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on 15 October 2012
The best part of the book is that the exercises are simple and effective. I have been to see an osteopath many times in my life and not one of them ever suggested backwards extension exercises to help posture and to help relieve back pain (maybe to keep customers coming back), so this seems to be McKenzie's biggest contribution/discovery.

The book itself is printed on cheap paper and the photo illustrations look dated and of minimal quality, but good enough to illustrate the (simple) points being made.

The recommendations for posture are good. Many of us allow poor posture to lead to a flattening of the lower back, a reduction in the natural shock absorbing, strong arch, which McKenzie refers to as lordosis. The correct medical term for the flat lower back nowadays is 'hypolordosis', with hyperlordosis being excessive curvature. As McKenzie intimates most back problems are probably due to a lack of curvature, and often caused by poor posture after exercise/physical activity. This all makes perfect sense, and is confirmed by trying the exercises for two weeks and the one paper I managed to find on hypolordosis that looked at the effectiveness of simple exercises to increase the flexibility of the lumbar region and correcting both hypo and hyperlordosis. The exercises used in the study were similar to those recommended by McKenzie.

My own feeling is the book is content light for the price, and that there are other effective exercises and techniques for dealing with acute pain, which don't get much of a mention, or don't get mentioned at all. For example, when talking about sitting, why not go further and recommend abandoning the chair/sofa at home, and use the floor, sitting cross legged, or squatting to help with back and hip flexibility. In terms of release of tight tissue and muscle, what about use of a foam roller, or ball to help, or deep tissue massage?

It strikes me, recently having discovered that I cannot 'deep squat' very easily (or safely), because of lack of hip and hamstring flexibility causing what is sometimes called 'butt wink' (a flattening of the spine, and then reverse curvature as I go deeper into a squat), that flexibility of other parts of the body have an impact on the way we sit, move, lift, walk, run, that deserve attention, with hip flexibility and thoracic (upper back) extension being two areas that could compliment the simple and limited number of exercises that McKenzie recommends.

Exercises to develop and maintain core strength (including hip strength, which is also as important) also get ignored, as these again would compliment the McKenzie exercises. Hopefully these can be addressed in later versions of the book.
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on 21 January 2013
7 Steps takes you through a number of steps that will focus on your spine and body positions while sitting and standing. The exercises were not too hard to do but neither did they resolve my lower back pain.
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on 30 October 2012
For years I have been experiencing back pain, both upper and lower, in addition to neck pain caused by the upper back pain spreading to my shoulders and then subsequently into my neck. I have spent a fortune on treatments (oeteopathy, physiotherapy, etc) and all to no avail. Yes, they provided immediate relief but invariably after just a few days the pains were back.

Now for just a few GBP, my pains have virtually all but disappeared and my quality of life has improved no end. All as a result of both the excercises described in this book, in combination with the McKenzie lumbar support roll at my chair at work.

The roll I purchased about 4 weeks ago and use it at the office (I work with a computer all day long!). The excercises I try to do religiously 5 times each day - in the morning while still in bed, at about 11am (instead of going for elevenses!), during my lunch break, at about mid afternoon and later at home before going to bed.

Both the excercises, combined with the back roll, have all but eradictaed my back pains. I feel just a few twinges now and again, but no where near as bad a previously. In fact I haven't been for any back more treatment (osteo, physio) during the past 3 weeks and doubt I shall need to go in the near future, touch wood.

What is so astounding is that I didn't realise that my bad posture and habits were causing me so much pain and discomfort. Now I feel like a new person - no longer with pains nor grumpy in the mornings. I can now carry out excercises amd have started going swimming also, both things which were unthinkable a few weeks ago. So thank you Robin McKenzie, you've saved my back!!
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on 14 December 2013
Easy to understand useful guidance on managing back and neck pain. Helped a lot with reducing my neck pain. Also bought the back roll recommended in the book that helps too.
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on 27 December 2012
This is a really useful book with everything you need to help relieve and help yourself with neck and back problems. It has made a real difference to my comfort levels.
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on 4 March 2013
This is definitely worth reading - the book is easy to follow and has simple steps to help you with your back and if you practice them regular, they really do work.
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on 22 July 2015
Very useful. I now understand more about how the back works. The exercises have helped me keep moving and any flair ups can be eliviated. Well worth reading .
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on 12 April 2015
Thanks to this book I don't longer suffer from very bad persistent pain
It took only 3 days to alleviate
Totally worth of every cent.
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on 11 November 2015
Really great book. The exercises helped and have certainly relieved a lot of the pain I was in, although not completely.
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on 18 January 2015
Everyone should know about this book and the Mckenzie method - absolute lifesaver. Most useful book I've ever bought!
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