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VINE VOICEon 14 August 2014
While this in an interesting book, the exercise content is minimal.
I'm afraid I was a bit disappointed. Given the rave reviews, I'm actually a bit confused. The exercises are very simple. Really simple. Just spend some time on Youtube and you will find loads of back exercises on there. The actually exercises are tucked away in the centre of the book, surrounded by a lot of padding about back pain in general, comparing different treatments against each other. While all this is very well written, and the guy has clearly done his research, if, like me, you are suffering from acute back pain, you just want to cut to the chase and find something to FIX YOUR PAIN. I will be trying the exercises for the next month, and will let you know how I get on. But basically, it just seems to be this - get on all fours, raise diagonally opposite arm and leg straight. Repeat 20 times.
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on 3 March 2017
a few years later. Still using the neck exercises when feel pain or discomfort. Works every time
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on 10 November 2003
Firstly I have never written or e-mailed any author before and I am taking time out to do this because of the remarkable effect this book had on my back pain.
I have suffered from lower back pain for years and have visited numerous chiropractors, all of whom helped in some way in the short term. But if I did not visit regularly (at £25-30 per session) the pain came back, it was about a monthly occurrence. Last July I went with my family on holiday to Spain and the lower back pain kicked in on the second day, probably due to stress and the flight from Gatwick. It was so painful like a ripped muscle and virtually ruined two weeks holiday. Climbing into a canoe, for instance, with my seven year old daughter was excruciating. I felt like a pensioner just walking down the road, every step down a kerb had to be measured or it would send a shooting pain through the lower back. When I got back from Spain I decided to trawl the internet for a solution before booking more chiropractors. I came across this book. I began the excercises in August and I did not want to say anything until I had fully tested them out. I now feel (in November) confident to say I have rarely been troubled with my back since. What trouble I had was easily dealt with by the excercises and gradually even this pain receded. The back feels stronger than ever but you must follow what Jim says exactly and do the excercises initially every two days.
Pity the poor chiropractors if everyone gets to read it!!!!
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on 1 September 2009
I bought this book about a month ago and decided to wait a few weeks before writing a review.
It is an interestig read and gives practical advice. The exercises are easy and quick to do. And best of all they have helped my low back pain a great deal.
I really like the clear instructions and illustrations of how to do the exercises. Along with the matter of fact, practical tone I found it easy to understand what was being suggested.
I am going to give copies of this book to other members of my family!
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on 14 March 2011
Simple to review. Best book and advice around from someone with back problem for some 40 years. Rugby injury. Every one who has any kind of back problem should at least read it,pain and discomfort a lot easier to handle if you know WHY and what you can try. Very clear explanation.
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on 8 October 2011
The MRI scan that I had on my lower back produced rather grim-sounding results but since I have been doing these exercies (mostly daily; they don't take long) I've had few problems. If I've got hard deadlines or travelling and don't do the exercises for three or four days, I start getting pain. It stops within a day or so when I resume.
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on 4 October 2003
A well written book that takes great care to methodically explain the scientific basis for some lower back problems and their treatments, with many quotes from peer reviewed scientific papers. Jim Johnson also uses his fairly extensive experience of treating back pain to make the book a readable and practical one rather than just a dry tome.
I read the book (all of it as instructed!) before trying the few simple exercises that are recommended. There has been a definite improvement in back strength in the 3-4 months since I bought it and, more importantly, a reduction in lower back pain. I still get some pain from time to time but it is considerably less.
The key is to follow the exercise plan as laid out in the book and do it regularly. Once you have achieved the desired level of back strength you only need to do the exercises once a week for maintenance of the strength you have built up. However, as soon as you stop them you go back to square one.
I would recommend this book for people who suffer from lower back pain - even if it doesn't help the pain it will probably help you understand what the problem is without being stuck in a particular treatment method like many other books.
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on 1 June 2009
I also have never felt moved before to write a review, but after suffering chronic lower back pain for many years and shelling out thousands of pounds for various 'treatments', I would have to say that the deceptively simple exercises in this book are the only things that have given me lasting relief. The effect were noticeable after a couple of months and while I still get 'twinges' and short-lived episodes of pain, I no longer experience the long lasting and debilitating muscle spasms and loss of mobility that used to afflict me. The book is also beautifully written and the author clearly has a deep understanding of the science involved. Highly recommended!
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on 4 October 2012
Having suffered for years with back pain, which was so bad at one point that I couldn't weight bear on my left leg, and had to crawl to the bathroom, I am now pain free, thanks to this little book. My chiro who has been patching me up regularly was also amazed at the improvement, he never thought I would recover as much as I have.

It's a fantastic little book, the exercises are unbelievably easy, and don't take long to do, and you don't even have to do them every day. It couldn't have been easier to help my body to repair itself. The book is well written and easy to understand. It's not a very big book, but don't let that fool you, the results are very impressive.

Buy it and try it, it could be the answer you've been searching for.
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VINE VOICEon 26 May 2011
Jim Johnson has put a lot of research into his book about the mysterious multifidus muscles in the lower back, to supplement his years of experience treating patients with lower back pain. The style is accessible - you don't have to be an expert on physiotherapy to understand anything as it's all explained for you.

All of it is distilled into the centre-piece of the book, which is the simple set of exercise alternatives you can do to strengthen the multifidus muscles which flank the spine on either side. These muscles are apparently always weaker in back pain sufferers, so it makes perfect sense to try and strengthen them if you can. Jim Johnson describes 6 different alternative exercises that will do this, so you can choose the one to suit you, and vary it if you want to.

You only need to do one of the exercises, and then do the exercise you pick. The exercise should only take 5 minutes or less out of your day. No need for special clothes or equipment, no need to do daily (3x per week recommended to strengthen, 1x per week to maintain) which is nothing if it either reduces the frequency or level of pain you experience with your back.

He explains the importance of how you do the exercises and particularly the terminology and what's significant about the number of repetitions you do, the intensity rather than assuming you know it.

Well worth trying to see if this holds the key to reducing your back pain, as it's something easy to keep doing over the long term.
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