26 Jul What is the McKenzie Method & Why Should You Care?
Physiotherapists often use a method of assessing and treatment called the McKenzie Method for people who have back pain and physical limitations– I highly recommend you check out information from their website here. In a nutshell, The McKenzie Institute International began several decades ago with Robin McKenzie, a Physiotherapist in New Zealand who developed a new way of assessment and treatment in the 1950s and advanced this thinking over the next several decades. It focuses on a thorough examination of each person individually by looking at various repeated movements and sustained positions to see how they move or their pain changes, and educating the person on exactly what to do and how often, so that progression moves along efficiently. I have found it to be an elegant system, and very helpful for many people who are suffering not just from back pain, but really any musculoskeletal issue. The McKenzie Institute International describes the system like this.
Within this McKenzie system, there is a term called “directional preference”, which is really determining if the person with back pain has one direction of movement that they can do repeatedly that will consistently decrease their pain or increase their movement. This sounds quite basic, but often the person in pain doesn’t know the direction of movement that could be helpful. Think about it—if you have a lot of back pain, you sure don’t want to do anything that might make it worse, or make the location spread out, so you tend to not move much. If your physiotherapist can help you determine if you have a directional preference that helps your pain or movement, then research shows that is a really great sign that your situation should move right along.
There is tons of research that supports the validity and reliability of the McKenzie System of MDT, and regardless of if you are suffering from a new issue or you’ve had pain for awhile, you should consider seeing a trained practitioner in this system. You can find a clinician who is either Credentialed or has a Diploma (even further education) in this system through this link.