Treat Your Own Back Info

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Help yourself to a pain-free back. This easy-to-follow book
presents over 80 pages of education and clinically-proven exercises. The
simple and effective self-help exercises in Robin McKenzie's Treat Your
Own Back have helped thousands worldwide find relief from common low
back and neck pain. This book helps you understand the causes and
treatments, along with a system of exercises that can help you relieve
pain and prevent recurrence.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.35

1102 Ratings

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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for Treat Your Own Back:

5

Jun 03, 2019

I threw my back out and had a coworker (Thanks Libby) and my new PT recommend this same book on the same day. I read it, and 2 days later, I am on the right path! Assuming that trend continues, this book is magic!

It basically says that many of us who work sitting down all day have bad posture and lose our lordosis (the curvature of the lower back). If this happens it puts strain on your disks while can easily lead to a strain and thus throwing out your back. The fix is simple - to do stretches I threw my back out and had a coworker (Thanks Libby) and my new PT recommend this same book on the same day. I read it, and 2 days later, I am on the right path! Assuming that trend continues, this book is magic!

It basically says that many of us who work sitting down all day have bad posture and lose our lordosis (the curvature of the lower back). If this happens it puts strain on your disks while can easily lead to a strain and thus throwing out your back. The fix is simple - to do stretches that push the back to have lordosis again.

So far so good, but have a ways to go! ...more
5

Aug 25, 2010

I suffered a herniated disk playing basketball and consequently experienced debilitating lower back pain. I was confined to bed for months, had sciatica, and gradually lost strength and feeling in my left leg. The pain was continual and it was hard to think clearly. I tried many things to heal my back but this is the one that worked (in conjunction with physical therapy). The thesis of this book is that much lower back pain is caused by a loss of lordosis (the curve in your lower back), and the I suffered a herniated disk playing basketball and consequently experienced debilitating lower back pain. I was confined to bed for months, had sciatica, and gradually lost strength and feeling in my left leg. The pain was continual and it was hard to think clearly. I tried many things to heal my back but this is the one that worked (in conjunction with physical therapy). The thesis of this book is that much lower back pain is caused by a loss of lordosis (the curve in your lower back), and the solution is to restore lower back strength and flexibility through a combination of basic exercises and stretches. I distilled this book down to two exercises (situps and reverse situps) and three stretches (knees to chest, yoga cobra, and hamstring stretch) that I continue to practice whenever my lower back pain returns. It works. ...more
4

Apr 09, 2012

I have a herniated disc in the lower part of my spine and I recently suffered from a bout of lower back pain followed by intense sciatica running down my left leg. After about seven weeks of rest, medications and most of all, physical therapy, I am able to resume normal activity. And I have been pain free for a few weeks now. I received this book as a present from my physical therapists as I graduated from working with them to doing the exercises on my own.

This book has all the pictures and I have a herniated disc in the lower part of my spine and I recently suffered from a bout of lower back pain followed by intense sciatica running down my left leg. After about seven weeks of rest, medications and most of all, physical therapy, I am able to resume normal activity. And I have been pain free for a few weeks now. I received this book as a present from my physical therapists as I graduated from working with them to doing the exercises on my own.

This book has all the pictures and guidance I need (cross my fingers) to continue doing the stretches and exercises I need to do to stay pain free. A microdiscectomy may still be in my future, but I'm tying to hold off as long as I can.

This is a quick read - I read it in bits over the course of three days and then straight through again in about two hours. I refer to the different exercises throughout the day, especially right now that I'm traveling and I'm concerned about a relapse. I found the book to be simply laid out and concise, but it still pretty much covers all my questions and concerns. I really enjoyed reading this book and I know that I'll be keeping it handy for awhile. ...more
4

Apr 03, 2008

It really works. The exercises and approach here are very simple, logical and all about common sense practices that gradually get you back to full movement and strength- without pain. I don't want this review to sound like a testimonial, but the information was very useful, and I enjoyed the Australian word usage of Dr. McKenzie.

This was referred to me by a physical therapist who is trained in the method, and I gained a lot more talking to him than just reading the book- and like I said, after It really works. The exercises and approach here are very simple, logical and all about common sense practices that gradually get you back to full movement and strength- without pain. I don't want this review to sound like a testimonial, but the information was very useful, and I enjoyed the Australian word usage of Dr. McKenzie.

This was referred to me by a physical therapist who is trained in the method, and I gained a lot more talking to him than just reading the book- and like I said, after over 6 months of intense sciatic pain I'm pain-free (most days) and getting stronger. ...more
5

Jun 25, 2015

My physical therapist started me on these exercises and recommended the book as a support when I put my back out twice in the space of 3 months. 30 years ago, I'd rejected the option of spinal fusion in the lumbar area and opted for alternatives. I haven't had much trouble until a year ago. After 6 months of referring to this clearly written book to fine tune my use of the exercises, I'm stronger than ever and looking forward to another 30 trouble-free years.
5

Aug 14, 2010

For any that have chronic back pain or just a sore back I highly recommend this book!! Easy to read with simple but frequent excercises which really work. I have only been doing these excercises for 3 days and my back which over the last 12 months has been treated by both physiotherapists and chiropracters which has given some relief but never felt as good as it does now.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough to those that suffer from any of the above.
4

Sep 17, 2019

Came recommended from a friend who is a sports doctor. My back has been out for three days and I just did a round of the rescue exercises and almost feel normal again. The change was instant, though probably won't be lasting if I don't keep up the exercises. We'll see how it fares over time, but for now I'm very impressed.
4

Jun 01, 2017

This book was urged on me by a physical therapist who was treating me for lower back pain and sciatica. I've dealt with this condition intermittently for 30 years. The book systematizes an exercise regime for overcoming the pain and managing on-going lower (lumbar) back health. Its a short and easily understood book. One could pick it up and follow its instructions with no professional guidance, although depending on your condition, that might not be wise.
I don't have long-term testimony to This book was urged on me by a physical therapist who was treating me for lower back pain and sciatica. I've dealt with this condition intermittently for 30 years. The book systematizes an exercise regime for overcoming the pain and managing on-going lower (lumbar) back health. Its a short and easily understood book. One could pick it up and follow its instructions with no professional guidance, although depending on your condition, that might not be wise.
I don't have long-term testimony to present. But in the very short time I've been following this plan, I've seen significant improvement. If you try this method, you should pay close attention to the warnings, timing of exercises, and your body's feedback. And if there's any doubt about how you respond, you should back off and consult medical help. But given those caveats, I can recommend this book as very worthwhile. ...more
3

Jun 03, 2017

He encourages a particular kind of stretching that supplements what my physical therapist at Kaiser encouraged me to do. I don't trust the approach that insists one must use only practitioners who are certified by a narrowly defined approach to remedying back problems. But, it is helpful
5

Oct 17, 2012

Very informative. Lots of reminders on how important posture is. The exercises are simple! After doing them for just a couple of days I am staring to feel better.
Worth reading and defiantly worth giving it a try!
5

Jun 13, 2016

This book was recommended by my osteopath after an acute bout of back pain. I've been struggling with back issues for 2 years, since I was 4 months pregnant. This is info my previous physiotherapist and current osteopath were attempting to impart, presented in way that finally clicked for me.
3

Jun 09, 2014

had some exercises but unfortunately i am already doing them. was hoping for something new and different that would help.
5

Aug 17, 2017

A little under a year ago, I hurt my lower back. I followed all the advice I could find online, expecting that it would heal in a few months. I was taking 800 mg of Ibuprofen a day, which helped reduce the pain a bit, but I was in pain every day.

The pain lessened after a few months, but I was still in pain every single day.

About two weeks ago, I bought this book. I read it in an evening, and did the set of stretches twice a day. They took under five minutes each time, and within a few days I was A little under a year ago, I hurt my lower back. I followed all the advice I could find online, expecting that it would heal in a few months. I was taking 800 mg of Ibuprofen a day, which helped reduce the pain a bit, but I was in pain every day.

The pain lessened after a few months, but I was still in pain every single day.

About two weeks ago, I bought this book. I read it in an evening, and did the set of stretches twice a day. They took under five minutes each time, and within a few days I was down to pain every other day or so, and two weeks in, it's been a few days since I've had any back pain at all.

I don't even notice my back! ...more
4

Apr 12, 2019

This a a short, simple, straightforward book with plenty of photographs. It's easy to get started right away if you are in the midst of a back issue. I get the impression the methods are popular among physical therapists; a library book was a lot cheaper and more convenient for me, so I'm happy that it is available. If you want to look into factors like diet or stress or develop a more thorough exercise plan, look elsewhere, but I think this book is a good starting point.
4

Aug 18, 2014

Treat Your Own Back

Many people suffer from acute or chronic back pain and have tried holistic adjustment approaches through chiropractic care, physical therapy, and osteopaths. Yet relief still eludes those suffering with pain, even for some who have had invasive surgery. In his book, Treat Your Own Back, Robin McKenzie, a physical therapist and president of The McKenzie Institute, a not-for-profit organization with its headquarters in New Zealand, claims to provide you with the INs and OUTs of Treat Your Own Back

Many people suffer from acute or chronic back pain and have tried holistic adjustment approaches through chiropractic care, physical therapy, and osteopaths. Yet relief still eludes those suffering with pain, even for some who have had invasive surgery. In his book, Treat Your Own Back, Robin McKenzie, a physical therapist and president of The McKenzie Institute, a not-for-profit organization with its headquarters in New Zealand, claims to provide you with the INs and OUTs of back pain and the knowledge necessary to prevent and reverse back pain. McKenzie’s method was first published in 1980 and over 20 years later McKenzie was voted as the most influential physical therapist in a survey conducted by Advance Journal.

Treat Your Own Back talks directly to you, the reader, and immediately addresses your skepticism. How is it possible to treat your own back? Can you believe the hubbub? McKenzie claims that he has the answers. Before you jump ahead to these exercises, McKenzie encourages you to read from the beginning in order to fully grasp how the back works and where back pain begins – your posture. If you live a sedentary life, work at a desk or stand on your feet all day leaning with your shoulders hunched over trying to get your job done, your posture is affected to its detriment. McKenzie shows you through photos and detailed descriptions how to treat your own back. McKenzie uses both scientific studies and analogies as evidence to support his claims. Additionally, he explains the truths behind many common myths about back pain, including if weather conditions affect pain and the idea that we should avoid rigorous activities in order to avoid pain.

McKenzie gets right to the point, poor posture is the cause of back pain and in order end this pain you have to readjust yourself. Treat Your Own Back has seven key exercises (and variations) that are paramount in readjusting your posture. The only problem is that this book only discusses the lumbar region. To familiarize you with the lumbar region, it is the lower part of your spine that is connected to the pelvis. While lower back pain is a problem with many people, it does not encompass everyone and many people with lower back pain also have neck pain. So, to learn how to treat your own neck, you have to purchase another book. Despite this fact, the book provides exercises that are extremely beneficial for lower back pain.

Another reason that makes this book beneficial is that McKenzie also discusses activities for special situations for those suffering from pregnancy pains, athletes, or for those aged 50 and older. He also gives you exercises to do if you have no initial response or benefit from his method. More importantly, Treat Your Own Back tells you what to do when acute back pain strikes and how to avoid it in the future. McKenzie constantly reminds you of what to do if your pain increases during these exercises. If your pain persists, he provides the contact information for The McKenzie Institute.

This book is a nice, quick read – it provides you with some tools that could change your life. It also informs you of some quick fixes like the lumbar roll to use while you are at work or traveling and also the wrap around lumbar roll to help protect your back while you sleep. McKenzie can open your eyes to alternative methods to invasive surgery with the information provided in Treat Your Own Back. You will learn how your activities affect your posture, and what you can do to fix it to ultimately live pain free. ...more
5

Jul 07, 2017

So grateful to Debbie Glett, my physical therapist at the Lewis Aquatic Center for giving me this book. It, along with aquatic therapy and an epidural injection, has been a life-saver. In this little gem of a book, the author provides a clear explanation of what contributes to lower back pain, in my case a combination of a herniated disc and an impinged sciatic nerve. The result was that I experienced pain in my right foot comparable to standing in a red-hot frying pan. McKenzie also clearly So grateful to Debbie Glett, my physical therapist at the Lewis Aquatic Center for giving me this book. It, along with aquatic therapy and an epidural injection, has been a life-saver. In this little gem of a book, the author provides a clear explanation of what contributes to lower back pain, in my case a combination of a herniated disc and an impinged sciatic nerve. The result was that I experienced pain in my right foot comparable to standing in a red-hot frying pan. McKenzie also clearly illustrates basic exercises to relieve pain, promote healing and to prevent future injury and pain. The book tied in so neatly with the physical therapy I received at the Lewis Aquatic Center as well as the "land-based" therapy from my Cleveland Clinic physical therapists. ...more
4

Jan 23, 2019

Interesting theories and ways of explaining back problems. I have started to apply recommendations of this book and let's see how my pain changes.
Good part is that it improved my awareness A LOT, which will make me to have different behavior.
I have bought the roll and will start to use it in order to assess if it will make a difference.

Edit: I liked the roll because it forces me to keep my posture while sitting and as it is there, it brings even more awareness.

What I realized in the past weeks Interesting theories and ways of explaining back problems. I have started to apply recommendations of this book and let's see how my pain changes.
Good part is that it improved my awareness A LOT, which will make me to have different behavior.
I have bought the roll and will start to use it in order to assess if it will make a difference.

Edit: I liked the roll because it forces me to keep my posture while sitting and as it is there, it brings even more awareness.

What I realized in the past weeks is that sitting in very soft couch is TERRIBLE for my lower back pain and I definitely need a roll or pillow to put me in the right position. ...more
5

Sep 29, 2015

I turned to this book in desperation. After birthing five children, carrying toddlers hither and yon, running for more than twenty years and subjecting my spine to various daily abuses of lifting, pushing and pulling, I was the proud owner of a herniated disc, some spinal stenosis, age appropriate degeneration and arthritis plus sciatica. I gave up running, I worked with a physical therapist/chiropractor and had two rounds of injections into my spine. Nothing worked for long. Next up would be I turned to this book in desperation. After birthing five children, carrying toddlers hither and yon, running for more than twenty years and subjecting my spine to various daily abuses of lifting, pushing and pulling, I was the proud owner of a herniated disc, some spinal stenosis, age appropriate degeneration and arthritis plus sciatica. I gave up running, I worked with a physical therapist/chiropractor and had two rounds of injections into my spine. Nothing worked for long. Next up would be surgery and because of my scoliosis I am not a good candidate for that. I also just did not want surgery if I could avoid it.

Thank goodness for Amazon! It helped me find this book and it has been a godsend. I have been doing the exercises for six weeks and while my back is not perfect it is now the best it has been in years. It has been an adjustment to incorporate the posture changes and exercises into my daily life, but the reward has made it worthwhile. I can now get out of bed with ease and I am slowly adding running back into my exercise routine. Now that I am at a steady state with my back I am adding in yoga too. This book and the exercises are so worth the effort. It is not a quick fix. It will take work and it is a lifestyle adjustment, but it really does work. ...more
5

Jun 26, 2015

Got a slipped disc at 28 years old while living in Germany, got it cured. Last year I had a trapped nerve in my lower spine age 48, went to my local physio who treated me twice. After that I had no more pain and due to work, travelling all over Europe did not continue the treatment. I did buy the McKenzie book and the D shape lumbar support roll to use in the car, on flights and on my sofa. Last week age 49 I trapped the nerve again in my lower spine.Went back to my local physio (same person) Got a slipped disc at 28 years old while living in Germany, got it cured. Last year I had a trapped nerve in my lower spine age 48, went to my local physio who treated me twice. After that I had no more pain and due to work, travelling all over Europe did not continue the treatment. I did buy the McKenzie book and the D shape lumbar support roll to use in the car, on flights and on my sofa. Last week age 49 I trapped the nerve again in my lower spine.Went back to my local physio (same person) and started my treatment for £30 per time.He stated it was exactly the same place as before, but this time I decided to go for six times to straighten my lower spine out.The pain after two sessions is now gone replaced with a dull ache. Started with the exercises in the book and will continue with them guess for the rest of my life. I been going to pilates classes for the last ten years so I thought my back was as it should be but working from home and travelling all over the place I guess precaution and prevention is what is needed. So more breaks and I will keep this book on my desk to remind myself for the needed breaks and excercises.I am using knee stool working from home not sure if the posture is the correct one but will find out next week. ...more
4

Nov 16, 2016

I've been seeing a physical therapist for over a month now one or two times per week, and he's been slowly doling out the exercises in this $10 book, more or less verbatim, at $30 co-pay per visit. For my money, this book is a steal. A bit too much puffery from the author, but can't really blame him as his techniques seem to be working as advertised.
~~~~~
I'll add that I don't have lower back pain per se, "just" sciatica in my hips and thighs. The exercises and advice in this book relieves the I've been seeing a physical therapist for over a month now one or two times per week, and he's been slowly doling out the exercises in this $10 book, more or less verbatim, at $30 co-pay per visit. For my money, this book is a steal. A bit too much puffery from the author, but can't really blame him as his techniques seem to be working as advertised.
~~~~~
I'll add that I don't have lower back pain per se, "just" sciatica in my hips and thighs. The exercises and advice in this book relieves the symptoms. Nine months later, I largely don't do the exercises (while still watching my posture). The sciatica symptoms occasionally start to creep up, but a session or two on the floor nips 'em in the bud. ...more
2

Aug 19, 2008

It's okay, shows some very basic stretches. I bought it because all of the Amazon reviews raved that it was like a magical cure. I have a feeling it was written for people who haven't already blown their back to pieces, in which case it's not for me. We'll see.

Update:

I really don't know how to rate the book since I'm pretty sure it would be helpful for someone who is having minor issues. I would recommend for someone who has occasional back pain.
5

Aug 12, 2014

This book was very clearly written and easy to follow. His techniques were simple and backed by good reason. Many of the methods/exercises he recommended were things I have learned over the years from other disciplines like yoga and various forms of physical therapy. This book has simplified it all and provided the reasoning behind the procedures without getting technical.
5

Oct 26, 2016

This is a short but extremely useful book. The fact that the exercises mentioned in the book are part of most yoga workouts was pleasantly unsurprising. The author reinforces the importance of good posture and gives us some tips to carry with us in our busy daily lives. Considering the bargain price on Amazon, this book is a keeper
5

Oct 04, 2014

I had a lower back problem for 5 months, tried various things (chiropractor, shoe soles, exercising, etc.), but nothing worked. I found Mr. McKenzie's book and applied the very easy exercises - after 4 days, pain reduced and after 10 days almost completely disappeared. I still can't believe how simple it was to get rid of the pain. Highly recommended for all the sedentary workers.
5

Nov 03, 2016

This book has helped me - twice!

A concise guide to back pain, and how to treat it. Recommended to my by a Tai Chi practitioner, the advice and exercises have helped me to recover from two back injuries. I bought the Kindle version so I can read it again any time I feel a twinge. Worth its weight in gold.

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