Treat Your Own Back

Helping thousands of back pain sufferers worldwide, this book offers do-it-yourself relief of lower back pain through postural changes, ergonomics and simple exercises. It provides a clear understanding of the causes and treatments of persistent back pain.

The completely revised and formatted ninth edition of the landmark patient book contains easy-to-read, updated content, new photos and numerous pages of education and clinically-proven exercises utilizing the renowned McKenzie Method®.Written by Robin McKenzie. Illustrated. Softcover; 112 pages.

Community Review

  • I’ve had problems with my lower back for 43 years. Originally diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, my back has worsened over time. I re-injured it a a couple of weeks ago, backpacking in the woods I experienced spasms. This time, the pain radiated into my hips, laterally along my lower back, into my butt. I found that McKenzie Method was not helping this time, although in the past it has. But this instance felt different, and the pain felt more like sciatica, and most of the pain was “de-centralized”, and not “centralized” over the spine.
    After 10 days with no relief, I started doing Pete Egoscue’s “Pain Free” exercises (“Treating the Herniated Disk” on page 119), and found immediate relief. After doing the Egoscue exercises for three days, my back is improving. Not healed or pain free, but I feel like I am on the road to recovery.
    I found the primary difference between McKenzie and Egoscue is McKenzie focuses solely on the lower back, while Egoscue treats the entire body, lower back, hips, thighs, even upper back and lower legs.
    To be clear, I have often been helped by the McKenzie book, expecially when the pain is primarily in my lower back. But based on my experience, McKenzie is not the total solution. Pete Egoscue describes in great detail how various sections of the body are linked, from head to feet. I reommend trying “Pain Free” if McKenzie alone, is not helping.
  • My long standing sciatic problem flared up earlier this year. Had trouble walking and so much pain I could barely sleep. Went to physical therapy, which didn’t help much. However, saw this book on the therapist’s desk and asked about it. Bought it and it’s working as advertised. My pain is greatly diminished and I walk normally. If your L5/S1 and/or L4/L5 discs are bulging, you can actually reverse it and suck the discs back into place. The pain moves back up your legs, from feet to calves to thighs to buttocks and towards your spine. You can actually relieve the pressure on the nerve, which stops sending pain down your body. I have had pain off and on for 50 years, and nothing worked like this.
    Now I do a brief set of exercises each morning and, since I sit at work most of the day, get up every hour for a brief set of back bends and squats. I also use lumbar pillows at home, work, and while driving.
    If you have pressed material entirely out of the discs, this isn’t for you. If the discs in your lower back are bulging, however, this can work like magic.
  • I have had lower back issues on and off for years. In 2012, had an MRI which confirmed herniated discs in the lower lumbar (L5-S1). This book was recommended to me once when my back was out so I promptly ordered it and put it on a shelf. One time while I was laying in bed with my back out (in a terrible position, by the way), I figured what did I have to lose. I was bedridden for the day so I should read the book. The book is well written, cuts to the chase, explains the ‘why’ of it but most importantly helps! I sort of rolled off the bed to the floor and started doing the recommended exercises. I did them throughout the afternoon and saw immediate improvement. Like many of us, I soon forget about the stretches when my back feels better so eventually my back would start acting up and I would go to the Chiro for an adjustment. Which by the way, was pretty successful. Until this last time. A long flight and slinging luggage onto conveyor belts did it for me. When I got home, I was “too busy” to see the Chiro so I put it off. By the time I went, I think my back was in full spasm mode and it just didn’t work. It progressively got worse without me taking it as seriously as I should have and then I finally tried just about everything I could think of (expect re-reading this book). I was practically immobile at time. Especially going from sitting to standing or getting out of the car. The only relief I had was laying down on my back. At times, I was in tears and watching days go by where I couldn’t do normal things or participate in life, especially with my kids. My husband had to pick up all the slack. I just turned 40. If I’m like this now, what does the future hold?! From there I saw a sports muscle/chiropractor, a deep tissue body mechanics PT and did 2 sessions of accupuncture and cupping. I had a couple hours of relief after seeing each of these people, partially due to the fact that I was laying on my back during treatment. But none of them provided any real relief. All 3 agreed I needed an MRI. I finally broke down and went to an orthopedist who did and xray and confirmed the compression and got an MRI ordered. A couple days ago, I had my worst day and decided to re-read this book. I have committed to doing exactly as it says. I set a timer on my phone for every two hours (and will do it more if I’m in pain). It’s only day 2 and I have significantly less pain than two days ago. I ordered lumbar support for the car/home/work so I’m not undoing the benefit of the stretches. I’m going to keep it up because I can’t live like this and even in just two days, plus previous experience, I have a sliver of hope that I can get back to normal. Today I went to work (office) and had the least amount of pain I could remember in a long time. I’m so encouraged! I strongly recommend this book. And I also recommend that you do it diligently right away. Don’t wait until you are completely tweaked!

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