» Anchors of Health: 10: Fix Your Back Pain with Dr. Stuart McGill

In episode 10, you’ll learn the step by step McGill Method to fix back pain. We discuss his book, “Back Mechanic – The Secrets to a Healthy Spine Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You.”

Dr. Stuart McGill is a professor emeritus, University of Waterloo, where he was a professor for 32 years. His laboratory and experimental research clinic investigated issues related to the causal mechanisms of back pain, how to rehabilitate back-pained people and enhance both injury resilience and performance. This produced over 240 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers, several textbooks, and many international awards. He mentored over 40 graduate students during this scientific journey.

During this time he taught thousands of clinicians and practitioners in professional development and continuing education courses around the world.

He continues as the Chief Scientific Officer for Backfitpro Inc. His advice is often sought by governments, corporations, legal experts, medical groups and elite athletes and teams from around the world. Difficult back cases are regularly referred to him for consultation.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

[2:10] Dr. Stuart McGill’s motivation behind writing Back Mechanic.
[4:20] What makes his book different and why are people going to find a different result.
[6:10] His thoughts on the commonly held belief that there is “no such thing as non-specific general back pain.”
[6:47] Statistics on the efficacy of his method.
[8:00] Is back pain psychological?
[9:00] Mythbusting: The clinician at the pain clinic will be able to provide you with a long-term solution.
[10:33] Some holes that may be found with seeing a physical therapist.
[16:24] Why he focuses a lot on the high performance athlete.
[17:45] Mythbusting: His thoughts on “stretch more” or “do yoga or pilates” as a recommendation to fix back pain.
[20:10] An outline on the McGill Method to fixing back pain.
[27:25] What he means by his analogy, “picking the scab.”
[29:50] What he means by cumulative sensitization and his “bank account” analogy.
[31:57] Why pulling your knees to your chest first thing in the morning is not a good idea.
[33:14] The non-negotiable “Big 3 Exercises.”
[36:07] His take on sit-ups and crunches.
[38:38] The importance of walking.
[42:17] What he would do to fix back pain for an entire country.

Listen to mp3 of podcast

» Robin Black Podcasts: A Conversation with Dr. Stuart McGill

“Robin sits down for a hang with Dr. Stuart McGill. Dr. McGill is a professor emeritus, University of Waterloo, where he was a professor for 32 years. His laboratory and experimental research clinic investigated issues related to the causal mechanisms of back pain, how to rehabilitate back-pained people and enhance injury resilience and performance. Dr. Stu has rehabilitated countless athletes including a variety of combat sport athletes.”

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» flippingfifty.com: Myths, Causes, and Solutions for Back Pain with Dr. Stuart McGill

“Back pain effects 80% of US adults and 80% say it recurs throughout the year. It can be debilitating and reduce your quality of life. If you suffer from back pain, know someone who does, or want to prevent it, listen today.

Prevent, end, or reduce your back pain with tips from renowned back pain expert Dr Stuart McGill. Hear his methods and means for finding the problem and the solution. Are you believing any myths about back pain?

You’ll learn:

Myths you may believe
Methods for getting to the cause and treatment
How sex and sit ups affect your back health and core results
There could be hope for even chronic pain sufferers
Tips for increasing activity to regain strength with less pain
Where to find additional information to self assess
Resources from the podcast:

The Book: Back Mechanic (available on the site below or Amazon)

Website: Backfitpro.com

Got back pain? Include your questions below the show notes for a follow up show. If you get the book, I’d love to know and hear how it helps you. Every individual back pain case is different and treating it uniquely is a must.”

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-flipping-50-show/id903871206?mt=2

» Professor’s McGill’s most complete podcast yet. Stu’s summary of treating back pain patients, the integration of pain science, and enhancement of performance.

“Back pain has become the world’s leading cause of disability.

Stuart McGill has been at the forefront of non-surgical approaches to addressing back pain for many years. His 2015 book “Back Mechanic: The Secrets to a Healthy Spine Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You” is a wonderfully accessible account of his methods and perspectives.”

» LT 084 | Dr. Stuart McGill – Enhancing Athleticism in Rowers
“We’re back with Episode 084 of the LEO Training Podcast. I am pleased to have Dr. Stuart McGill back on the show as a return guest. His first interview, LT 012 | Dr. Stuart McGill – Spine Hygiene for Rowers. has been one of my most popular episodes to date. Today’s interview will focus on one topic into which Dr. McGill and I will diver very deep into: enhancing athleticism in rowers – simply put what can we do to improve performance.Dr. Stuart McGill is a retired Professor of Spine Biomechanics at the University of Waterloo. Dr. McGill is the author of over 400 scientific publications and 3 textbooks that address issues such as, lumbar spine function and injury mechanisms, patient assessment, corrective exercise prescription, and performance training. Dr. McGill consults for many medical management groups, governments, corporations, legal firms, and elite sports teams and athletes from around the world and has won numerous awards, including the Volvo Bioengineering Award for Low Back Pain Research. Dr. McGill is one of the few scientists who are regularly referred challenging patients for consult from around the world.”

The vision board podcasts EPISODE 156 – Dr Stuart McGill

Our special guest is Dr Stuart McGill. Stuart is a retired professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo in Canada. His one of the most highly regarded and sought after experts in spine bio mechanics and is a consultant to elite athletes, sports teams, legal experts, corporations and the government.

You will learn plenty from Dr Stuart McGill in episode 156 of The Vision Board Podcast.

Subscribe on iTunes, Sound Cloud or Stitcher Radio


4:21 – we welcome Dr Stu McGill
5:02 – what he’s actively doing in his career
5:54 – origins into his back expertise
7:20 – upright walking versus walking on all fours
9:10 – what his ideal field of study is
11:17 – why the MMA fighters are the most versatile style of athlete
13:05 – insights into a recent mma study with Stu
16:45 – BJJ, spinal injuries,
20:56 – an Algorithm for All coaches
23:36 – advice on training with injuries
25:25 – advice on assessing pain with clients
30:40 – identifying pain through visual aids
33:35 – is there a proper universal squat depth?
38:15 – strength training and mobility
39:10 – an NBA player analogy
41:35 – a high level Diver analogy
42:25 – a long distance runner analogy
44:14 – the complexity of our core
48:12 – the 3 elements of Core Stability
52:10 – advice for Being a better Coach
56:09 – insights into his own personal routine

» August 2016 Interview for Strength Matters Podcast.
Today’s guest is Dr. Stuart McGill, a leading professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Dr. McGill has written three books on the back, he runs a laboratory that runs all sorts of tests on spines, and he is NOT a fan of sit-ups or crunches.
Today’s Topics Include:

  • What happens to the spine when military personnel carry heavy loads on their backs?
  • Different people have different body types suitable for different activities. A load that creates a beneficial adaptation for one person, can create an injury for another.
  • To avoid injury load the spine in a stacked posture.
  • A better training session might be a body balancing exercise like a suitcase carry or a bottoms up kettlebell carry. With a still in control core.
  • The military creates an iron will
  • and much more…


» Interview with Dr Ryan DeBell, The Movement Fix Jan 2016
On episode 13 of The Movement Fix Podcast, I am joined by Dr. Stuart McGill. Dr. McGill is a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, he’s written several great books including his latest, Back Mechanic, and he travels all over the world to spread his knowledge… Here are some of the topics we discuss:

  • The Jefferson Curl: Can you progressively expose a lumbar spine to loaded or repetitive flexion to improve its resiliency?
  • Is lifting atlas stones safe? What are the considerations one must make when doing that lift?
  • What are Dr. McGill’s thoughts on MRIs and other imaging techniques that show damage but the person may not have pain?
  • Gymnasts typically go into repetitive low back extension. How can we manage those athletes and why is a spondylolisthesis sometimes painful and other times not?
  • What unanswered questions does Dr. McGill have about the low back and what is he currently researching?
  • and MUCH more”


» Back exercise and performance training. (Right click to “Save Target As”)

» Performance Training – Interview for the UK Olympic Program. (Right click to “Save Target As”)

» Performance Place Sports Care – Sports Medicine & Anatomy – #63: The Gift of Injury with Brian Carroll & Dr. Stuart McGill

After receiving my copy of the Gift of Injury, the story of Brian Carroll’s return to powerlifting after a horrific back injury, I asked the two authors to be on the podcast. Brian Carroll and Dr. Stuart McGill blend the worlds of science and powerlifting together perfectly… the moral of the story is that if Brian can feel better and win again then many other people/ weekend warriors/ athletes can overcome their back pain.

Here’s Brian’s bio:
Brian Carroll: Brian is a world class powerlifter with over a decade of elite class lifting under his belt. Coming back from a devastating back injury in 2012 that broke multiple bones that most experts said he would never recover from, he has returned to the pinnacle of world class lifting (while 100% pain and symptom free). He is now dedicated to helping others avoid the same mistakes that he made in the past through private and group coaching
Brian flew to Dr. McGill’s lab in Canada for a full assessment and develop a plan of attack. His goal was to be at the top of his game again… better than before his injury.

Dr. Stuart McGill was the right guy to see.
Dr Stuart McGill’s Bio: Dr. McGill is a professor emeritus, University of Waterloo, where he was a professor for 32 years. His laboratory and experimental research clinic investigated issues related to the causal mechanisms of back pain, how to rehabilitate back-pained people and enhance injury resilience and performance. This produced over 240 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers, many international awards, and has mentored over 40 graduate students during this scientific journey.

The Gift of Injury was born of their experiences/relationship together. It’s an excellent book packed with examples of loading programs, building tension, and the guy wire system all in an effort to allow Brian’s spine to heal before his push to be at the top of powerlifting again.

After Brian’s recovery he was able to he lifted a 2615lbs total at the 2017 Arnold Sports Festival, claiming the 242lbs class open and overall titles for the 3rd time.

– Back Mechanic FIX YOUR BACK PAIN

» Strength Coach Podcast- Episode 219 – The Gift of Injury with Dr. Stuart McGill and Brian Carroll

Highlights of Episode 219

Hit The Gym with a Strength Coach

  • What led Brian to eventually see Stu
  • Stu explains Brian’s injury
  • Stu talks about Purposely Provoking Pain
  • The 2 Stage Plan to Recovery
  • The Importance of Buy-in
  • A review of The Big Three
  • Approaching every lift with the same intensity


“(#224) Dr. Stuart McGill and Brian Carroll return to the podcast this week to share their story about the “Gift of Injury.”

The NEW book, co-written by my guests, outline Brian’s recovery from back injury and how he returned to elite level powerlifting with the help of Dr. Stuart McGill.

Dr. Stuart McGill has been the professor of Spine Biomechanics at the University of Waterloo since 1986. He is widely regarded as the world-leading authority in Spine Biomechanics and has worked with individuals and teams all over the globe.

Brian Carroll is a world-class powerlifter with over a decade of elite lifting under his belt. He came back from a devastating back injury and returned to the pinnacle of world-class powerlifting, while successfully becoming pain and symptom free.

Their new book is a system to maximize function and optimize performance for the strength athlete and should serve as the definitive guide to back rehabilitation and training.

Here’s what you’ll learn this week in an amazing interview with the authors:

Dr. McGill describes Brian’s initial interaction and assessment
How Dr. McGill explains the devastating scenario
What Brian’s mindset was like when he went to visit Dr. McGill
How the book idea came about – and actually came to reality
How fast his pain began to resolve following the advice of Dr. McGill
Pain triggers – and their importance in relieving pain
The initial “movement” patterns used by Dr. McGill to reduce pain
Key cues and tips to improve function and core stiffness
The science of “bone callousing” – and why this is important
Why Brian says his program was so successful
We discuss long-term thoughts on back injuries
Who needs to read this book – and why
Why they ultimately decided to collaborate on this project
How ‘Gift Of Injury’ differs from each of their previous books
Should clinician’s read this book?
What all humans can learn from the strength athlete
Tools and practical applications to use in everyday life
How the ‘Gift Of Injury’ changed Brian’s life for the better
What Dr. McGill learned from working with Brian
And so much more…”

» EA 09: How To Get Rid Of Back Pain With Dr. Stuart McGill

Topics Include:

McGill has recently left the University and now he is a consultant.
There are a lot of athletes and patients who have mysterious back pain.
In school, he discovered math and science, and then after visiting a spine biomechanics lab, he decided to get his Ph.D.
The scientific approach is different than the basic medical approach.
Assess the pain mechanism, then eliminate the precise cause, build a pain-free foundation for movement.
Back injuries set themselves up over time.
Adaptation – tissue becomes stronger up until the tipping point. Loading is good, but not too much or too little.
Build in appropriate rest to allow time for adaptation.
Prevention, train in cycles and be sure to have rest periods.
Practice better spine hygiene and use lumbar support.
Don’t try to progress too quickly during training.
Pavel and decompression after each lift.
Kettlebells and training only one side of the body.
Walking and loaded carries would be a wise progression.
Go for a walk and reset disc stress from sitting by going for a walk.
Assess the demands of the sport.
Assess your abilities compared to those demands.
Train to make up the difference.
Without the appropriate neural wisdom, injuries can happen.
The best athletes have plosive strength.
Activated muscle creates muscle force.
Faster pulses and faster muscles create relaxation and speed.
Hip hinges and pulses in kettlebell swings.
Power breathing, spine stability, and athletic performance.
Training to stop motion with the core creates core strength and stability.
Carries are a great way to build strong obliques.
Sit ups can create back pain for soldiers. Planks may be safer core training for the back.
Training for mental toughness in the military.
Sex and spinal pain. There are motions and pain triggers that clinicians can use to help avoid injuries.


» The Everyday Athlete by Strength Matters

“The Everyday Athlete is a weekly podcast produced by Strength Matters and hosted by Josh Kennedy. Josh talks to the world’s leading experts in health, fitness, rehabilitation, nutrition, mindset, and performance to share cutting edge strategies to help you train smarter, reduce injuries and achieve better results. The Everyday Athlete is someone who cares about his or her health enough to do something about it, has reached at least a very basic level of fitness and is someone who regularly partakes in purposeful physical activity and/or has an active lifestyle and job. If you are reading this, you probably are the Everyday Athlete. We combine winning strategies developed in-house by Strength Matters and those of the world’s leading experts, who share their stories and strategies on the Everyday Athlete podcast. Learn their winning strategies and apply them to your training and lifestyle today.


Dr. Stuart McGill on Back Health and Proper Core Training for Strength Athletes
Dr. Stuart McGill is widely acknowledged as the world’s foremost expert on the low spine, particularly as it relates to athletes. He joins us on this monster of a podcast to talk about core training for athletes, back health, rehabilitation, and more.http://www.spreaker.com/user/mashmafiastrength/130-dr-stuart-mcgill-on-back-health-and-

» Dr. Stuart McGill interviewed by Scott Iredella on “How to achieve optimal back health” – Feb. 9th, 2016
Dr. Stuart McGill, Professor of Spine Biomechanics, is BACK (pun intended), and is this week’s featured guest on the podcast. Dr. McGill is a world-renowned lecturer and expert in spine function, injury prevention, and rehabilitation… During this interview, you’ll learn the truth about optimal back health, so you can improve your training performance and better achieve long term results.

» Podcast Interview, June 23, 2013
On this episode Dr. McGill and myself discussed – common reasons why the low back breaks down, common problems Dr. McGill see’s with core training, problems Dr. McGill see’s with some rehabilitation protocols that are used to treat low back pain, and/or dysfunction, Dr. McGill’s 5 stage protocol at rehabbing low back pain and/or dysfunction, and many more topics.http://robbiebourke.podbean.com/2013/06/23/episode-22-an-interview-with-dr-stuart-mcgill/

» Interview with master trainer Paul Bielak in Prague, Czech Republic Jan 2016
Advance Training was built on an ideal of continuing education, as well as the ongoing evolution of the Personal Training profession. Our goal is to achieve pain-free peak performance by taking the time to build a strongfoundation for loaded movement. Consideringappropriate stability, mobility, and prioritizingindividual compensation in the beginning of he process allows for proper physical function, and a reduction in injury ratelater in the process of developing endurance, strength, and training capacity asit relates to any specific work or sporting demand.http://www.advancetraining.cz/en_US/back-mechanic/