Back Sufferers' Bible [NOOK Book]


The human spine is not well suited for our way of life and as a result back pain is pandemic - there is hardly anyone who has not been bothered by it at some time. Advanced as we are in other areas of science, with fixing backs we are little further ahead.

This book breaks new ground, and is written for sufferers and practitioners alike. In layman's language it charts a new, easy-to-understand model for the way the human spine breaks down, ...
See more details below
Back Sufferers' Bible

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - Second Edition, Second edition)
$10.49 price
(Save 38%)$16.95 List Price


The human spine is not well suited for our way of life and as a result back pain is pandemic - there is hardly anyone who has not been bothered by it at some time. Advanced as we are in other areas of science, with fixing backs we are little further ahead.

This book breaks new ground, and is written for sufferers and practitioners alike. In layman's language it charts a new, easy-to-understand model for the way the human spine breaks down, starting off with commonplace and totally reversible conditions (which 90 per cent of us have), and progressing to the more difficult ones.

The Back Sufferers' Bible describes clearly how each stage of back pain manifests, and sets out a logical course of treatment programs. It explains when you need medication and when you need to rest in bed. It explains all the exercises - how to do them and the common pitfalls with each one. It gives you all the information you need to play an active part in your own treatment. For practitioners, there is a new section of comprehensive source material and further reading.

Now you can understand what has gone wrong with your spine and take steps to keep your back healthy and pain-free.


The BackBlock and Ma Roller used in this book can be ordered direct by sending a cheque or money order (for BackBlock, plastic or wooden: $66; Ma Roller $40; for both: $95 inclusive of GST and postage and handling) to:

The Sarah Key Physiotherapy Centre

6th Floor, 44 Bridge Street


Inquiries email:
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781741763294
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Second edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,220,684
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Sarah Key MVO trained at Sydney University and has been practising the management of spinal and skeletal joint problems for three decades. She has a clinic in Sydney and also sees patients in the UK, where she is physiotherapist to the Royal Family. Sarah is the author of two previous books, Back in Action and The Body in Action: You CAN keep your joints young.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword     v
Introduction     1
The way it might be     1
The way it is...     2
The way it goes wrong     5
The way ahead...     10
How a normal spine works     13
What is a spine?     13
The lumbar vertebrae     15
The spinal ligaments     19
The intervertebral discs     23
The nutrition of the discs     28
The vertebral movements     30
The facet joints     33
The bending human spine     36
The spinal nerves     40
The muscles which work the spine     41
The stiff spinal segment     50
What is a stiff spinal segment?     50
Causes of a stiff spinal segment     52
Unremitting spinal compression reduces disc metabolism     52
Gravity squeezes fluid from the discs     53
Abdominal (tummy) weakness allows the spine to 'sink'     55
Sustained postures accelerate fluid loss and poor varieties of movement prevent fluid replacement     56
Chronic protective muscle spasm compresses the problem disc     62
Abnormal postures increase neurocentral compression and reduce metabolic activity of the discs     64
Injury can rupture the cartilage endplate between vertebra and disc     69
The disc breaks down     71
The way this back behaves     74
The sub-clinical phase     74
The acute phase     74
Acute palpation     76
What causes the acute pain?     76
The sub-acute phase     77
Sub-acute palpation     78
The chronic phase     78
Chronic palpation     78
What causes the chronic pain?     79
What you can do about it     80
Aims of self-treatment for segmental stiffness     80
A typical self-treatment for acute segmental stiffness     81
A typical self-treatment for sub-acute segmental stiffness     82
A typical self-treatment for chronic segmental stiffness     83
Facet joint arthropathy     85
What is facet joint arthropathy?     85
Diagnosis by manual palpation     89
Causes of facet arthropathy     91
Disc stiffening allows the facet capsules to tighten     91
Disc narrowing causes the facet joint surfaces to override     92
A sway back causes the lower facets to jam     94
Weak tummy muscles can jam the facets      97
A shorter leg invokes a greater restraint role of the facets     98
Golf clinic     101
The way this back behaves     101
The acute phase     101
Manual diagnosis of an acutely inflamed facet     102
What causes the acute pain?     103
Interrupting the pain cycle     104
The chronic phase     105
Lessening the pain     105
What causes the chronic pain?     107
What you can do about it     109
The aims of self-treatment for facet joint arthropathy     109
A typical self-treatment for acute facet joint arthropathy     110
A typical self-treatment for sub-acute facet joint arthropathy     111
A typical self-treatment for chronic facet joint arthropathy     112
The acute locked back     114
What is an acute locked back?     114
Causes of an acute locked back     117
A natural 'window of weakness' early in a bend     117
Segmental stiffness predisposes to facet locking     119
Muscle weakness contributes to facet locking     120
The way this back behaves     122
The acute phase     122
What causes the acute pain?      123
The sub-acute phase     124
The chronic phase     125
What you can do about it     126
The aims of self-treatment for an acute locked back     126
A typical self-treatment for acute locked back     127
A typical self-treatment for sub-acute locked back     128
A typical self-treatment for chronic locked back     129
The prolapsed 'slipped' intervertebral disc     132
What is a prolapsed disc?     132
Diagnostic techniques     137
Disc surgery     139
Causes of a prolapsed disc     141
Pre-existing breakdown alters the properties of the nucleus and weakens the disc wall     142
Bending and lifting stress breaks down the back wall of the disc     143
Intensifying the breakdown     144
The way this back behaves     146
The acute phase     146
What causes the acute pain?     148
The chronic phase     150
What causes the chronic pain?     153
What you can do about it     154
The aims of self-treatment of a prolapsed disc     154
A typical self-treatment for acute prolapsed disc     155
A typical self-treatment for sub-acute prolapsed disc      156
A typical self-treatment for chronic prolapsed disc     157
The unstable spinal segment     158
What is segmental instability?     158
Diagnosis     162
Spinal surgery     164
Causes of segmental instability     165
Primary breakdown of the disc     165
Primary breakdown of the facet joints     168
Incompetence of the 'bony catch' mechanism of the facet joints     169
Weakness and poor coordination of the trunk muscles     171
Some speculation     172
The way this back behaves     173
The acute phase     173
What causes the acute pain?     174
The sub-acute phase     174
The chronic phase     176
What causes the chronic pain?     178
What you can do about it     178
The aims of self-treatment for segmental instability     178
A typical self-treatment for acute instability     179
A typical self-treatment for sub-acute instability     180
A typical self-treatment for chronic instability     181
Treating your own back     183
Helping yourself     183
Preliminary thoughts     184
The procedures      186
Bed rest     186
Medication     188
Painkillers and NSAIDs     189
Muscle relaxants     190
Exercises for treating a bad back     192
Rocking the knees to your chest     192
Rolling along the spine     195
Legs passing     198
Reverse curl ups     199
The BackBlock     202
Segmental pelvic bridging     208
The Ma Roller     210
Squatting     212
Toe touches in the standing position     214
Diagonal toe touches     216
Floor twists     218
The Cobra     219
The Sphinx     222
Spinal intrinsics strengthening     223
Reference reading     227
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2001

    Of all back books (and I've known a few) this is the one

    Upon reading this book, I can't help but feel modern spinal orthopaedics is 'a science based on a myth'. Nothing did all those doctors tell me, which made any sense. Nothing they offered me seemed to work. Never did I feel they actually 'knew' what was going on inside my back. (All those tests! What did they tell him? How did they help me? I was certainly never any better.) Sarah Key's book both opens the door and turns on the light. She seems to 'live' inside a back. She seems to 'feel' what I feel. And! I can't believe it, I'm getting better. The exercises are working. They seem so simple but already I'm getting better and I seem to understand why I'm doing them. On the front of her book she says: 'information is half the cure'. At last I feel in contol. I sense at last, I'm on my way out of a nightmare. PS The website is great.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)