McKenzie Method of Physical Therapy

McKenzie Method

At Riverwalk Physical Therapy we practice a unique approach to back pain.  We listen, we watch and we make a detailed assessment.  We practice multiple techniques and perform manual therapy approaches that are appropriate and individualized for your injury.  From extension based exercises, to manual therapy muscle energies to using a full body Spinal Decompression machine, we work with you to help you get back your life.

A common practice is the McKenzie method.  This approach comprises a set of exercises that people can do on their own and the McKenzie Method is really an overall program of assessment, treatment and prevention strategies.

The McKenzie Method was developed in the 1960s by Robin McKenzie, a physical therapist in New Zealand. In his practice, he noted that extending the spine could provide significant pain relief to certain patients and allow them to return to their normal daily activities.

With the McKenzie approach, physical therapy and exercise used to extend the spine can help “centralize” the patient’s pain by moving it away from the extremities (leg or arm) to the back. Back pain is usually better tolerated than leg pain or arm pain, and the theory of the approach is that centralizing the pain allows the source of the pain to be treated rather than the symptoms.

A central tenet of the McKenzie Method is that self-healing and self-treatment are important for the patient’s pain relief and rehabilitation

The long-term goal of the McKenzie Method is to teach patients suffering from back pain and/or neck pain how to treat themselves and manage their own pain.

The movement of pain from the extremities to the back will not occur with all patients. The McKenzie Method is designed to help patients where the pain does “centralize.” Also, for some patients, such as those with lumbar spinal stenosis or facet joint osteoarthritis, extending the spine may actually increase their pain.

For more information, please call us at 908-758-1006

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