McKenzie Method

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McKenzie Method

What is The McKenzie Method?

FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers of Bristol, Southington and Wallingford, CT have the unique distinction of being one of the only accredited McKenzie Clinics in New England. Unlike traditional physical therapy clinics, the McKenzie Method (also called Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy or MDT) is focused on empowering the patient to self-treat using simple, individually prescribed, exercises and postures.

The McKenzie Method or Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) is a comprehensive system of assessment, treatment and prevention of mechanical spinal and extremity pain developed in New Zealand by physical therapist Robin McKenzie. The McKenzie Method is a patient-centered approach with active patient involvement and education that is supported by sound scientific principles and current best research. Unlike other methods, the McKenzie Method is focused on empowering the patient to self-treat using simple, individually prescribed, exercises and postures. Healthcare practitioners and patients all over the world use the method for back pain, neck pain, shoulder and arm pain. The McKenzie method is now seen as a front line alternative to opioid prescription for its rapid resolution of sciatica, lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder and arm pain.

We are a CERTIFIED McKenzie Spine Care Clinic and are among the handful of clinics worldwide to be certified by the McKenzie Institute International, renowned for its successful non-surgical spine care, a method now used in the treatment of extremity pain as well, the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy ®.

This Certified McKenzie Clinic offers a full line of McKenzie supplies and equipment along with 110 percent compression products and a variety of well-used therapy equipment.

How it Works

It Starts with the Assessment
The assessment process is unique to the McKenzie Method. It begins with the gathering of a thorough history, followed by testing of movements and positions to identify distinct patterns of pain response and functional changes. This guides the clinician in identifying the underlying pain generator.

The Treatment
Using the information from the assessment, the clinician prescribes specific exercises and postures to form an individualized treatment plan. The patients are empowered to treat themselves on day 1!

By learning how to self-treat the current problem, patients gain hands-on knowledge on how to minimize the risk of recurrence and to rapidly deal with a recurrence if one occurs. The exercise that is used to resolve the current problem can be effectively used for prevention.

What the Research Says About What We Do

  • It is by in large agreed upon that an active approach involving exercise and patient empowerment is a key component in the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal pain and problems(APTA clinical guidelines, Haigh & Clarke 1999)
  • Better outcomes have been shown when individually tailored exercises are prescribed after a comprehensive mechanical examination by a trained clinician (Davies 2007; Long et al., 2004; Sinaki & Mikkelson 1984)
  • Quickly (1-3 visits) identities rapid responders and those who will likely need additional treatment. (Donelson et al., 1990; Skytte et al., 2005; Werneke & Hart 2001; Werneke et al., 2011)
  • 50% of patients with chronic back pain and 75% of pain with acute low back pain can rapidly reverse their pain with individually prescribed exercise in a few visits (Aina et al., 2004; Donelson et al., 2012; Sufka et al., 1998; Werneke et al., 1999)
  • Tendon and muscle pain once thought to be caused by inflammation has been shown to be a result of weakened or mechanical change to tissue, that can be successfully treated with specific exercise (Alfredson et al., 1998; Khan et al., 1999; Khan & Scott 2009; Ohberg et al., 2004)
  • Passive treatments utilizing ultrasound, heat or TENS have not been found effective in the treatment of musculoskeletal problems(Khadilakar et al., 2013; Robertson & Baker, 2001; van der Wandt et al., 1999)
  • Validated individually prescribed injury prevention programs for patients (Larson et al., 2002; Udermann et al., 2004)
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