Developed in the 1960’s by New Zealand physical therapist Robin McKenzie, the McKenzie Method focuses on extending the spine could provide significant pain relief in patients with back pain. With this approach, physical therapy and exercises that are used to extend the spine can help centralize the patient’s pain by moving it away from the legs or arms to the back. The theory behind the McKenzie Method is that back pain is better tolerated than arm or leg pain and that by centralizing the pain allows the source of the pain to be treated rather than the symptoms. At Integrated Rehab we have several therapists at our Connecticut locations trained in the McKenzie Method that can help patients alleviate back and neck pain using this approach.
The McKenzie Method places a lot of emphasis on self-healing and self-treatment being part of a patient’s pain relief and rehabilitation. The method abstains from using passive modalities such as heat, cold, ultrasound, medicine or needles and strives to teach patients how to treat themselves and manage their own pain. Other goals of the McKenzie Method include reducing pain quickly, allowing the patient to return to normal functioning and to minimize the risk of recurring pain. The McKenzie Method will not work for all patients and is only designed for patients where the pain does centralize. While the treatment does encourage patients to learn exercises they can do on their own it is best that the method is learned with a physical therapist that is trained in the method and can offer the proper guidance so patients learn how to perform exercises correctly.
Studies done to ascertain the effectiveness of the McKenzie Method have determined that the treatment does alleviate acute lower back pain but is not always successful in treating chronic lower back pain. The McKenzie Method can also be used for treating neck pain and extremity issues. The treatment can also be referred to as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) and is designed to immediately determine if a method is working to avoid lengthy and costly tests. If you live in Connecticut and are struggling with back or neck pain and are interested in trying the McKenzie approach contact Integrated Rehab today and speak with a therapist who is trained in the method and help guide you through McKenzie exercises that will alleviate your pain.