The McKenzie System is Comprehensive for People with Spinal Pain

I’ve spoken about the McKenzie system before– see here.  It is one of the most researched areas within physiotherapy, and I have summarized a great article by Stephen May and Richard Rosedale, where over 50 clinicians from 15 different countries assessed and treated over 750 patients who had spinal pain.

Data was analyzed for several variables:

  1. Spinal area- lumbar, thoracic, cervical
  2. Syndrome Classification- Derangement, Dysfunction, Postural or OTHER subgroups
  3. Stability of classification from initial assessment to discharge- Yes/ No
  4. Number of treatment sessions
  5. Loading strategy, if appropriate- extension, flexion, lateral

Main Results:  Over 64% of patients had lumbar pain and were classified predominantly as having a derangement (75.3%).  The predominant directional preference was extension (82.5%), followed by the lateral principle at 12.9%. The stability of the classification to remain the same from initial assessment through discharge was 85%.  In the 15% who altered their classification, no details were given on how the classification changed. Almost 23% of patients were classified as one of the McKenzie OTHER subgroups, with Mechanically Inconclusive (6.7%) or Mechanically Unresponsive Radicular Syndrome (6.0%) being most common, and the rest representing seven OTHER subgroups.  Fifty-five percent of patients were seen in four sessions or less; with a mean number of sessions of 4.9.

Conclusions: This might sound confusing, but for those clinicians who treat people with back pain, it confirms previous studies’ results in classifying patients with a derangement about 75% of the time, and establishes that the majority are extension responders. Once people can be classified into a group of similar responders, there is a clear path on how to treat this pain effectively and efficiently.

If you have been struggling with back pain, have a thorough assessment from a clinician who is Credentialed in the McKenzie System of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT).  You can find one in your area here.

Are You Set to Ski this Winter? START NOW!

The season is fast approaching, and whether your interest is downhill or cross-country skiing, you should put in some preparation to ensure that your body is ready when the snow falls.  Injury prevention when skiing involves more than just physical strength:  one has to be mentally prepared and of course, ensure that the equipment is well-maintained.

Physical components of ski fitness involve cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, strength training and balance skills.  If your legs get tired quickly, you increase the risk of falling after skiing only a few runs.  Evidence has shown that ski injuries are most likely to occur in the late morning or late afternoon after people have been on the hills/trails for a few hours.  The most common injuries are to the knees (20-32%) or thumbs (17-25%).

Here are 3 tips: Continue reading

LeBron James rocks a lumbar roll– maybe you should too.

Having a firm roll to support the natural curve in the lower back is a key way to prevent slouching in essentially any kind of chair.  Use it by keeping your butt close to the back, and pushing the roll down as far as it will go, then just relax back around it.  Initially it might feel intrusive since you aren’t sued to it, but it’s a feel you’ll come to love!

At Elevation Physiotherapy & Wellness, we love the lumbar roll!  Learn more here