Books & Spines
Sarah Key’s Back Sufferers’ Bible
According to the Prince of Wales, “Sarah Key’s exercises really do work.” You may not have thought of Prince Charles as the most natural person to turn to for advice on back care, but plenty of reviewers testify to finding this book helpful.
The book has seven chapters, five of which deal with a particular problem and end with a summary of self-treatment exercises for that problem. The last chapter is all about treatment with advice on pain relief and more detail on exercises.
Sarah Key is also the author of several others books on back care such as “Back in Action” and “The Back Sufferer’s Pocket Guide”.
“The first book showing how, in easily followed steps, you can treat your own back pain. Unlike the author’s previous book Back In Action, which gives information on the range of treatments available for different back problems, The Back Sufferer’s Handbook places emphasis on the contribution the sufferer can make putting the problem right. In language that every back pain sufferer will find completely understandable, it describes each spinal disorder and what causes the pain. It gives helpful back exercises with information about what they will achieve and how frequently they should be done. There is also advice on back pain management, the role of medication, the use of bed rest and how to return to work. This book is essential reading both for the patient confined to bed with acute back pain, and for someone with less severe back problems, but still having to cope with back pain or discomfort on an everyday basis.” (Available from Wordery)
8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back
The title of this book gives the impression of another over-hyped American solution to an irresolvable problem, but Esther Gokhale will introduce you to exercises and postural changes that may help your discs recover and relieve back pain. If you’ve been contorting yourself trying to fix your posture by taping duct tape to your shoulder blades, something as simple as Gokahle’s ‘shoulder roll’ (p. 42-43) may save you a lot of trouble. You’ll wonder why nobody told you about that before. If you want to know what that is, watch the video below from about 05:30 to 07:00.
Some of her theories about sitting (especially if it involves having a towel on hand) may seem like too much trouble. And has anyone mastered ‘glidewalking’? Even so, we’ve found that combining some of her ideas with active sitting on Varier movement chairs helps to eliminate some desk-related back pain.
One point on page 90, however, deserves a comment. She writes, ‘I am often asked if the Danish kneeling chairs are conducive to good posture. For people who use them well, these chairs can provide a good option for short periods of time, because the forward-tilted seat encourages pelvic anteversion. However, when not used well, the tilted seat can also contribute to a significant sway in the low back. Settling one’s weight on the knee rest for prolonged periods can also put excessive pressure on the knee and hip joints.’
Fair enough, except whatever you do with a kneeling chair, you shouldn’t sit on your knees. We’re not sure what Danish chairs Gokahle has in mind, but Varier’s Norwegian products are designed to keep you active and moving, not in a statuesque kneeling posture, and you should still sit on your bottom, not your knees. Read more about how to use a kneeling chair properly.
Finally, if you’ve always wanted to be a centimetre or two taller, she claims her methods may even make that happen.
Available from Wordery.