As I was recently reading Dr. Dan Vaughn’s last editorial in JMMT, “A Lasting Legacy“, I was struck by a magnifying statement that he made concerning past treatment approaches.  Dr. Vaughn, as many were in that time (I wasn’t born in 1978 but taking his word for it!), were using William’s Flexion Exercises as the typical approach to treating low back pain.  He explains that the thought at that time was that these exercises were “no brainers” and should be the norm.  We now know that is not true.  Honestly, I do not know who does the William’s Flexion Exercises anymore…does a dead bug maneuver sound enticing to you?

Not to discard the focus in this article illuminating Robin McKenzie’s work for our profession, but this statement struck me.  Not because my high school baseball coached half-spit, half-yelled this phrase; but it strikes deep, just as it did for Robin.  During the time of McKenzie’s ‘invention’, he was on the far left side of the curve.  He can also known as a, no, the innovator for low back treatment.   Refer back here to which side of the curve do you practice?

What do we do now in treatment that we perceive as “no brainers”, but in reality will look back on in the future and slap ourselves?  For the modern age, we may even give these a hashtag of #SMH #whatwasIthinking

So, I would like to take a poll?  It doesn’t have to be for back pain, but what exercises, approach, etc. do you think we will look back 20 years from now and hide in our memory???





  1. Hopefully ultrasound and refer us to Baker/Robertson 2001 review. Over utilized and under supported in literature. Look forward to the future posts!

    1. Thanks John! I agree…ultrasound HAS to go. I’ll check out the article you referenced…do you have a link for it?

  2. Where to start???
    Just a few…TA draws, posterior capsule stretching for GIRD, VMO anything…just my opinion (and anyone’s who follow evidence based practice), but I regularly see these in every program as “no brainers”. #SMH

    1. Hey Chris,
      Good to hear from you man! I agree, there are many things out there. I’m sure Dr. T would go crazy on VMO!

    1. Hey Todd,
      Interesting you mention that. I’ll play devil’s advocate and say the opposite. Why do you say dry needling?

    1. Hey Zach,
      Thanks for responding! Just like I asked Todd, why do you mention your 3? I would definitely agree with #2, but I use #1 and #3 all the time.

  3. Bilateral ER because it has good lower:upper trap activation levels while working the external rotators of the shoulder and I think it is a good general postural correction exercise.

    Hollow body position because athletes tend to overextend and the variations you can do off of the hollow body position can be really challenging to the core muscles even in strong/high level athletes

    Dorsiflexion simply because this is so frequently limited and contributes to a host of ankle/knee movement compensations and injuries

  4. Great article, I hurt my knee during the Insanity program 2 months ago. I figured I was safe from injury, seeing as the program is done at home and I can pace myself as I see fit. I trusted Orthopaedics Plus in Beverly, MA because of the amazing work they did with my son for his football injury. They really showed me the value of physical therapy. Because of their exercises, I’m finally waking up pain free and I can actually move like I used to! They also showed me how to be more careful in the future, check out their site:

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