What is the McKenzie Method of Physical Therapy?

When faced with neck and back pain, patients have a lot of treatment options at their disposal. Although many people may be tempted to reach for pain medication and ice, routine, non-invasive forms of treatment may be better able to treat back problems at the source, for more effective relief. One of these treatment methods is physical therapy.

At Strong Life Chiropractic in Lithia, FL, our physical therapists are trained in a patient-centric form of physical therapy called the McKenzie Method. Based on the principles of education, self-treatment and pain prevention, the McKenzie Method is one that intrigues many patients and may provide measurable results.

What is it, exactly?

Developed by Robin McKenzie, a physical therapist from New Zealand, the McKenzie Method is a form of physical therapy that targets spinal pain and pain that radiates to the limbs. The method is particularly used for patients experiencing back and neck problems.

Experts using the method evaluate the musculoskeletal system as a whole, including the spine and its surrounding tissues. Then, they create a personalized treatment plan that targets specific areas of need. The approach’s goals are to reduce pain, prevent future pain, and restore bodily function.

Through an assessment of pain points and mobility, the physical therapist will classify the patient’s ailment as a particular type of syndrome: Postural syndromes, derangement syndromes, dysfunction syndromes, or “other” syndromes. Then, they will prescribe particular exercises to treat the syndrome.

Generally, the exercises and stretches in the McKenzie Method extend the spine to help move pain from an extremity like an arm or leg to the back, where it may be more easily tolerated and treated at the source. The physical therapist administering the assessment and treatment will determine the specific exercises and order to do them for successful mechanical correction.

Self-treatment at the center

The McKenzie Method relies heavily on patient involvement and self-treatment. This means the patient will be taught along the way and expected to perform exercises as instructed at home. This stems from the belief that frequent at-home performance is more likely to be effective than less frequent treatments by a professional. Your physical therapist will provide you with the tools and information you need to conduct successful treatment on your own.

A common misconception about the McKenzie Method is that the series of exercises can be learned and performed without the help of a trained physical therapist. Although the approach centers on a patient’s self-treatment, the method as a whole includes the accurate assessment and diagnosis of the root of the pain, followed by educated treatment.

Thus, for the best possible results, patients should seek the guidance of a professional for an accurate assessment and education on the approach before attempting to treat and prevent their ailments.

We teach the McKenzie Method

If you require treatment for back pain, Strong Life Chiropractic in Lithia, FL can help! Our team of physical therapists are knowledgeable about the McKenzie Method and can help determine whether it is the right fit for your back and neck problems. Combined with our skilled spinal experts trained in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), our office is prepared to provide you with a variety of alternative treatment methods for your pain.

Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.