McKenzie’s METHOD

80% of the population suffer from backbone pains. Patients have a choice: either to use painkillers, hot-water bottles and ointments or visit a doctor who will order electrotherapy treatments, prescribe relaxing painkillers or will send them to a physiotherapist specializing in spondylalgia therapy.

Nowadays, the role of physiotherapists has become really crucial. The article presents the McKenzie’s method that is becoming more and more popular with doctors and patients suffering from backbone pains.
The author of this method Robin McKenzie, a New Zealand physiotherapist, noticed that when a patient, who suffered for years from backbone pains, accidentally took a “strange” position felt a blessing pain relief. Thus, he concluded that a proper position and back movement in the right direction repeated several times is an effective and long-lasting method in spondylalgia therapy. The discovery helped to identify the most frequent causes of backbone pains and to work out the most effective therapy and prevention strategy.
The key factor of McKenzie’s method is to define the source of the pain through a detailed interview and tests of repeated movements. This is the basis to work out an individual therapy programme. In the interview there are questions about the location of the pain, its duration, positions worsening the pain. The tests of repeated movements help to observe the patient’s reactions and the range of the movements. On the basis of the interview and tests, a clinical analysis of each case is carried out, which is very important in planning an effective therapy programme. Individual therapy programme means deciding on the exact procedure of moving the particular back part and the number of repetitions during a particular period of time. If the choice is accurate the pain is eliminated or diminished , otherwise the procedure needs to be changed. What is important in this method, is constant monitoring and current planning the right procedure. The exercises are chosen according to the patient’s needs and possibilities. Exercises other than recommended should be abandoned, so that it is absolutely clear what is the direction and the range of the motion in order to influence and eliminate the structures responsible for the pain. The patient is familiarized with the programme, knows what to pay attention to and what positions to take. After some time the effects are checked. The patient does the exercises at home following the programme.
Before applying the McKenzie’s method therapy, the patient felt helpless with his pain problems. Now, he knows that he has influence and a tool to eliminate and control his pain. The knowledge about the causes of the pain and its relation with the body position is the essential part of this method. When the patient learns that part, he is thought how to prevent the recurrence of the illness.
Moshe Feldenkrais said about his own education-motion method that: “ the impossible becomes possible, possible –easy, and easy becomes elegant”; the same words describe the McKenzie’s method.
Backbone pains can be controlled thanks to the knowledge of the McKenzie’s method. It turns out that the effect of our new motion habits becomes elegant.
People with similar problems are welcome to try the method at Medical SPA Unitral Rehabilitation.
Andrzej Tryniszewski M.A.

McKenzie’s method physiotherapist
Medical SPA Unitral Rehabilitation