A systematic approach to evaluating spine conditions and dysfunctions
Chris Bertuccini, PT, cert MDT is certified in the McKenzie Method.
The McKenzie Method is a common term used when discussing back and neck treatment. It is often incorrectly thought to be simply a certain type of exercise. However, it is much more. The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy is a systematic approach to evaluating lumbar and cervical spine conditions and dysfunctions.
A McKenzie trained therapist must complete hours of classwork and pass a rigorous test, both written and hands-on. Once certified, the therapist will use this training and knowledge to individually assess and evaluate a patient and form an evolving treatment approach to address their specific needs.
McKenzie is thought to be an extension-based set of exercises, and while these are often appropriate for some clients, McKenzie is about much more than extension. McKenzie theory dictates that by looking at movement and movement patterns and the physical responses to these movements, a trained therapist can interpret and create a treatment plan to address the underlying spinal issues, thus decreasing pain while increasing range of motion, function, and overall quality of life. This treatment can involve extension or flexion based exercises and positions.
Another hallmark of the McKenzie Method is education. It is critical that the patient understands the condition, the treatment, proper posture, and body mechanics so that they are invested in their plan of care. If a patient understands why they are doing a particular activity or position 3-6 times a day, they are much more likely to commit to it. When a patient can quickly see and feel improvement, even during the evaluation, it helps reinforce that the therapist has a strategy and a goal that can be achieved with this therapist/patient partnership.
If you are in need of a spinal evaluation, our McKenzie certified therapists are happy to meet you and discuss the McKenzie Method as well as all back and neck therapies. Please call to make an appointment today.