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Professor Stuart McGill Novi Sad, 25th & 26th May 2019

McGill Method Level 2 Saturday 25th May 2019

Assessment: Converging on a precise diagnosis

Lecturer: Dr Stuart M McGill

To update delegates on the most recent developments in function of the lumbar spine specifically how it works and how it becomes injured, and how this is linked to pain sensitivity. This is to develop an evidence based foundation for clinical decision making.
To provide guidance in the application of this knowledge to the clinic, workplace, rehabilitation center, and sports field to reduce the risk of injury, optimize healing of the patient, and build ultimate back performance in the athlete. To give practice and technique development with workshops throughout the day.

Restoring a painful back begins with a detailed assessment. Dr McGill demonstrates and teaches pain provocation through mechanical and neurological approaches intended to reveal the cause of pain. The algorithm is based on branching logic. Delegates will hone their manual skills, together with clinical reasoning skills, work-shopping tests both on and off the exam table. This will lead to a precise diagnosis that forms the foundation for teaching the patient how to wind down their pain sensitivity. The second stage begins when pain is controlled, and the objectives shift to enhancing function and performance. This is a smaller more intimate course, primarily around the exam table.

9 am – 12 noon

1: The foundation
Background (Lecture)

  • Movement assessments and screens
  • Mechanisms of function, injury and pain
  • Medical images (MR, CT, Ultrasound) interpretation
  • Differential diagnosis

12 – 1 pm LUNCH
1 pm – 5 pm

2: The assessment (hands-on workshop at assessment tables)
Assessment Clinic

  • Assessment forms
  • Provocative tests, movement tests
  • These include motions, postures, loads and then specific tissues
  • Compression, shear, bending, tension, etc
  • Discs, end plates, vertebral bodies, sciatic and femoral nerve roots, SI joints, Facet joints, hip joints, muscle
  • Pain mechanisms including directionally pinched nerve roots, multiple pain sources, dynamic disc bulges, pelvic ring laxity, among many others.

    3: Interpreting the signs and special cases Special Cases
  • Spinal shock
  • Neural resonance
  • Neural trap
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scoliosis, Spinal Stenosis, etc

McGill Method Level 3 - 26th May 2019

High Performance Training: Progressing backs from pain to performance

Lecturer: Dr Stuart M McGill

To update delegates on some recent developments in enhancing performance of formerly pained and injured backs. To give practice and technique development with workshops throughout the day.

This one day course is for advanced clinicians and performance specialists. Mechanisms and training techniques used with world class athletes will be introduced and discussed. The development of movement/motor patterns, endurance, speed, and power within the principles that minimize back injury, or exacerbation of existing injury are work-shopped. Quantifying the athletic demands together with the current capabilities of the individual, influence program design. Specific topics include building resilience, training capacity, and strength and speed techniques within pain-free progressions. The day comprises of 3 lectures and 3 hands-on workshops.

Part 1: Foundation

  • The code of elite trainers
  • Normal and injury mechanics
  • Tolerance and Capacity
  • Stability (and mobility)
  • Injury (and Pain) mechanisms
  • Creating a client – building training capacity
  • An algorithm from pain to performance
  • Pristine movement (Engrain motion patterns, motor patterns, corrective exercise)
  • Build whole body and joint stability
  • Increase endurance
  • Build strength
  • Pull
  • Push
  • Lift
  • Carry
  • Torsional Buttress
  • Specific isolationist and integrative exercises
  • Develop power, agility

Workshop 1: movement patterns sparing the spine

  • Basic Strength skills
  • Composite strength
  • Joint positions
  • Power breathing
  • Twitch and relax
  • Mobility
  • Basic motions
  • torso control with hip function
  • Movement skills

Part 2: Assessment

Many approaches – When?

  • Intake
  • Tune each training cycle
  • When to increase load (or decrease)
  • Presence of Pain


  • Provocative tests will reveal pain mechanism
  • Motions, postures and loads
  • Specific tissues


  • Assess general competency & movement choice
  • Assess demand of task/sport
  • Assess these as capabilities of the individual
  • Train the difference
  • Programing
  • Interview
  • Personality
  • Anatomy

Workshop 2: Assessment

Part 3: Tricks of the super athletes

Features of excellent performance

  • Trade-off of fitness variables
  • Rate of muscle activation and relaxation
  • Power Breathing
  • Mindful training
  • Core stability and hip mobility
  • Athletic progressions


  • Technique #1 Rapid contraction and then relaxation of muscle
  • Technique #2 Tuning of the muscles
  • Technique #3 Muscular binding and weaving
  • Technique #4 Directing neuronal overflow
  • Technique #5 Eliminate energy leaks – Make the impossible, possible
  • Technique #6 Get through the “sticking points”
  • Technique #7 Optimize the passive connective tissue system
  • Technique #8 Create shockwaves
  • Always: Proximal stiffness for distal explosiveness

Workshop 3: Enhancing performance

For each exercise

  • Is it the best tool for the goal?
  • Incorporates assessment and training
  • Coach corrections (good form)
  • Create progression (or regression)
  • Enhances injury resilience and performance
  • Optimizes stability mobility continuum
  • Skill development

Workshop List:

  • Qualifying tests
  • Warmups
  • Patterns of movement
  • Relaxation rate
  • Double peak
  • Power breathing
  • Strength tricks
  • Tuning mobility, stability and unleash speed power
  • Squat
  • Bench
  • Pullup
  • Jump
  • Strongman techniques
  • Turkish getup
  • Sled drag
  • Speed power
  • Foot work
  • Sport specific