McKenzie Method of Pain Relief

The McKenzie Method at Skyland PT

Step 1: Assessment

The McKenzie Method begins with a comprehensive and logical step-by-step process to evaluate your problem quickly. Your therapist will take a detailed history and then ask you to do certain movements, and assess any symptom changes. Fundamental to the McKenzie Method is repeated end range movement testing, together with sustained postural loading to determine the effect on your symptoms.

The therapist is trained to interpret the effect of these movements and postures on your symptoms and what may be happening in your body. This is known as a mechanical assessment. (Yes, the body is a like an engine and the therapist is like the mechanic!) This mechanical assessment can ‘classify’ most conditions by the level of pain or limitation that results from these movements or postures.

Step 2: Treatment

When appropriate, the McKenzie Method takes advantage of your own movements and forces to abolish your pain and restore your function. A series of individualized exercises derived from your responses during the assessment is prescribed. The emphasis is on you, the patient, being actively involved. This can minimize the number of visits to the clinic. Ultimately, most patients can successfully treat themselves when provided with the necessary knowledge and tools. If your problem has a more difficult mechanical presentation, a qualified McKenzie therapist can provide advanced hands-on techniques until you can self-manage. 

Step 3: Prevention

By learning how to self-treat the current problem, you gain hands-on knowledge on how to minimize the risk of recurrence and to rapidly deal with symptoms if they recur, putting you in control of your treatment safely and effectively. The likelihood of problems persisting can more likely be prevented through self-maintenance.

You may benefit from a McKenzie lumbar or cervical roll, available at reasonable prices at Skyland PT on Bleachery Blvd in Asheville, NC. Or McKenzie’s self-help books, Treat Your Own Back or Treat Your Own Neck? Click Here.

Can you use the McKenzie Method?

  • Are there periods in the day when you have no pain? Even 10 minutes?
  • Is the pain confined to areas above the knee or above your elbow?
  • Have you had more than one episode of low back pain or neck pain or joint pain over the past months or years?
  • Do you feel worse during or right after prolonged bending or stooping; as in making beds, vacuuming, gardening, concreting, etc?
  • Do you feel worse when sitting for prolonged periods or on rising from the sitting position? ie after watching TV or working on the computer?
  • Do you associate your pain with any one particular activity but are generally pain free when not engaged in this activity?
  • Do you feel worse when inactive and better when on the move?
  • Do you feel better when lying face down? (You may feel worse for a minute before the pain subsides, in that case the answer to this question is yes).
  • Do you feel better when walking?

If you have answered yes to more than 4 questions, your chances of gaining benefit from The McKenzie Method® are very good. If you answered yes to 3 or less questions you may require specialised treatment and you should contact a physiotherapist trained in the McKenzie Method or a medical professional. Call Skyland PT at 828 277 5763.