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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fruitfull combination of research and practice, 29 July 2005
By 
At Hof (Groningen, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Low Back Disorders (Hardcover)
The author is already for several years known as a first-class researcher in the field of biomechanics of the back. From this book we can learn that he is also very familiar with the clinical practice.
Many times it is heard that 85% of the back problems is of unknown origin. This book shows this to be untrue: at it best the statement reflects insufficient diagnosis. There are a great number of pahological mechanisms leading to back pain. Few of them can be diagnosed from an X-ray, but they can be differentiated by a careful anamnesis and diagnosis and so lead to a suitable treatment.
On the basis of a state-of-the-art biomechanical model the author is able to evaluate many existing treatments and prevention programs. It is shown that many current treatment programs are good in part, but in other part incorrect or even harmful. For example, flexibility exercises or power training are definitely harmful. I wonder how the physiotherapy world will react on it.
Finally, a good point of the book is its clear and emphatic personal style.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but probably not ideal for the average person, 3 May 2007
This review is from: Low Back Disorders (Hardcover)
This is an excellent text on spinal mechanics and healh but it's pretty much a text book for healthcare professionals. I suspect the average layman would have problems understanding it. You need some anatomical knowledge to understand what is being discussed. Also much of it is background information and discussions on research which is great for giving a solid scientific understanding of the subject but not so good for practical advice for a back sufferer. He has another book called "Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance" which is more practical. It's aimed at sports trainers and sportsmen but it's useable information for the man on the street too. Don't expect to find a simplistic 4 step one-size-fits-all exercise program in McGills books.

If you are prepared to make the effort you will learn a TON about the body, movement, training principles, back health and get a lot of widespread myths busted.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book gave a patient like me my life back!, 24 April 2014
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This review is from: Low Back Disorders (Hardcover)
If you are a patient with chronic back pain - please read on........

This book changed my life but it is not be suitable for all. It is targeted primarily for healthcare professionals treating or researching into spinal injury. As a consequence, it's a very meaty, technical book, presenting and discussing a lot of data from many scientific studies. The author is a prof of biomechanics (so there is a lot about Newton force, vectors and torque) but I didn't find it too hard and you can easily skip the numbers and not miss out hugely from a patient's perspective: the written style is very accessible and not at all "academic" or high brow. The book gives professionals the understanding to treat patients: it is not a book that will give patients an exercise programme per se. It therefore makes complete sense for the author to stress that if you are a patient, it is important to apply anything from this book in conjunction with relevant health care professionals.

Having said that, I am a patient, and not only did this book give me insight into my condition that I can apply to my daily life, but it also gave me a framework to rehabilitate my back after years of suffering whilst coming up against a dead end through the health services. Furthermore after 9 months, it continues to serve as a great reference work for me: there is barely a week goes by that I do not delve into this book for 5 minutes or less and remind myself of some tip that I can directly integrate into my daily activities and exercises.

If you are a sufferer, and are willing to take control of your back pain and understand it in a lot more detail, I would definitely consider buying this book and investing the time to read it. For the price of this book, it could be more than worth it!

My story
I have had chronic lower back pain for years. Specialists suspected it was due to disc degeneration and had all but given up with any chance of improving my condition. Indeed, I spent years going from one physio or consultant to another, each optimistically offering if not a cure, only to be palmed off several months later no further forward. I was doing pilates and was apparently quite good - but still I had a lot of pain and no real improvement. Surgery was an option offered but not taken up - since there was no confidence is cause or benefit.

My life prior to this book
I was despondent. Sometimes, waking up in the morning, the only thing I had to look forward to is whether I would have any pain free time on that day (most pain killers just sent me to sleep). My quality of life was massively impacted. I could not participate in any of my hobbies (gardening, sport, jogging, cycling, playing guitar, travelling and even going to restaurants I didn't know the seating of). My personal life was affected: suffering from chronic pain doesn't make for good company or a healthy relationship. Daily life such as housework and shopping were big projects that I needed to restrict. And then trying to keep a job was a nightmare - working at a computer.

How did I find this book?
When I was feeling well enough, I took a weeks off work to research back pain online (with regular pauses after working on the PC). There is a lot of help out there, but also a lot of rubbish to. I came across this author as someone who seemed to be substantiating why certain exercises or movements were beneficial and why some were harmful. It was evidence based and some of what I initially read struck a chord with things I had discovered empirically (although few health care professionals seemed to understand or believe me eg not exercising for a few hours after getting up, extending my back backwards in an arc). In short, this author gave me hope. I later found out the book is available from his website ([...]) and received another item from him promptly.

My recovery using this book
I was a bit daunted by the technical nature of the book but I persisted and quickly found a lot of great tips and a very simple basic exercise plan. Using this - and building up gradually over 6 m - I was able to start contemplating a new live (my old life). My improvement is already better than I would have settled for prior to using the book. Walking without pain is beautiful. Not thinking about my back has made me human again. I may probably not do some things ever again (eg jog or do heavy lifting) but I have a good life back. Stu McGill deserves an award.

The book
The book is divided into three main sections:
1. Background to the spine and spinal injury - 120 pages
2. Preventing injury - 40 pages
3. Rehabilitation - 80 pages

The first section covers spine anatomy and what's going on in spinal injury, his research methodology, and popular myths on back pain. I found this bit useful reference but pretty hard going as a layman. Whilst this is a technical book, he is however a very good communicator so for example, his explanation of the spine being an upright fishing rod that is strong only when supported by guy-ropes is very powerful.

The second section on preventing injury is full of useful tips for a lay person. His central thesis is that the first step to recovery is to ensure no further injury. The chapters include photos of everyday life activities with correct or harmful postures.

Finally the last section is really designed to give professionals the tools to assess patient's injuries and design a programme of rehabilitation. It does not give a programme of exercises however does suggest some very basic exercises (in varying degrees of severity) that got me back on the path to normality. My problem was that I couldn't even do exercises I had been given without immense pain and getting worse. Very gently versions of the exercises are given which once I had seen were making a difference, I took to my physio who refined them further. The section also talks about the importance of warming up the spine and "grooving" good muscle movement patterns - all very useful and things not really touched on in anything else I have been told or read.

I can't praise this book enough. In conjunction with Sarah Keys Back Bible, I got the tools to have a life back (I use exercises prescribed by Sarah Keys as warm downs and id use them as occasional therapeutic interventions during the months when I was bad).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, 24 Jun 2005
This review is from: Low Back Disorders (Hardcover)
Very detail and much thought went into writing this book on a detail level for those who study the body(doctors,students) or for those back pain suffers who need more information about the cause and conditions of spinal pain. Also recommend The Backsmart Fitness Plan by Dr. Adam Weiss- for the lay person , a very good full body workout that helps.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Low back Disorders" Stuart McGill, 12 April 2011
This review is from: Low Back Disorders (Hardcover)
Fairly technical book for the layman; however seems to have the answers.
I have had chroic back pain for 30 years and been given minimum help from NHS.
This book outlines problems and causes and solutions for avoiding and recovering from back pain.
I am just getting to the exercises section which should prove the most useful now I understand what is causing the problem through working through the text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Low Back Disorders Stuart McGill, 19 April 2009
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This review is from: Low Back Disorders (Hardcover)
Excellent updated book with evidence base that makes sense, not for layman readers but very informative for osteopaths. Very good section at the end with exercises that have evidence for patients. Low Back Disorders
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4.0 out of 5 stars lower back disorders, 28 Mar 2009
By 
Jimmy Georgious (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Low Back Disorders (Hardcover)
This is a good read for any one interested in lower back pain, it supports new theorys with reasurch relateing to prevention and rehabilitation. A book ideal for practitioners and also for those who do not have an in-depth knowledge of anatomy. Be patient with a couple of the earlyer chapters, and dont skip them they are essential to understanding the authors therorys.
jimmy Georgious
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dr McGill, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Low Back Disorders (Hardcover)
Dr McGill is the most famous and smartest guy on the planet. acutally my MSK is one of his students. it says it all the book is not for the layman, it is more for the experience medic quiz person.
I prefer the DVD. I am an IT person and never attended my biology classes! but it is a very good book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 9 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Low Back Disorders (Hardcover)
I am a PT who is specializing in back problems due to having kyphosis and hip issues. This book is a fantastic place to start for anyone who is looking at exploring more into the realms of where back pain comes from, how it is handled and just for the sheer amount of data available.

Dr McGill does it again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Insightful, 5 April 2013
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This review is from: Low Back Disorders (Hardcover)
Intense read but very thorough and most unbiased approach to the subject. If you are a medical practitioner or involved in health care in anyway a definite purchase.
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Low Back Disorders
Low Back Disorders by Stuart McGill (Hardcover - 1 Sep 2007)
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