About Us

About Professor Stuart McGill

Dr. Stuart M. McGill is a “distinguished professor emeritus”, University of Waterloo, where he was a professor for 30 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. His advice is often sought by governments, corporations, legal experts, medical groups and elite athletes and teams from around the world.

His work produced over 245 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers, several textbooks, and many international awards including the “Order of Canada” in 2020 for leadership in the back pain area. He mentored over 37 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. Difficult back cases, and elite performers, are regularly referred to him for consultation. Any product associated with this website has been tested in Dr. McGill’s laboratory.


When an “expert witness” is recruited for testimony in a legal case, the supporting lawyers present the credentials of the witness, which are examined by the court to assess the experts opinions. In this context, here are the credentials of Professor McGill:

Ph.D. (Kinesiology (Biomechanics))
University of Waterloo, 1986

M.Sc. (Kinanthropology (Biomechanics))
University of Ottawa, 1982

BPHE, University of Toronto, 1980

Research conducted:
40 years investigating how the spine works, pain mechanisms, rehabilitation approaches and restoration of athletic performance for back injured athletes (occupational and sport)

4 books
32 Book Chapters
248 Refereed scientific/medical journal papers
181 Refereed Conference papers
32 Technical consulting reports
21 Editorials

2020 – Order of Canada, Citation: A leading authority on the biomechanics of the spine, Professor Emeritus Stuart McGill is recognized as an innovator in the treatment of back pain. His investigations of injury and pain mechanisms together with developing clinical assessment techniques have influenced clinicians and athletes worldwide. As a consultant, he has provided invaluable input to a number of rehabilitation programs, sport and government organizations, and has been a mentor to many.
2018 – Lifetime Achievement Award, Society of Weight Training Injury Specialists
2017 – Licht Lecture, University of Minnesota School of Medicine.
2016 – Best fitness articles of 2016 in PTDC.com (Personal Trainers Development Centre). A Trainer’s Guide to Help Manage and Fix Lower Back Pain.
2016 – Basic  Research Paper Award for 2015, Global Spine Journal, “Annulus Fibrosus Can Strip Hyaline Cartilage End Plate from Subchondral Bone: A Study of the Intervertebral Disk in Tension”
2016 – The 2016 Liberty Mutual Award, Top paper published in Ergonomics for the year “Can fitness and movement quality prevent back injury in elite task force police officers? A 5-year longitudinal study.”
2015 – Fellow: Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS)
2013 – Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision, University of Waterloo
2013 – Top Presentation Award (Sidorkewicz, Cambridge, McGill), Int Society for Study of the Lumbar Spine, Phoenix USA
2013 – Top Poster Presentation Ontario Kinesiology Association (Sidorkewicz, Cambridge, McGill)
2010 – Research Excellence Award, Ontario Kinesiology Association
2010 – Appointed “University Professor” at University of Waterloo- one of 14 active professors university-wide. “To recognize exceptional scholarly achievement and international pre-eminence of UW’s most accomplished faculty members.”
2009 – Appointed by the Minister of Health to form the College of Kinesiology for professional practice
2009 – Listed in Global Directory of Who’s Who
2009 – Best Presentation Award, International Society for Study of the Lumbar Spine, Miami, USA
2008 – President’s Award, Ontario Kinesiology Association
2008 – Outstanding Performance Award, University of Waterloo
2007 – Awarded designation “Speaker of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada”
2005 – Outstanding Performance Award, University of Waterloo
2005 – R. Tait McKenzie Award, AAPHERD, USA
2004 – Elected Fellow, Canadian Society for Biomechanics
2004 – Career Award: Canadian Society for Biomechanics
2002 – “Richard W. Stow Visiting Lectureship”, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Department of Phys. Med. And Rehab.
2002 – “Presidents Circle Lecture for 2002”, University of Waterloo
2002 – Hallman Professorship – University of Waterloo
2002 – “Inaugural Professor”, Opened the first Masters in Physical Therapy Program in Portugal, Technical University of Lisbon.
2001 – “Steven Rose Lecturer”, Washington University School of Medicine, Program in Physical Therapy, St. Louis, U.S.A.
2001 – “President’s Lecturer”, American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, U.S.A.
2001 – Ontario Innovation Trust Award – for the “Live Fire Research Facility” P.I. Dr. E. Weckman, with Drs. A. Strong, D. Johnson, M. Sharratt, R. Hughson and S. McGill.
1998 – Wood Distinguished Visiting Lectureship in Joint Injury Research, Dept. of Orthopaedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary
1997 – EJ Wells Bequest Lecturer – University of Queensland, Australia
1989 – 3M Award for Presentation Excellence (top paper – Human Factors Association of Canada)
1988 – Listed in Canadian Who’s Who
1986 – Volvo Bioengineering Award for Low Back Pain Research (International Society for Study of the Lumbar Spine)
1986 – Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal (top graduating Ph.D. student, university-wide)
1986 – Julian Christensen Award for Ph.D. level ergonomics research (Human Factors Association of Canada)
1985-1986 – University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarship
1983-84/1984-85 – NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship
1983-84, 1984-85 – Ontario Graduate Scholarship
1982 – University of Waterloo Entrance Scholarship
1978-1979 – Alumni Prize, University of Toronto (top male student in class)

ScholarGPS celebrates Highly Ranked Scholars™ placing Professor McGill in the top 0.05% of all scholars worldwide.

Worldwide ranking: Lifetime

Overall (All Fields) 5773
Allied Health 53
Kinesiology 8
Biomechanics 4
Lumbar vertebrae 6
Electromyography 8


Speaking engagements:
Keynote addresses = >75
Other invited addresses = 550 plus
190 to Scholarly societies and groups
290 to professional groups
70 to University groups
Self-initiated addresses = 150 plus

Lab Work

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