with Amherst therapist, Heather Comstock, PT, DPT

What is the McKenzie Technique?

McKenzie based treatment keeps the patient in control of their recovery through patient education, self-management with home exercises, use of progression of forces (only as necessary), and postural awareness/change. 

Patients learn the basis of centralization/peripheralization, maintenance techniques of resolved back pain, recovery of function and prevention of recurrence. All of which will help patients self-manage and ideally prevent debilitating levels of back pain throughout their life. 

Heather Comstock, a physical therapist at our Amherst Apple location, recently completed the McKenzie Institute Course for treatment of back pain. Through Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), patients are taken through a subjective history and physical examination. 

As a result, patients are classified into their respective subgroup based on their symptomatic and mechanical responses. MDT is unique in its use of repeated movements for both assessment and management of LBP and/or radicular leg pain.

The most common classification with the quickest response to McKenzie technique is Derangement, with the unique feature of ‘directional preference.’ This describes how a specific direction of repeated/sustained movements yields a clinically relevant improvement in symptoms. 

A patient with directional preference to lumbar extension, for example, may have an introductory home program of repeated extension in lying (as featured in photo). Other classifications include dysfunction syndrome, postural syndrome, and other subgroups. 

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