lay on the floor on my side, then "get better" and go on.
Flash forward to two weeks ago: I was in a rush to get the outdrive of my motorboat off... it weighs 97 pounds, and was stuck. I could have gone in the house and put on my Mueller spined lumbar support... but didn't. Well of course we know what happened... but it was different this time. The damage was far more severe than ever before, gradually causing me the most pain I had ever endured in my life. When I had to get out of bed, I barely could... it was literally torture. I was in awe of it.
I thought I got better after a couple of days, but then the it got worse again. I went to the ER, where they prescribed 800 MG Ibuprophens every 8 hours, and percocet "as needed" for pain. The pain was so intense that the percocet barely cut the edge off. Getting in and out of the car was probably the most difficult physical and painful task of my life. I tried sleeping on the floor, I tried sleeping on the couch, with my back brace on. I got worse and worse, and went to Urgent Care just last Friday (It is Tuesday). I spent 12 hours on the floor Saturday, using a "bottle" so I didn't have to get up. They now prescribed a new antinflammatory, Nabumatone, and a muscle relaxant. I thought that Saturday this was the answer, because even though I was on the floor, I could "actually" get up two times and walk for 5 minutes... until the pain and wobbly feeling had me crawling back on the floor. Sunday was the same. I knew I would have to go see a specialist, and could not imagine there was any other hope than surgery... and worried that this was going to be my life now: Constant, daily, unrelenting pain.
I point all this out so that readers can understand "where I'm coming from", when I talk about this book. And also, to add, I watched every professional and amature youtube video on solving back pain, and excersises, and so on... and all the advice about sleeping, sitting and standing. Nothing worked.
Then, yesterday, Monday, a friend and co-worker of my wife's told her of her 20 years plus of back problems, and three surgeries, and meds, and said the only thing that helped her was "7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life". She said that if you follow the exercises religiously, it will eliminate or remove most or all of the pain, as it did for her. Now I am a skeptic, and a pragmatist... but that sounded good, so I came here and read the reviews. What did I have to lose by trying this book? I ordered it, and rather than wait, I also bought the ebook. For a total of both of $38, that would be nothing if it worked, and a tiny risk if it did not.
So I took three hours Monday afternoon and carefully read the background, anatomy lessons, care and cause sections, and of course, the exercise routine. I have to say the background explanations by McKenzie really appealed to me: I want to know the "why" of anything suggested, rather than just being told "what do do", and his explanations made practical, logical sense to me. And with the insistent suggestion that one follow the instructions to the letter, I did just that when I started the routine.
Well as I did the routine the first time, my pain.... which was spread from the center lower back to my upper right buttock, seemed to move to my center bottom back: Just as was predicted COULD happen, and why this was good. And then, for the first time over a week, I was able to stand! My lower back muscles were sore... but totally tolerable, and probably about 1/20 of what they had been. More importantly, I could stay standing, and walk around. Remember just before the exercises, I could only stand for maybe 5 minutes until the pain was unbearable. Now I found myself walking around for over an hour and a half. I did wear my Mueller back brace, to help support my lower spine... I didn't want to accidentally re-injure what was apparently getting to fix.
Sure I had soreness... I had beat the hell out of everything down there, and the exercises probably add a bit of new soreness at first. But by the second set... two hours later... they were easier, I could move further during them, and felt even better afterwards. I was able to sleep in my own bed last night, and more importantly, get out of it relatively pain-free.
So I'm going to stick with this routine, and when and if the benefits continue, move on to the other exercises, and follow all the advice for life-habits that will help avoid this ever happening again. And I'll post an update when and if this is all over for me, or if it turns out it does not help at some point, or something else arises needing comment.
Sorry for the long and overly-wordy review. But I know from personal experience, if you are in the agony so many of us are, you both have the time and desire to know what might work to fix the problem, and maybe why, and this book and method, I think, will do both.
UPDATE: It is several months later now, late summer, late September. I thought I would add how this has worked out for me, since:
I walked a couple of times a day, a mile to three miles, around my neighborhood. I wore a Mueller back brace... it has spines to support the lordosis shape (the inner curve of the lower back), as recommended in the book. That curve is important, and essential to staying pain free. The walks helped a great deal I think. Within another week or so I walked without the brace.
After most of the soreness went away, also within a couple of weeks, I followed the recommendations in the book for the exercises to maintain my progress. I found that sitting was still a problem for several weeks, into early June. I attributed this to the "rotation" of my pelvis when sitting... it seemed to aggravate the injured part of my lower back somehow. So what worked for me was to be sure that that "rotation", or orientation, was the same as when standing and walking. One thing that is so important, again, is the curve of the lower back: So I bought a lumbar support for my main chair, and make certain my back is "arched" into it. Also, I have the lumbar setting on my car set up pretty high.
I could not drive a great distance until mid- to late-June, without soreness in "that area". I would get out every hour and do my standing exercises, and that would keep me going. But by mid summer, I could drive several hours... I took several trips to Maine, over 7 hours for me... with little or no problems.
The only setback was one day when I "spaced it", and was bent over like an arc (!!!!!), wiping mud from my wet tent as I was folding it. This was in August. I felt a sharp pain, and immediately dropped and did the exercises... which fixed it to some extent, but then on my ride home I was a bit sore and stiff, and had to stop every hour, exercise, and walk around.
A reminder that these injuries are real, and do take time and care. And since then, I've been careful... I can walk, run, lift items, I swim, I can launch my 22 foot sailboat, my 19 foot motorboat, get in and out, climb the ladders out of the water, haul gear into the boats... point being, if I am careful, I can do anything I did before. I just will not bend over sharply and do ANYTHING. I stoop, hold my back in the proper position, before lifting.
One other thing: I now only sleep on my left side, or on my back, and never on my stomach. On my stomach, the lordosis is curved out, not in, and it will make me a bit sore again. I have a 2" memory foam cushion on our mattress, though, and that allows me to lay on my back, the curve preserved.
Once again, I've been wordy... but maybe these details will be of interest to others. And I hope I've not made it sound more dire than it is... I really feel fine, that I am "fixed"... just that I know there are limits. And I also feel that those limits will change, get better, as my body and back "get used to" whatever happened in there.
---realigning my pelvis after injuring my left foot's plantar fasciitis stepping on a carpet threshold screw
---unknotting my right side neck muscles that caused scalp pain/headaches when trying to sleep
But, of course:
1--I followed Robin McKenzie's disclaimer, repeated before every exercise set, to consult a professional MD or physical therapist/chiropractor if the pains are either first time issues OR if exercises don't produce results within a few days.
2--Also, I followed his exercise directions EXACTLY, as he constantly stresses.
My imbalance and pains literally MELTED AWAY BY DAY 3!
I had used my library's older book edition so was thrilled to buy this updated 2014 edition with added shoulder pain exercises.
Don't just listen to me. Any Google search for Robin McKenzie's legacy will do a far better promotion than I ever could.
Anybody who thinks this exercise method is only 1 star is sorely (pun intended) misdirected or skewed.
Meanwhile, I'm thrilled to be pain-free, well-rested, and richer from all the co-pays I have saved by ending my ineffective chiro/podiatrist therapy sessions.
Eternally grateful, Robin McKenzie!
And thanks to Amazon for making his updated book available!
*** UPDATE : I have ordered this book twice more. I gave one to my Daughter in law and one to my brother. My Daughter in law loves the book and has had great results so far. My Brother just started reading the book and doing the exercise. I would still recommend this book to others. The specific exercises target specific areas of pain. These exercises kept me from having to have surgery.
My doctor recommended this book to me. I have fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathy, and myopothy. This book REALLY helped the neuropathy and pain. You MUST follow through and do the exercises and stretches for the information to work...but, it works and you will feel so much better.