Q&A Time! The "Floppy" Push Up Causes Degeneration? | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Q&A Time! The "Floppy" Push Up Causes Degeneration?


Today's Q&A Time comes from a reader who was listening to a podcast where Stuart McGill states he wished McKenzie never started teaching "floppy" push ups.



Apparently there are "some studies" that show people doing repeated extension in lying develop facet arthritis within 2 years. What are my thoughts on this? First and foremost, I do not have the citations or articles for review, but I can say this



  • Prof Rocabado has stated before in the cervical spine that individuals lacking extension end up developing findings consistent with spinal degeneration faster - just to be a bit "mechanical"
    • makes sense as a lack of motion will cause decreased "joint health"
  • however, the next point is very important - even if what McGill stated was true
  • IT'S BEEN PROVEN A BAJILLION TIMES THAT DEGENERATION IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH PAIN
    • a recent study with 100 males/females in each group aged from 20s-70s showed up to 87% had positive disc findings, all asymptomatic
It's sad when experts in the field bash others who have obviously done so much good. McKenzie was ahead of his time with finding directional preference, de-emphasizing specific manual therapy, passive treatments, and promotion of patient self treatment. Extension is a movement that is built in, period. Do you think knee extension or elbow extension is bad for you? Why would cervical, thoracic, or lumbar extension be?

Really that's it, if McGill could prove that degeneration matters in regards to pain/function, that'd be an argument, but it's not.

Keeping it Eclectic... and remember to move your back, it's good for you!

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