Ep 163 Chaser – Back Mechanic Dr. Stuart McGill


Episode 162 Chaser

In this episode with Dr. Stuart McGill, a Professor of Spine Biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, Dr. McGill discusses his new book, Back Mechanic, shares his thoughts and ideas on treating low back pain, and offers some insight to primary causes of back pain. He proposes analogies to relate the treatment of patients to building a car for the Indy 500 and sitting as the new smoking.

Bio: Dr. Stuart McGill, PhD

Dr. Stuart McGill is a Professor of Spine Biomechanics at the University of Waterloo where he has a laboratory and clinic that explores low back mechanics, injury mechanisms, rehabilitation protocols and performance enhancement.

He has been the author of over 240 scientific journal papers and has mentored over 40 graduate students during this scientific journey. Professor McGill currently serves on the editorial board for the journals Clinical Biomechanics, Applied Biomechanics and Spine.

As a consultant, he has provided expertise on low back injury to various government agencies, many corporations and legal firms and professional/international athletes and teams worldwide. He is regularly referred special patient cases from the international medical community for opinion.

Contact Information

Website: http://backfitpro.com

Email: mcgill@uwaterloo.ca

Book: Back Mechanic

Episode 162 Shoutouts

Vladimir Janda, MD, Neurologist and Physiotherapist  http://www.jandaapproach.com/

Shirley Sahrmann, PT, PhD, FAPTA https://pt.wustl.edu/faculty-staff/faculty-emeritus/ http://www.ptpintcast.com/ep-33/

Dick Earhart, Great Clinical Mentor

Clayton Skaggs, DC, Medical Director and Founder of Central Institute for Human Performance and The Karel Lewit Clinic http://www.cihp.com/about/staff

Ralph Nader, Activist, Lawyer, and Politician

Bill Marras, PhD, CPE, Spine Research Institute https://spine.osu.edu/people/marras.1

Lorimer Moseley http://www.bodyinmind.org/

Pete O’Sullivan, Dip Physio, Post Grad Dip Manip Ther, PhD, FACP, APAM http://www.bodylogicphysiotherapy.com.au/

Col. Deydre S. Teyhen, DPT, PhD, OCS http://militarycityusaradio.com/?p=1289

Episode 162 Highlights

() We say there is no such thing as non-specific back pain, but you say there’s 3 injury or pain mechanisms that you can show that shows where this comes from, what does that mean?

() “Pain isn’t normal. It’s there. There’s something causing it. The great clinicians sort it all out.”

()Here’s a rule of thumb – the more time the expert spends on Facebook, the less time they’re doing their work.”

() Your new book, Back Mechanic, shows the patients how to self-assess their pain triggers and then what to do and what not to do. The first treatment is not exercise – it is to eliminate their pain triggers. What are you talking about there?

() “What are their current pain triggers? What do you need to do to avoid the cause?”

“What the book does is guide the patient through 6 or 9 self-assessment tests and places them into different postures, through different motions, and under different loads.”

“Now you get into pain science. Avoiding the trigger, allows the sensitivity to reduce.”

() Why do we have so many back injuries if we’re these animals that are supposed to be under load and flex and move? Why does it happen?

() “I would blame computers and the amount of time that so many people sit as being a prime cause.”

“It depends, some people are just soft…others overdo it.”

“…the inadequacy of treatment. We all carry a lot of treatment tools in our tool box.”

() How do we get there? How do I get there without failing so many people?

() “Don’t follow a guru.”

() If you could do what you do anywhere in the US, where is someplace you’d like to visit and spend some time?

() What is something you are either currently reading or maybe just read that really inspired you?

() Who is someone in the back pain or back biomechanics world that the rest of the audience should know more about?

() “The ideal sitting posture is one that continually changes.” Is that why people have begun and kind of faded out trying to sit on an exercise ball or a more dynamic surface if they are going to be sitting for a long time, and if so, why doesn’t that completely solve the problem?


“Treat every patient as if they were your mother. They deserve 100% of your full attention. They deserve your empathy, every little ounce of training that you’ve had and your attention.
Pay bloody attention and be a good professional at your job.”

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