The McKenzie Method, also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), is an evidence-based approach that involves active patient involvement and education to treat back, neck, and extremity problems. The key component of MDT is its initial assessment, which is a safe and reliable way to accurately diagnose and determine the appropriate treatment plan for each patient. Certified McKenzie clinicians can identify right away whether and how the method will work for each patient.
Assessment - The First Step
Assessment is the first step toward effective treatment. Pain is a symptom, not a diagnosis. Through a series of repeated movements and positions, certified MDT practitioners assess two things as a result of these movements — symptomatic and mechanical response. Patients are classified accordingly and an effective set of exercises is established based on a “directional preference.”
Treatment - The Second Step
The basis of the McKenzie system is the patient’s own ability to move and force to abolish the pain and restore function. A series of individualized exercises are prescribed based on the identified Directional Preference of movements that will centralize or abolish pain. Patients who do respond favorably to MDT can successfully treat themselves and minimize the number of visits to the clinic when provided with the necessary knowledge and tools to safely and effectively manage their treatment.
Prevention - The Third Step
Patients who stick to the prescribed treatment protocols are less likely to have persistent problems. By learning how to self-treat the current problem, patients gain hands-on knowledge on how to minimize the risk of recurrence and how to quickly manage themselves if symptoms do occur.
The McKenzie Method is a proven methodology backed by years of research, evidence, and practice. It is low cost, fast and effective, even for chronic pain, and non-invasive with no needles or scalpel. Patients are taught to work with themselves and be in control of their own symptom management, gaining life-long pain management and preventive skills.
In conclusion, the McKenzie Method is a reliable and effective approach to treating back, neck, and extremity problems. The initial assessment component of the method is a safe and reliable way to diagnose the problem and determine the appropriate treatment plan. The patient is then empowered to manage their own symptoms and gain life-long pain management and preventive skills.