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Q: Assessment of The Egoscue Method therapy program ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Assessment of The Egoscue Method therapy program
Category: Health
Asked by: safetac1-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 13 May 2002 23:35 PDT
Expires: 13 May 2003 23:35 PDT
Question ID: 16110
The "Egoscue Method" is an approach to physical therapy that claims to
alleviate joint pain and arthritis by correcting skeletal
misalignments via muscle rebalancing. It has been endorsed by Jack
Nicklaus in the forward of one of Peter Egoscue's published books. A
review of the website "" and a reading of Mr. Egoscue's
books reveals a very common sense approach to body pain often
associated with aging. The downside of the program is a fairly big
commitment required in terms of daily time spent doing the Egoscue
Method exercises.

The question is, are there objective testimonials or any other
unbiased assessments or information on the success rate of the Egoscue
Method? Any information in addition to that provided on or in the Egoscue books would be appreciated.
Subject: Re: Assessment of The Egoscue Method therapy program
Answered By: robertskelton-ga on 14 May 2002 00:43 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi there,

After a thorough search of the Internet and Google Groups I was unable
to find a single negative comment regarding the Egoscue Method. The
following extracts are from comments made by people who have used the
method, and appear to be unbiased:

"....this book helped me to correct those alignment problems through
therapeutic yoga postures..."

"His unique physical therapy is rational and effective. I did and I am
now  pain free after 4 years of suffering from injuries in a car

"This reviewer began the E-cises to alleviate upper spine and back
pain, and found relief within a few days of beginning the E-cises. The
invitation to become one's own therapist spoke of an integrity I have
found lacking in other methods."

"If you have any pain anywhere in your muscular-skeletal system, I
recommend that you find and read this book, as it shatters popular
myths about our bodies."

"I been following the routine and noticed that my posture has improved
dramatically. During that time, I have put more emphasis on stretching
too. Great results! "

"For dealing with overall body structure, I recommend the book Pain
Free by Pete Egoscue. This book has stretching and strengthening
exercises designed to reallign the whole body. There is a chapter
specifically addressing hand and arm problems. This is a very
important book."

"Since last Feb. when I started doing his exercises (and I did opt for
a session with one of his therapists who travels to Ct. with the
Egoscue group every two months to work with people), I have progressed
to having virtually no pain."

"There's a book which has helped me tremendously.  It's called "Pain
Free" by Pete Egoscue."

"It won't *stop* FMS pain, but helps put the body back in alignment,
which helped me a lot with my pain.  My neck and shoulder pain was
unbearable, I was just a bundle of knots until I started doing these
extremely simple exercises."

Google Keywords:
"Egoscue Method" pain

safetac1-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Good set of web sites providing feedback.

Subject: Re: Assessment of The Egoscue Method therapy program
From: robertskelton-ga on 14 May 2002 02:51 PDT
Apologies, that last link should be:

Subject: Re: Assessment of The Egoscue Method therapy program
From: ephraim-ga on 14 May 2002 08:44 PDT
The QuackWatch site claims that they are researching Egoscue for their
effectiveness. I have no idea when or if this will become available.
More information can be found here:

Subject: Re: Assessment of The Egoscue Method therapy program
From: rschr-ga on 20 Sep 2004 18:28 PDT
"After a thorough search of the Internet and Google Groups I was unable
to find a single negative comment regarding the Egoscue Method."

I looked into this about two years ago. While most of the google
search results are positive, negative comments are out there and a
truly thorough search would uncover them, but there's no way it would
be worth anyone's time to do this for only $20.  Because I had a
chronic injury for which I hoped the Egoscue Method might be a
solution I probably invested upwards of 40 hours looking into it. This
time was spent reading three of Egoscue's book, reading the Egoscue
web page (including sections normally requiring a paying membership),
searching various Internet forums (and posting some of my own
questions), and asking several doctors their opinions on it. After all
that, here is my assessment:

Many people report varying degrees of sucess, and in my opinion Pete
Egoscue's general approach--basically that the biggest source of
disfunction is lack of proper exercise--is right on target, in my
opinion.  I think the books on the balance are well worth reading, but
here are a few things to keep in mind.

-- A search of or medline turns up no scientific support
worth mentioning for the Egoscue Method. (Any cites worth mentioning
would appear in this database.)  It's unfortunate that so much effort
has gone into promoting the method commercially as a proprietary
method and no expense seems to have gone into even the most elementary
attempt to clincially validate it. It should come as no surprise that
the quackwatch is interested in investigating the Egoscue Method.

-- Because of the lack of scientific/clinical evidence about the
method's efficacy, most health insurance polices or HMO's will not
cover it.

-- After looking at the Egoscue web site, one of the doctor's I asked
about it was of the opinion that even if Pete Egoscue was onto a good
thing, he was grossly overstating and overselling it. As this doctor
put it, "I've learned that if I think I have all the answers, I
usually don't." (Looking at the web site, not it looks like it has
been rewritten and "toned down" a bit.)

-- I think the statistics cited by Pete Egoscue as well as all the
"web testimonials" are unintentionally skewed. As the questioner
pointed out, Egoscue's routines often take lots of time. I suspect
that of the people who try the Egoscue Method, the large majority will
drop out because they lack the time to follow the program and/or
aren't seeing the results they hope for given their time investment.

To my knowledge, Pete Egoscue hasn't given an accounting of how his
statistics were reached. But I think it's safe to say that his
percentages cover people who completed the program and don't cover
those that drop out. Because of the big time commitment, people who
aren't getting the results that they are hoping for are more likely to
drop out before completion.  But, regardless,  we can expect people
who drop out to blame themselves and be reluctant to vocally criticise
the program, because-who knows-maybe it would have worked for them if
they followed through.  Again, these type of issues point to the need
for clinical evidence.

--the Method categorizes people, based on posture, into a few "types"
and for each "type" a cooke-cutter solution is prescribed. This
approach is dubious on several fronts.

First, there is doubt that any meaningful diagnosis can be rendered
solely from looking at body posture, and especially only looking at
pictures of body posture. For example, just from a picture it is not
possible to tell if someone has excessive lordosis (a big theme of
Pete Egoscue) or just happens to have large buttocks. (You can find
discussions of this on the Net and they apply to Egoscue even though
they don't necessarily mention Egoscue by name.)   Second, the
cookie-cutter approach won't necessarily address the issues of a
particular individual. An individualized approach is more likely to be
sucessful. Third, the "diagnosis" of the Egoscue Method presupposes
that the problems are due to postural problems, muscle inbalances,
etc., when they could be caused by other conditions such as
osteoarthritis. Also, I don't remember seeing any real discussion of
myofascial trigger points in the books and from what I know now, this
is a fairly signficant omission. Fourth, some of the methods within
the Egoscue Method don't seem to be very efficient. Case in point:
Pete Egoscue will likely have you spend literally hours lying flat on
your back to stretch out your hip flexors (in part to get rid of that
excessive lordosis that may just be a genetically big butt). While
many others believe that hip flexor stretches are a good idea, it's
hard to find anyone advocating spending more then a few minutes a day
on hip flexor stretches.

Still, I recommend reading Pete Egoscue's books. I think that many
people who take the time and follow the Egoscue Method will see some
benefit, assuming they have that time available. And it's hard for me
to envision anyone hurting themselves following the method. The
biggest drawback I see is people may spend a lot of time on the
Egoscue Method at the expense of time spent on pursuing a more
individualized and efficient solution. There is simply no subsitute
for  getting a thorough whole-body "hands on" evaluation by a
specialist to identify and come up with a solution to your unique
needs. Unfortunately, most specialists just won't spend the time to do
this, so you may have to spend a fair amount of time and money finding

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