WHAT TO EXPECT

Virtual sessions available if appropriate.

"There is no such thing as "non-specific back pain".  All back pain has a cause." - Dr. Stuart McGill

Some of the most common treatments for low back pain...

massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, recommendation to "just keep moving", aquatic exercise, ultrasound, physiotherapy, osteopathy, tai chi, yoga, epidural steroid injections, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), narcotic analgesics (opioids), etc.,

...do not address the cause.

The McGill Method uses a unique blend of biomechanics, neurodynamics, anatomy and behavioural science to

hone in on the precise cause of your low back pain.  

The path to recovery requires patience, discipline and consistency.  Let's get to work!

The Assessment

(Phase 1) 

The assessment begins with a comprehensive interview in order to understand your history of low back pain and gain insight into potential injury mechanisms and pain triggers.

A comprehensive physical examination will follow using provocative tests to reveal motions, postures and loading conditions that cause pain and are continuing to injure your back, and those that reduce your pain. Under-active and over-active muscles are identified, anatomical variances are probed, and neural components are tested to further hone in on the precise cause of your pain.

 

Upon completion, we will discuss the root cause of your pain, the relationship between your symptoms and tissue damage, and the plan for recovery.  

Please bring MRI if available.

 

Time: 2.5 - 3 hrs. (approx.)

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Spine Hygiene

(Phase 2)

The objective of phase 2 is to coach you on how to remove the cause of your pain.  This is a critical step in low back pain rehabilitation. 

 

You will be trained to adopt new pain-free movements, postures and loading patterns that build spine capacity and remove those that form the causal mechanisms of your pain.  This allows the traumatized tissues to rest and establishes an environment for healing.

 

You will be given positions of respite, and your current daily activities will be addressed and modified (if necessary).

 

For the first time, you will have a clear understanding of how to wind down your pain.  You will know exactly what "to do" and what "not to do".  You will be in full control of your recovery.

You will receive session summary notes via email to review at home.​

Time: 1-2 hrs. (approx.)

Building Resilience

(Phase 3)

 

The very delicate recovery phase that removes the cause of pain is followed by an individualized therapeutic exercise plan carefully designed to build stability, endurance and resilience in your back.​ 

Selection, load, dosage and timing of exercises are skillfully administered based on your injury and your spine's tolerance and capacity.

 You will be provided with expert coaching to ensure perfect form, with nuances to ensure zero increase in symptoms both during and after the exercises are performed.

 

You will receive a detailed copy of your exercise plan via email to perform on your own, at home.

Time: 1-2 hrs. (approx.)

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"Back" to Health

(Phase 4: optional)

Perfect form is instilled as you increase endurance, enhance injury resilience and broaden pain-free activities with one-on-one coaching.

Lazy muscles are provoked and trained, specific joints are mobilized, and skillfully coached stretches are programmed if appropriate.  

Your exercise and movement repertoire are expanded during this phase, building mind-muscle connections, enhancing controlled motion and re-establishing healthy activation patterns.

Advancing Your Fitness

(Phase 5: optional)

Individuals who have fitness-related goals will progress to this phase. 

There is a shift in focus from back rehabilitation to back performance.

Your unique back injury and personal history continues to steer the ideal selection and dosage of exercises to increase challenge and build strength.

One on one coaching is provided to establish proper form and understanding of exercise objectives.