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Treat Your Own Back

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,066 ratings  ·  86 reviews
This easy to follow handbook provides the reader with an active self-treatment plan to resolve and manage back pain.

First published in 1980, Treat Your Own Back has sold over 4 million copies around the world and has been translated into 18 different languages. The world-renowned McKenzie Method detailed in this book is a simple process that is proven to work.

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Paperback, 72 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Orthopedic Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Produ (first published 1980)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,066 ratings  ·  86 reviews


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Otis Chandler
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, health
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 t
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B. Factor
Aug 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dolly
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people experiencing lower back or sciatic pain
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 gui
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Heidi Eiman
Apr 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Heidi by: Dr. Robert Black, Rocky Mountain Physical Therapy, Logan, UT
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
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Stan Armiger
Aug 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Melanie
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Dan
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Conny
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Josh Shelton
Best practical book on how to treat back pain in existence.
Dave
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, health
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 pres
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Adam Wolf
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Philip Hofer
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 ...more
S.L. Saboviec
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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. ...more
Victoria
had some exercises but unfortunately i am already doing them. was hoping for something new and different that would help.
Marie
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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. ...more
Matt Shea
Temporary review since I’ve finished the book. The detailed explanation of the spine and the root of back and sciatic pain is worth picking this up. I’ll come back to this review after doing the exercises as instructed for a few weeks. I sincerely hope to add two more stars.
Natural Knowledge 24/7
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
...more
Lauren
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ill ...more
Giovani Facchini
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 i
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Jorgen Lundgren
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: factual
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) an ...more
Ali M
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 su ...more
Joel
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
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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 sy
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Adaire
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.
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Sara
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After 3 weeks of intense lower back pain I discovered that this book was recommended and even sold by the physical therapy clinic referred by my doctor. The premise is so simple but amazingly effective. I'm surprised the clinic shared this because it saved me from spending hundreds of dollars going to see them. ...more
Christina
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book. I am applying for PTA school and I was doing observation hours with a group that practice the McKenzie method. This was yet another great way for me to learn more about the method and understanding physical therapy. I also suggest this to people who have low back problems, lots of great exercises in here that don't take a lot of work or time! ...more
Stormoak Lonewind
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Stormoak by: stormoak@yahoo.com
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.
Bálint
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Nancy Baldauf
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been on my shelf for over 10 years, and I still refer to it from time to time. Back pain is frustrating, and seems to be a subject of great disagreement in the health field. All I want is for the pain to go away, without medication! This book has good suggestions, most of which worked for me. I also recommend "Treat Your Own Neck Pin" from the same author. ...more
Madhu Murali
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Patricia Groves
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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