A graduate of the SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn and New York Institute of Technology, Dr. Mitchell Yass is the founder and owner of a thriving physical therapy practice in Farmingdale, NY. Over the last fifteen years, his strength-training program has been used to treat thousands of patients, many of whom were misdiagnosed by x-rays and MRIs. He currently serves more than 8,000 physical therapy patients and 4,000 personal training clients. Yass is a regular contributor to Muscle Training Illustrated and Fitness Plus, and was named personal trainer of the month by Exercise for Men Only. His unique approach and intricate knowledge of human anatomy have been shared through his lectures, the prestigious Bodies exhibition in New York, and Fit for Life!, the television series he created to help viewers achieve greater levels of fitness throughout life.
More than 75 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from chronic pain. Most would prefer a natural approach to relieving, or even eliminating their pain, rather than the risky surgeries or addictive drugs that are often prescribed. This is the audience for Overpower Pain: The Strength-Training Program that Stops Pain without Drugs or Surgery, a new book by physical therapist Mitchell T. Yass. After treating more than 10,000 patients, Yass has determined that the cause of most pain is muscle weakness or imbalance, even if the patient has other medical conditions such as arthritis, a herniated disc, or stenosis. Based on this conclusion, he wrote Overpower Pain, which describes the causes and symptoms of pain in various parts of the body and outlines the best exercises for strengthening weakened muscles. A glossary and workout charts are also included. Overpower Pain is an excellent book for anyone interested in a natural approach to pain control. It's important to note, however, that most of the exercises require gym equipment and aren't suited for the typical do-it-at-home routine. And, always, be sure to consult a medical professional before undertaking any form of new exercise routine, particularly if you have any health concerns. Healthy Living Today You promise this is the year to finally take control of your health, and when the ball drops in Times Square, you won't be alone. From trimming a few inches off the waistline to toning up for the coming swimsuit season, the desire for a healthier lifestyle tops the list of New Year's resolutions, and that means just one thing-exercise. But for the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain, that's easier said than done. After all, it's hard to muster the energy to hit the gym with a sore back, a stiff neck or aching joints. But contrary to conventional wisdom, sometimes the best fix for chronic pain is a good workout-and strength training goes straight to the source, according to physical therapist Mitchell T. Yass, author of Overpower Pain: The Strength-Training Program that Stops Pain without Drugs or Surgery. 'Even today, with all the interest in staying in shape, most people believe weight training is just to lose weight or tone up-something people do just to look better. There's so much more to it than that,' Yass says. 'Chronic pain is usually caused by muscle weakness, which can easily be corrected with a simple strength training regimen.' 'It seems counterintuitive, but by working the right muscles in the right way, you can effectively eliminate chronic pain without surgery or drugs. The hard part is getting started,' Yass says. For most people, especially those in pain, starting a new strength training regimen can seem like an uphill battle, but the key to success lies in the details. More than a mere how-to book, Overpower Pain outlines everything the beginning strength trainer needs to know to successfully eliminate chronic pain: How to design a strength-training regimen you can live with. How to target specific muscle groups to alleviate lower back pain, arthritis, sciatica and other common forms of chronic pain. How to set small, manageable strength-training goals so you stay focused, stay interested and stay on track. How to train effectively and make the most of your time at the gym. How to stretch and strengthen muscles properly for a safe workout. Over the past 15 years, Yass has helped thousands of patients eliminate chronic joint, back and neck pain through strength training rather than invasive surgeries or addictive narcotic medications. The premise is simple: Weak muscles cause joint surfaces to rub together abnormally creating irritation, inflammation and discomfort. Strengthen the muscles and you eliminate the pain. In Overpower Pain, Yass helps readers determine the specific strength-training exercises needed to bolster weak muscles and put an end to chronic pain. Yass outlines more than 40 individual strength-training exercises with detailed, step-by-step photos depicting each step of the process. Presented in a clear, concise and easy-to-understand format, Yass explores how muscles work and explains why medication and surgery may not always be the best option. This year, when the ball drops in Times Square and you set your sights on self-improvement, make an 'appointment' with Mitchell Yass. Make a resolution to conquer that chronic pain once and for all. Jim Agnew's Literary World No one enjoys being in pain, but it doesn't have to be the focus of one's life. Overpower Pain: The Strength-Training Program that Stops Pain without Drugs or Surgery is a guide to building strength to dull the nagging pain, be it from age, injury, or whatever the circumstance. Chronic pain can be overcome by working the affected muscle through the pain and therefore decreasing the pain in everyday life. Overpower Pain is something to be strongly considered for those facing daily, persistent pain. Midwest Book Review If you're in pain, the cause can be structural or it can be mechanical. Structural would be something like a herniated disc or arthritis; mechanical would be from muscle weakness, muscle imbalances or flexibility deficits. For example, if your back pain is due to a mechanical deficit, it's possible your hip flexors and quads are stronger than your gluteus muscles and your hamstrings. If you have pain in your shoulder, it may be because your biceps are stronger than your triceps. The reason is a stronger muscle has a tendency to shorten and con then pull the bone it attaches to out of its proper position. 'Structural deficits require medical intervention, whereas mechanical deficits can be resolved through strength training,' states Mitchell T. Yass, PT. 'The good news is in my fifteen years as a physicaI therapist, I've observed that 80 to 90 percent of pain is caused by muscular weakness.' In his book Overpower Pain: The Strength Training Program that Stops Pain Without Drugs or Surgery, Yass takes readers from neck to toe explaining the source of pain in different parts of the body and the muscles that need to be strengthened. 'Keep in mind that the body is a chain of joints working synergistically to create effective function. Your best chance of limiting pain and achieving full functional capacity is to keep all your joints healthy. To do this, you need to keep the surrounding musculature of all joints strong, flexible, and balanced with their opposing muscles.' Yass also shares with his readers the five questions he asks patients to help determine whether symptoms at a joint are caused by a mechanical or by a structural deficit and what different answers might mean. 'Once I'm able to determine that the cause of a symptom is mechanical, I can help build a patient's strength and very quickly resolve the problem. Many patients jokingly call it a miracle when they limp in and walk out or when they raise an arm over their head and they couldn't before. But it's no miracle; it's just a matter of understanding how a joint functions and fixing what caused it to break down,' states Yass. Even when structural deficits are the cause, a substantial number of patients under Yass' care have been able to overcome their problems. Yass wraps up his book with a section on weight training, discussing the attachments of the muscles and their functions, and the exercises necessary to strengthen them. -- D.K. Howe American Fitness Overpower Pain by Mitchell T. Yass, a physical therapist who has helped many people eliminate chronic pain, avoid unnecessary surgery or the use of prescription drugs, and regain their quality of life, offers a text with ample photos to demonstrate how strength training can restore one to a pain-free life. The author answers five key questions on determining if the pain is caused by a muscle weakness or is the result of an ailment such as arthritis, meniscal tear, or herniated disk. Thereafter, appropriate strength training exercises are described and advice is provided so one can know when medical attention is required. This is one form of therapy among many, but it could work for you or someone you know. -- Alan Caruba, Editor, BookViews Bookviews We often assume that chronic pain relates to a particular physical injury such as a herniated disc or arthritis when the real culprit is muscular imbalance. According to Mitchell Yass, author of Overpower Pain, it is often very difficult to diagnose such conditions. On an x-ray, the bones may actually appear to be misaligned or otherwise damaged. However, this data can be misleading. Often muscle mass is concentrated in certain areas which causes shortenings in opposing muscle groups. This can actually cause the types of alignments seen on x-rays. Overpower Pain looks at the very common problem of chronic pain being caused by muscular imbalance and weakness. The information that the author presents could save the average person a good deal of money while quite possibly relieving their pain symptoms, all without surgery. However, the thing that interested me most about this book was that I learned about how the muscles work together. For years, I have had lower back pain. I have tried everything to strengthen my back. After reading this book, I now understand why these exercises never worked. I was working the wrong muscle groups. The scary thing is that in doing so, I was actually making the problem worse. -- Tami Brady, TCM Reviews Tcm Reviews