McGill Method

The McGill Method is a method used to assess and treat back pain. Its based on the foundational premises that 1) back pain always has a cause, it isn’t random, 2) removing the cause is essential to alleviating the pain, and 3) sufficient back robustness is necessary to avoid future episodes of pain.

Just like a stubbed toe begins to feel better once you stop stubbing it, your back will also begin to feel better once you stop “stubbing” it. The McGill Method enables me to 1) determine how you are “stubbing” your back, 2) to show you how to avoid “stubbing” your back, and 3) to show you how to restore resliency to your back.

If you have chronic back pain it is very likely that you have failed to address one or more of the above factors, regardless of how many different therapists you have seen or how many different treatments you have tried.

The McGill Method enables me to help you with your back pain by:

  1. Determining what is causing your back pain: what is your specific stressor/pain trigger. Is it too much spinal compression, shear, extension, flexion, power, or some combination of those?
  2. Learn how to avoid that stressor/pain trigger in your daily life, both in your habitual postures (eg. the way you sit or stand) and in your movement patterns (eg. the way you twist or bend over). Doing this will allow your back to heal and the pain to settle down. It will also reduce the risk of reoccurence.
  3. Restore resiliency to your spine to achieve a pain free foundation for life. This is most often done through a carefully crafted rehab program that is designed specifically for your anatomy, your injury history, and your long-term goals.

If you have chronic back pain it is very likely that you have failed to address one or more of the above factors, regardless of how many different therapists you have seen or treatments you have received.

As a certified McGill Method clinician, my goal is to help you overcome your back pain by thoroughly addressing each one of the above factors.

What to Expect During a McGill Consultation

You can expect to receive what is likely the most thorough consultation you have ever had for your back pain. Your initial McGill Method consultation will consist of 3 parts. Often these 3 different parts are divided over 3 separate visits. Your first visit will be up to 2 hours long. Your second and third visit will be up to 1 hour each. Additional follow-up visits may be required depending on your specific situation and will vary in length depending on what is required.

Part 1 – The Assessment: Learn what is causing your pain.

The assessment will begin with an in-depth conversation about your back pain. Dr. Jared will want to know what bothers you back, if you have good and bad days, what treatments you have already tried for your pain, etc. Following this conversation, we will proceed to the examination. During the exam, I will thoroughly probe your back to determine what your specific pain triggers are. I will evaluate your various postures and how you move, as well as probing the various structures of your spine. I will also view any imaging (eg. x-rays, CT scans, MRIs) you may have of your back.

Upon completion, you will receive a diagnosis and explanation of the specific cause of your back pain and Dr. Jared will explain what your specific pain trigger or triggers are.

This visit can be very exhausting, as it can be a lot of information to process. You are encouraged to bring another person along with you to help you remember the various things we discussed. You will also be provided with a written summary outlining the various things that were found and the treatment plan to relieve your pain.

Part 2 – Spinal Hygiene Training: Learn how to avoid the cause of your pain.

The focus of this visit will be having you learn how to avoid your pain triggers. This will give your back a chance to heal and enable the pain to wind down. You will be given a safe, pain-free posture you can use throughout your day to control your pain. You will also be coached on pain-free postures and movement patterns (ways to move) that avoid your pain triggers. You will be shown how to incorporate these postures and movement patterns into your activities of daily life.

At the end of this part, you will know how to avoid your pain triggers during your daily life. Dr. Jared will provide you with a written summary of this visit as well.

Part 3 – Spinal Rehabilitation Training: Learn how to restore resiliency to your back.

Your third visit will focus on how you can restore your back’s resiliency and build a pain-free foundation for life. You will be given a rehabilitation program that is designed specifically for you, based on your type of back pain, your anatomy, and your level of fitness. You will be coached on how to perform these exercises with good form to ensure you restore your back’s resilience as safely and quickly as possible. You will receive an instruction sheet with the various exercises prescribed.

By the end of your consultation, you will know what your specific pain triggers are, how to avoid them, and how to restore your back’s resilience. As such, you will have a clear way forward on how to resolve your back pain. Future visits may be needed to solidify some of the postures and movement patterns or to progress your exercises.

Whom Does McGill Method Help

If you are looking for an effective solution to your back pain and are serious about being an active participant in your recovery, the McGill method is for you. The McGill Method has helped thousands of people find relief from their back pain. This often happens even after they have unsucessfully tried many other types of therapy, such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, or even orthopedic or neurosurgery.

Who developed the McGill Method

The McGill Method was developed by Dr. Stuart McGill, a world-renowned spine expert who spent over 30 years at the University of Waterloo researching backs. As a researcher, he studied how the back works, what injures it, and what happens to a back after it is injured. He also investigated how to best treat those various back injuries, as well as how to restore resiliency and robustness to a previously injured back. As a clinician, he applied what he learned through his scientific investigations to help thousands of patients overcome their back pain.