What is McKenzie therapy?
McKenzie therapy is a treatment technique to treat back pain. Back pain can be really diffused and can sometimes even show radiation symptoms towards other body parts (mostly arms or legs).
With the McKenzie method, the movement pattern of the body is being analysed so that the mechanical cause of the problem is identified. With the help of exercises, the (radiating) pain is centralised to it’s original cause. From there further exercises will be done in order to reduce the pain to a minimum or to solve it completely. Thanks to McKenzie exercises, back problems also stay away long term.
For which complaints can McKenzie therapy be used?
McKenzie therapy is a very effective method to treat complaints that are linked to the spine: lower back pain, neck pain and even shoulder pain (lots of shoulder complaints are linked to neck problems).
What is the treatment process?
During the treatment, the therapist looks for painful movements or movements that alleve the pain. What is typical for this kind of assessment is to have the patient perform the movement a couple of times in various directions. The therapist will carefully assess the body and look for radiating pain. With the help of specific exercises, the therapist tries to bring the pain back to it’s origin, which means that he tries to bring the radiation from the arm back to the neck. From there the therapist will show you exercises to reduce the pain at it’s original site.
The most important part of the McKenzie method is the education for the patient. The goal is that you can “treat” the pain yourself by doing exercises. That way you also know in the future what you need to do if the pain reoccurs. Another key role in the McKenzie method plays with posture correction and correction of movements in your daily life. If you take care of your daily posture and movements, the pain is less likely to reoccur.
If exercise therapy is not sufficient, the therapist will use manual mobilisation techniques to reduce the pain.
Who can benefit from the treatment? What can you expect?
McKenzie therapy is suitable for everyone with lower back pain, RSI complaints and shoulder- or neck problems. After the assessment, the physical therapist makes a homework-exercise program for the patient. The exercises need to be done regularly (precise instructions will be given by the therapist).
McKenzie is covered by the Dutch Health care insurances since it is part of a physical therapy treatment.
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