Treating Back Pain with the McKenzie Method

backpainLow back pain is a common problem for many Americans. In fact, it has become the leading reason for missing work. In addition to lost productivity, back pain disrupts normal and recreational activities. The collective cost of back pain treatment has been estimated at $60 billion per year in the United States.

Those who suffer from back pain can have a variety of symptoms ranging from mild stiffness to extreme back and leg pain. For some people, back pain can go away without treatment in a few days; however, others will suffer from pain for weeks, months or even a lifetime.

In the 1950s, Robin McKenzie developed a system to evaluate and treat patients with back pain. Since that time his system has grown into a worldwide institute. Physical therapists use the McKenzie Method to evaluate, classify and treat patients. The approach includes a thorough history – utilizing specific questions to help therapists develop exercise programs that are specific to patients’ needs.

During evaluations, patients are asked to complete gentle range of motion exercises to determine each individual’s directional preference. For most people, pain can be reduced by moving the spine in one direction. Once the direction is identified, patients complete the exercises throughout the day.

The McKenzie Method encourages patients to become active partners in their recoveries. Through posture correction and exercise, the goal is for patients to be pain free and independent in the management of future symptoms.

There are several advantages of the McKenzie Method:

  • The evaluation is comprehensive and the exercises are simple.
  • The approach is collaborative between the therapist and the patient.
  • Results are typically seen quickly (often within the first session).
  • The emphasis is on patient education and empowerment to learn how to manage pain and prevent future episodes.

To learn more about the McKenzie Method at Good Shepherd, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us today.

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