Back Mechanic – Working with the Back Pained Client

Instructors: Joel Proskewitz


To create a client who is failing to make usual progress, who is then maintained by the trainer.

To assist the client to recover from pain.


This one day course is for trainers and performance specialists who deal with clients with back pain. Both lectures and workshops provide delegates with background information on the mechanisms that cause back pain and how these can be assessed and addressed with movement and exercise programming that adhere to the principles of Professor McGill. This process creates clients who are then liberated to begin training. Then specific principles are workshopped to create pain-free and injury resilient movement/motor patterns, that enables the trainer to move on to more typical programming.


Detailed description
Introduction 30 mins
Expect – simple pain assessment and guidance for programming and technique
Not expect – this is back mechanic not back engineer
Myths and code for a healthy back

Self Assessment 90mins (find the pain)
Theory and workshop assessment tests.
Create a plan
Terminal Test – self assessment start to finish

Removing the cause: Spine Hygiene 90mins (Pain avoidance – build resilience)
Theory and workshop
Terminal Tests

Building the foundation for a pain-free and resilient Back 90mins (how to begin rehab)
Guy wire system – theory – teaching points
Neutral spine – theory – teaching points
Core program (Big 3, walking, cat/camel, pain avoidance)
Curl Up – theory – teaching points -practise
Bird Dog – theory – teaching points – practise
Plank – theory – practise – teaching points – practise
Restoring the hips
The Walking program
Application and programming
Terminal Test – Answer teaching points on guywire, neutral spine.
Teach Big 3
Apply programming principles

Tuning the machine 90mins
Push Exercises
Pull Exercises
Nerve flossing
Thoracic extension
The Lewit
Special population
Full example of pain patient – start to finish

Q and A




This presentation synthesizes many research articles. Rather than provide an exhaustive list, the interested delegate is encouraged to see them at:

However, the information has been synthesized into the book Back Mechanic: The step by step McGill Method to fix back pain. This book guides the reader through a step by step method to assess specific pain triggers then remove them from their movement patterns. This is the essential first step to wind down pain sensitivity. Then the foundation for painfree movement is created.

Go to course schedule >



Joel Proskewitz

Mr. Proskewitz has worked with Professor McGill for the past 12 years learning his approaches for assessment and performance training. He is a master trainer based in London UK. Professor McGill regularly refers difficult patients to Joel who assesses the individual to reach a precise diagnosis. Then an appropriate strategy to eliminate the pain triggers to wind down sensitivity is coached. This is followed with an exercise progression to create a foundation for pain-free movement. He has taught internationally with Professor McGill for the past three years. He teaches McGill 2, McGill 3 and the Back Mechanic course.