The McKenzie Method: Back pain solved in four steps
Every McKenzie Method treatment program goes through four stages:
Your therapist will collect a detailed history, including symptoms and their behaviour. Then, they will guide you through mechanical procedures, including repeated movements and resting postures. Throughout this process, they will collect information about the changes in your symptoms and ranges of motion.
The information gathered during the assessment stage will guide your therapist to identify patterns of pain response, getting to the root cause of your pain. Using the comprehensive classification system known as MDT, they will categorize your pain into one of three syndromes (or “other,” if you do not fit into any of the three):
- Postural syndrome: pain experienced while in certain postures or positions
- Derangement syndrome: pain experienced from a change in position that impacts a disc in the spine
- Dysfunction syndrome: intermittent pain and limited movement caused by problems with scar tissue on shortened or tightened muscles/ligaments
Your therapist will develop a unique treatment plan using the information gathered during the assessment. This will include specific exercises and postures (what to do and what to avoid) that you can perform on your own. With more complex pain problems, your therapist may initially assist you with these exercises and postures, using hands-on techniques until you are comfortable on your own. However, no passive modalities like ultrasound, acupuncture or hot/cold treatments are used.
Your active involvement reduces the amount of sessions needed and gives you results faster.
Taking an active role in your recovery means more than getting relief for your current pain. It means being empowered with the knowledge and techniques to help you minimize the risk of that pain reoccurring and quickly resolve any symptoms that do flare up again. Your therapist will show you how to adapt the exercises you have learned, so you can continue self-maintenance outside of the clinic.