The Multifidus Back Pain Solution, by Jim Johnson, P.T. offers an exercise program for chronic back pain sufferers. The program is based on evidence that one specific back muscle, the multifidus, plays a role in almost all non-neurological back pain. Because the book is written by a licensed allied health professional, it offers excellent background information as to why the program works, as well as how consumers can arm themselves with knowledge about back pain treatments.
Writing Style and Chapter Organization
Johnson's writing style is friendly, and he uses easily accessible analogies when explaining complex anatomical and scientific facts. Most chapters have a page of key points at the end.
The Approach of the Book
The approach taken by this book is in treating the function of the back, rather than the traditional labels such as herniated disk
. This may explain why there is an emphasis on background information and scientific studies. Supporting his approach is the research finding that there is no diagnosis for approximately 85% of low back pain cases.
Why a Book on One Muscle?
The author believes strongly that multifidus muscle is significant in almost all cases of back pain. He provides numbers comparing a:
- strong link between an abnormal multifidus muscle and the presence of low back pain
- normal multifidus muscle in conditions which are commonly associated with pain, but where there is none.
He explains the anatomy of the spine and the multifidus muscle and discusses why it is so significant in the presence and absence of back pain.
Specific Back Pain Conditions
Johnson covers the specific conditions found to be affected by the multifidus muscle, for example, spondylolisthesis
, back pain due to pregnancy, post back surgery back pain, and herniated disks
Among other things, the explanations address the activity of the multifidus muscle as revealed by EMG
and/or ultrasound studies in each of these conditions. The conditions, themselves, are explained well, providing excellent background information.