Divulging 30+ Years of Research and Evidence on Low Back Pain and Rehab into a Step by Step Guide for the Layman

Where does one begin with a review of Dr. Stuart McGill’s latest book “Back Mechanic”? Do you start with his famous, non-negotiable “Big 3” exercises? Perhaps, his thorough, leave no stone unturned approach to assessment?

No, none of those well known components of Dr. McGill’s work do this book justice.

Out of all Dr. McGill’s books (Low Back Disorders, Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance, Back Mechanic) this book is his masterpiece.


Let me tell you:

It is an incredible task to distill the essence and integrity of 30+ years of research and evidence based work from laboratory to clinic that includes 300+ peer reviewed journal articles and 2 textbooks written for clinicians and coaches into a 166 page book written for the layman that is comprehendible and executable.

That is exactly what Dr. McGill has done in Back Mechanic!

The book is broken into four parts:

  • Part 1: “Why me?” Understanding your pain
  • Part 2: Self assessment: Finding the cause of your back pain
  • Part 3: The repair job: Using the right tools to make activity pain-free
  • Part 4: Tuning the machine for best performance

He takes the reader by the hand and dispels common myths associated with low back pain then moves on to provide the reader with the background necessary to understand the human body well enough to know how it works and how it relates to their specific pain trigger. From there he teaches the reader to perform a step by step self-assessment, build their own self-care toolbox, and regain their normal life of activity.

Esteemed author William Zinsser says the four basic premises of writing are: clarity, brevity, simplicity, and humanity. Dr. McGill has achieved all four in Back Mechanic but has gone beyond them. This book not only provides those in pain with the tools and knowledge to rehab their back pain but Dr. McGill takes away much of the fear associated with such a sensitive subject by providing transparency to the reader. His voice in this book is calming and reassuring to the reader. Given the body of work he has accomplished over the course of his career he is the only person capable of delivering such a message to the reader with confidence.

Eighty percent of the population suffers from low back pain at any given time. It is a problem that more than likely will affect us or someone we know during their lifetime.

I hope people appreciate the enormity and complexity that it took to write this book. As a rowing and strength coach I’ve successfully used Dr. McGill’s approach to help my athletes and clients rehab from injuries, improve performance and return to a higher quality of life than they previously thought possible. I cannot recommend this book enough. You can purchase it on Dr. McGill’s website BackfitPro.com !

Thank you Dr. McGill for writing it and allowing me to help others.