Claims: 1) To “banish back pain forever” with easy stretches, exercises and tips using no equipment whatsoever. 2) To be a “proven program” to heal back pain with the stretches. 3)To teach you how to improve and then protect your core strength to prevent further injuries.
Authors: Gerard Girasole, M.D. and Cara Hartman, CPT
While I do not believe, based on my own experience, that any book or treatment can “banish back pain forever”, I was quite impressed with not only the stretches and exercises but also the “Back Mindfulness” theory developed by the authors. It is also apparent that both authors have had their own real challenges with back pain. Those challenges and their respective expertise, I feel, have allowed them to devise a legitimate back pain management program.
Right away in the Introduction, the overall program is revealed. Many back pain myths including moving causes more damage, that the pain will go away on its own, that only overweight people have back problem and countless others are also dispelled. Chapter 1 then provides an in-depth overview into the basics of back pain to help you get a complete understanding to begin the road to recovery.
In Chapter 2, you’ll learn all about the 7 stretches. Complete with pictures and variations, I was easily able to perform the very simple stretches within the 7 minute timeframe despite my daily back pain battle. And amazingly, it did reduce pain and improve mobility for even me. The core exercises featured in Chapter 3 were also helpful and easy to do although these would require some extra time. Many of the core exercises, however, are only recommended to be done 3-4 times per week.
The real deal in this book though is Part II. There are six chapters devoted in great detail to help manage back pain everywhere and anywhere! This is where the “Back Mindfulness” approach really kicks in to show us how to protect ourselves and prevent further episodes. It details stretches and exercises for every daily task, sport or activity from mopping to doing laundry to using the bathroom to having sex to cooking to watching television to shopping to sleeping to working to playing tennis or golf just to name a few (really, a few).
- The 7 simple stretches (or the variations) can be done in 7 minutes a day and can be done by anyone (unless forbidden by your doctor) regardless of age or weight. In most cases, improvement is likely to be noticeable.
- The core exercises are also very easy to do and many of them can be done anywhere to help you work them into your schedule without worrying about the extra time it takes.
- “Back Mindfulness” is practiced as you’re doing the others activities and is sure to help with the main objective – to prevent back pain!
- The 7 minutes is really per each time you do the stretches in a day. And to achieve the best results, you should be prepared to squeeze that 7 minutes in 2-3 times per day.
- The very important and informative Part II is text intensive and frequently refers back to Chapters 2 and 3 for pictures. You’ll probably want to buy the physical paperback instead of opting for a e-reader version.
- As with any book or other self treatment, remember that you will be unsupervised. Therefore, it is imperative that you’re careful to perform the stretches and exercises properly.
The Verdict: It’s Worth It!!!
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