Cover image for No more aching back : Dr. Root's new, fifteen-minute-a-day program for a healthy back
No more aching back : Dr. Root's new, fifteen-minute-a-day program for a healthy back
Root, Leon.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Villard Books, 1990.
Physical Description:
xxii, 215 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RD771.B217 R66 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order


Author Notes

Leon Root was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on June 15, 1929. He received a bachelor of science degree from Rutgers University in 1951 and a medical degree from New York Medical College in 1955. He joined the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan in 1967. Three years later he was made chief of pediatric orthopedics, a post he held for 27 years. While there, he created an ambitious program to screen children for disorders of the bones and joints.

He wrote several books during his lifetime including No More Aching Back: Dr. Root's New Fifteen-Minute-a-Day Program for a Healthy Back and Beautiful Bones Without Hormones: The All-New Natural Diet and Exercise Program to Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis and Keep Your Bones Healthy and Strong written with Betty Kelly Sargent. He died from complications of a low blood count on September 21, 2015 at the age of 86.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Employing a conversational tone, Root, an orthopedic surgeon and coauthor of Oh, My Aching Back [BKL O 15 73], directs the reader through an office visit, carefully explaining how back pain is evaluated (diagnostic tests and treatments), how the back works, the kinds and causes of back pain, and why it--particularly chronic lower back pain--is endemic in this country. He counsels on how to minimize the risk of back injury in everyday life, describing how to sit, stand, and lie down, and ways to lift correctly. Root devotes a chapter to discussing children's back problems and also gives advice on sexual activity and sports for back-pain sufferers. His 15-minute-a-day program, with clear line drawings that demonstrate techniques, spells out a series of exercises designed to strengthen the back. This is, overall, an informative text (only time will tell on the exercises). ~--Sally Estes



Introduction     You are probably reading this book because you have personally experienced a problem with your back, or have been close to someone who has had a bad experience with his or her back. In any case, you are concerned about avoiding and preventing the debilitating experience of being laid up with a bad back. Your concern is well founded.   Despite all medical efforts, back problems continue to plague mankind. In the United States, approximately 80 million people have or are suffering from back pain. The U.S. government reports that $25 billion is spent each year on health care for these people. At a recent meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, there were nearly one hundred papers, exhibits, instructional courses, and seminars that dealt solely with low-back pain.   Back pain is ubiquitous; it knows no boundaries and is seen in every walk of life. President John F. Kennedy had surgery for his back, and his use of a rocking chair to ease his pain became famous. Joe Montana, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, astounded the world by having surgery for a herniated disk in his lower back and returning to full contact in eight weeks. A famous conductor does his back exercises every day in order to stand on the podium and wave his baton at the orchestra. Every day I see a multitude of secretaries, teachers, executives, construction workers, lawyers, and even doctors--not to mention pregnant women, actors and actresses, writers, and computer specialists--all of whom complain about pain in their backs. The cause of almost all of these people's pain is mechanical. In other words, their back problems do not originate from a sickness or disease, but rather a problem with the muscles, ligaments, intervertebral disks, and bones that are the essential parts of the spinal structure.   A question that always arises is whether or not back pain is a new problem for man. Did the farmers, laborers, artisans, soldiers, and professional people of the past experience the same magnitude of back problems as modern man does? Or is something new happening, which is perhaps linked to the greater emotional and physical stress associated with disruptions in people's habits in this changing world? These questions are difficult to answer because we do not have available data to make scientific comparisons.   We do know that back pain is not new. Indeed, doctors, faith healers, surgeons, chiropractors, and osteopaths have applied various skills to relieve the pain of these sufferers for centuries. In all cases, however, treatment followed pain. Until fairly recently in this century, there was little concentration on how to prevent back pain; most efforts were directed toward relieving it once it occurs. The sad truth is that although most treatment is successful in relieving the pain, back attacks are usually recurrent.   Part of the problem is that different factors can cause back pain. We know that back problems seem to run in some families, so perhaps hereditary aspects play a role. For years, the fact that man has stood erect, rather than on all four limbs, has been considered a major cause of stress for the lower back. However, even four-legged animals like the dachshund develop slipped disks in their spines.   Research to determine the effects of lifting and bending on the spine is done at dozens of medical centers throughout the world. The Volvo car makers, with the guidance of orthopedic surgeons, have tested the effect that car seats have upon the back. Back schools have proliferated like mushrooms across the country. Sports medicine centers and local Y's advertise exercise programs for back sufferers and for those who wish to avoid these perplexing and sometimes agonizing problems. We are immersed in a sea of information, much of it incomplete, some of it contradictory, and most of it confusing.   After almost thirty years of treating and studying patients with back problems and having to deal with my own back problems, I feel that I can help people, not only to get over their back pain, but to avoid it in the first place. In this book, I shall show you how to do both. But before you can embark on a program for a healthy back, you must be aware of what constitutes a healthy back.   This book is addressed to you, the reader, as if you are a patient with a back problem coming to my office for the first time. During the course of this office visit, I will describe how I conduct an examination and why I perform certain tests. Next I will tell you about the structure of the back and how it functions, using minimal but necessary medical terminology. This will be followed by an alarming section on what can go wrong with your back. But don't worry, ensuing sections describe how back problems are identified and treated, and offer short- and long-term solutions for alleviating and avoiding back pain. Next in order are a number of helpful hints on the kinds of physical activities in which back-conscious people can engage, including sex, sports, and exercises. Last but not least, I will describe and illustrate the exercise program I have developed to strengthen and protect your back.   Does that seem like a tall order? It is, but don't be discouraged. Contrary to what you may be thinking, I will not be tedious or overly technical, as you will discover as you read along. However, there is one essential point that I must make now (and I shall repeat it many times in this book): The only one who can ultimately make your back better is you.   It is not as hard to do as it may sound. Experience has shown that 90 percent of the people with back pain get better with time, even without any treatment. The crucial issue is to prevent it from occurring again and again, which is the distressing aspect of a low-back problem. I hope I have stimulated your interest. Now, read on and find out what you need to know about back pain and how to have"a healthy back. You can achieve that goal. Good luck and good reading. LEON ROOT, M.D. January 1, 1990   Excerpted from No More Aching Back: Dr. Root's New Fifteen-Minute-a-Day Program for a Healthy Back by Leon Root All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.