Ordinarily I would be very wary of a book with such a corny title sitting alongside all the other ‘cure’ books on back pain in the bookstore. But, like Marcus watching Kraus get results (I’m into results myself), I want to know more about the Kraus method, the Kraus-Weber tests and the exercise programme that Kraus devised and Marcus refined.
Within a few pages of ‘End Back Pain Forever’ Marcus states, “the primary source of 75% or more of all back pain is from the muscles, not the spine”. I’ll repeat this statement: ‘theprimary source of 75% or more of all back pain is from the muscles, not the spine’. This is a bold statement from a doctor that for most of his career had treated pain with traditional methods including pain management, pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures.
The science that starts the Marcus book is akin to the pain and trigger point science that I teach in our Myopain Seminars’ series (‘Manual Trigger Point Therapy’). His views on bulging discs and discectomies, spondylosis and laminectomy quote medically sound literature. For example, bulging discs have been found in 65% of asymptomatic backs – they’re probably lurking in your non-painful back right now.
Marcus espouses that all things muscular should be addressed; spasm, tension, deconditioning and trigger points. All these things are Neuromuscular Therapy precepts. Over the years I’m getting more emboldened to start making more steadfast claims on treatment of pain from muscular origin. Now I’m thinking that I’ll just quote Marcus; ‘theprimary source of 75% or more of all back pain is from the muscles, not the spine’.
Spasm, tension and trigger points can be treated by manual therapy. Marcus tackles the deconditioning component with a series of 21 gentle back activation exercises. After reading, some people will think, “these exercises are just too easy”. They are done on a mat, they are gentle, methodical, and they are very safe.
The chronic pain (not acute pain) experience is rarely in proportion to actual damage, but it may be in proportion to perceived damage. Most times chronic pain is irrational, stupid and meaningless. The Marcus conditioning exercises may send helpful messages to the brain (the only organ that can generate pain) that all is well. Messages like: brain, don’t over-react; brain, stay calm. Take a day off even.
Funnily enough, the sub-title of Marcus’s book couldn’t be more wrong. I’m sure it was the publisher’s idea to insert “A Groundbreaking Approach to Eliminate Your Suffering”. Therapeutic exercise as a cure for back pain has been around for over seventy years. Unfortunately, that period coincided with the surgeons discovery of the far-more-sexy ‘bulging disc’.
PS When 360NMT first purchased our full sized teaching skeleton we named it Hans after we figured out it was a German male. Seems very appropriate now.
PS I’m just off to the Olympics. Will blog if anything interesting happens.