What is the McKenzie Method of Medical Diagnosis and Therapy?

Does your neck hurt, and has it been a chronic problem for weeks or months? Or do you have chronic back pain? If so, you may benefit from physical therapy solutions. At Mid-County Physical Therapy, we use the McKenzie Method to properly diagnose your spinal problem and make sure you receive the best treatment possible.

Read this guide to learn all about the McKenzie Method.

What is the McKenzie Method?

The McKenzie Method involves a diagnostic and treatment approach to spinal disorders. It includes various exercises that a physical therapist can help a patient learn over time. Along with assessment and treatment, this method contains prevention strategies.

Robin McKenzie from New Zealand developed the McKenzie Method in the 1960s. The concept involves bringing the pain in the extremities back toward the back. The goals of the program involve:

  • Reducing pain
  • Bringing the patient back to regular function
  • Preventing future back pain

Close-up of a physical therapist's hands as he assesses a woman’s back painUsing the McKenzie Method for Neck and Back Physical Therapy

The McKenzie Method involves four main steps, which are:

  1. Assessment
  2. Classification
  3. Treatment 
  4. Prevention

Once a physical therapist assesses a patient for back or neck pain problems, then they can classify the spinal disorder based on the symptoms and information from the patient. Using each classification, each patient is then given a specific exercise to help treat their injury or pain.

The particular classifications involve:

  • Postural conditions
  • Derangement syndromes
  • Spinal dysfunction problems

The last step involves exercises and prevention strategies to keep the pain from coming back. Some common exercises of the McKenzie Method include a flexion rotation exercise, prone lying or lying flat on your stomach, propping up on your elbows from the prone position, and pressing your upper body up with your hands and arms.

The Benefits of This Physical Therapy Treatment

The most significant benefits you’ll gain from the McKenzie Method involve alleviating back or neck pain and restoring your body’s function to normal. Furthermore, this particular physical therapy treatment can help patients who have:

  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sacroiliac joint pain
  • Sciatica
  • Numbness in extremities

Furthermore, this type of treatment is reliable and has been well-researched. Physical therapists have used this strategy for decades to provide effective treatment. Some other benefits of the McKenzie Method include:

  • Low cost and less time spent in treatment
  • Reducing the need for surgeries and medications
  • Providing better outcomes than spinal manipulation or exercises by themselves
  • Engaging patients in self-care to prevent future spinal-related pain

Other Physical Therapy Solutions

There are multiple other physical therapy solutions that you can pursue at Mid-County Physical Therapy, such as:

  • An athletic injury program
  • A joint replacement program
  • Trigger point dry needling
  • A neck and back program

If you have lower back pain, the physical therapists at Mid-County Physical Therapy will customize a treatment just for you to help reduce your lower back discomfort.

Get Relief From Pain at Mid-County Physical Therapy

If you want to learn more about the benefits of the McKenzie Method and obtain treatment for your spinal conditions, make an appointment at Mid-County Physical Therapy today! We look forward to hearing from you!




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