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Treat Your Own Back Paperback – January 1, 2011
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About the Author
Robin McKenzie, CNZM, OBE, FCSP (Hon), FNZSP (Hon), Dip MDT, Dip MT
For over 50 years, The McKenzie Method® has put the power in the patient's hands, utilizing education and self-treatment strategies to provide long-lasting relief from pain.
The late Robin McKenzie was a renowned spinal expert and an authority on the treatment of lower back and neck pain.
His method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) is taught by clinicians around the world. MDT, along with his heralded series of books, DVDs, rolls and supports, has helped hundreds of thousands of people achieve freedom from back, neck, shoulder and knee pain.
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This book contains only stretches and minor exorcises that are common knowledge. The tips include "lift with legs" (gee, really?), sit with good posture (what a breakthrough), and other things that a Google search would easily show. If your keen on buying this book, try MensHealth.com first, they have all the same info and much more--free.
The book illustrates a few exercises and positions to use to alleviate the problem. And suggests using a lumbar support for sitting and possibly sleeping. (Yes, it does mention that McKenzie has lumbar supports for sale.)
I've never had a problem with my back until recently. I started having back and rib pain after an almost 4 hour flight in the exit row of an American Airline plane. I couldn't recline the seat at all and there was zero lumbar support. Quite the opposite—the seat back was concave. I am 6' 2" tall and my back was killing me by the time I got off the plane. It was so bad, I went to get a massage for my back at my hotel. It helped, but didn't rid all of the pain. The flight back was better, but I was hurting afterwards.
The rib pain actually got worse over the next three weeks. My back was also acting up and hurting at odd times. Then I saw this book. After reading the reviews, I decided to try it.
Now I know I've had bad posture most of my life. I slouch when I sit. And I've been sitting at my computer a lot over the past year or so. 12 hrs a day or more. My office chair has almost no lumbar support. It never bothered me before. Nor did slouching in the couch as I watched TV. Now it's agony after less than an hour or so.
I read the book and it makes sense. The stretches started to help immediately. I'm doing the simple exercises (which are really stretches) and watching my posture. And my lower back is much better. My rib pain is gone unless I start to slouch again! I use a small pillow for lumbar support (until my proper lumbar support pillows arrive from Amazon). I do the stretches and it helps a lot. It's going to take some time to reverse decades of bad posture, but this book has made a huge difference in relieving my back pain.
Wow! I'm skeptical no more. It's not a placebo effect. It actually works for me. Simple to do. Now, I'm trying to make it a habit. Correct posture and stretches every two hours. The pain comes back when I forget and slouch while sitting—otherwise, it's gone.
Outstanding! I recommend this book to anyone who has lower back pain. Read it before you decide to go to a Chiropractor. Try the stretches. See if they work for you. It's a whole lot cheaper than a series of manipulations and a lot better than taking muscle relaxants and pain drugs.
If it doesn't help then go to the doctors. (McKenzie states this as well.)
I am in no way affiliated with McKenzie or his products. Just a person who found pain relief by using his book. I hope it works for you as well as it did for me. This book was the best $25 I've ever spent—except maybe for a marriage license.
If you have a chance, check out a lower spinal column model at you doctor's office. Our spines are made to be aligned in a particular way. Slouching while sitting orients our vertebrae incorrectly and pinches nerves, which creates back pain and most sciatica. Maintaining proper posture and spending time in an aligned position keeps the vertebrae correctly aligned and reduces or eliminates nerve pressure and related pain.
The easiest way to stretch is to simply read, listen to music, surf on your phone, while lying on your stomach. During off-watches on my sail trip I spent most of my time reading or talking while in this posture. I also do the stretches recommended, including the yoga "cobra" position. While helping a friend move, one of the other guys, a 64 year old carpenter, and I took "cobra" breaks between moving boxes and heavy furniture and we both got through the move OK.
I no longer go to a chiropractor, because if I stretch enough I can feel my spine gently popping back into alignment. If I neglect my stretches, I can feel my back start complaining. Since getting this book, I have had only one minor non-debilitating back pain episode that happened when I neglected my stretching and spent too much time sitting. This episode was resolved by getting back into stretching. If something feels "off" with my back, I immediately stretch, if possible while lying down, but if not by using the standing stretches, and my back quickly feels better.
Again, depending on your back problems, this book may not work for you, but if you have typical back pain likely caused by too much sitting, bad posture and physical inactivity, the techniques in this book may dramatically improve your quality of life without drugs or surgery. Try it!