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About Dr. Phillip Snell

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Dr. Phillip Snell

Dr. Phillip Snell

I’m Dr. Phillip Snell, chiropractic physician and creator/content manager of FixYourOwnBack.com and MyRehabExercise.com. In the past I’ve also helped teach graduate and post-graduate levels of classes in functional rehabilitation to students and doctors in the US and Canada. My clinical practice is in Portland, OR, and focuses on movement assessment/rehab, sports injuries, and myofascial pain.

Injury History

Early in my career, an old spinal injury re-surfaced and periodically made my ability to perform my daily clinical work very difficult. In my training as a chiropractor, I had learned that spinal manipulation was one of the best tools available for managing back pain. Unfortunately, when my back pain flared, manipulation was only mildly helpful, and only for a short period of time. Frustrated, I searched for other treatment options as I was sure the world had little use for a supposed spine specialist who couldn’t manage his own back pain!

Incorporating Exercise

At this point, I came across some new research from a spine researcher/biomechanist named Stuart McGill. McGill’s name, now ubiquitous in spine research, was at that time relatively unknown. As I read his studies and applied his exercise research to my own condition, I found my own back pain steadily improved. Over the years, I continued adding to my toolbox studying with the icons in the world of spine rehab and developed a successful algorithm of treatment for the type of back pain that had plagued me. Indeed, I found that one of the most difficult types of back pain, those involving lumbar disc injury, responded incredibly well to this collection of “tools”. On many days, it was humbling as a manual therapist of sorts, to note that the most effective tools in my box were education and exercise instead of my hands. That’s when the idea for this site was born.

FixYourOwnBack.com represents the combined works of researchers like Robin McKenzie, PT; the aforementioned Stuart McGill, PhD; Craig Liebenson, DC; Gray Cook, PT, Vladimir Janda, MD; and Pavel Kolar, PT,PhD. It also reflects the exercise strategies used by the kettlebell communities and functional training movement, as well as the neurology research of Michael Shacklock, PT; David Butler, PT; and Lorimer Moseley, PhD. Over the years, I’ve found that some of the assessment tools that dictate progression of patients along a treatment plan are relatively easily self-administered. While in a perfect world, expert movement assessment would be available to all patients, I realized we don’t live in a perfect world. I decided that a site like this might be helpful to those who don’t yet have an expert on their side to guide them.

That said, you should go see your doctor to make sure your back pain is not a symptom of something much more serious before you get started here!

I hope that your use of FixYourOwnBack.com is helpful and please feel free to share your experience with others. Be well!