The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, also known as the McKenzie method or McKenzie exercises is a treatment protocol that can address back pain, including sciatica, lumbar issues, and postural problems. This type of spinal rehabilitation can happen both at your provider’s office and home once you learn how to perform specific exercises.
If your physical therapist has received training in this method, they may use it to treat your spinal pain, possibly in combination with other techniques. One of the key aspects of the McKenzie method is centralization to optimize your recovery. Repetition of specific exercises that are part of the protocol is also important to manage and reduce pain.
Do McKenzie Exercises Require Equipment?
Your physical therapist may guide you through certain McKenzie exercises while you are on a therapeutic chair or table, but some exercises do not require any specific equipment. Your provider can recommend exercises where you lie down on a mat, sit on a standard chair, or stand.
Common McKenzie exercises include:
- Extension while lying face down or standing
- Flexion while lying, sitting, or standing
- Prone lying while resting on elbows
- Prone push-ups
If you experience increased pain, numbness, or the appearance of new symptoms, while performing your prescribed exercises at home, you should stop doing them and speak with your physical therapist.
Why Should I See a Physical Therapist Before Using the McKenzie Method?
If you experience back pain, you should speak with your doctor or a physical therapist to get an appropriate diagnosis. While you may have heard of the McKenzie method and be tempted to try them out on your own without seeing a medical provider, you should refrain from doing so for your safety.
Although McKenzie exercises can help many people, they may not be safe for everyone, especially if you have a severe spinal condition. Your physical therapist can examine you and make sure that some or all components of the McKenzie protocol are an appropriate fit for you.
Your provider can demonstrate all exercises they want you to use both during your in-office appointment and at home. The two types of exercises may not be exactly the same, especially as you get used to performing them. Proper technique is vital when you do any time of physical activity, including McKenzie exercises, and your doctor can educate you on it, in addition to addressing any questions or concerns you may have about your treatment plan.
What Results Can I Expect?
The timeline of your results depends on your specific situation. The frequency of the McKenzie exercises depends on the type and severity of your spinal pain. If you experience chronic back pain, your physical therapist may recommend going through your personalized protocol up to three times a day, typically morning, midday, and nighttime. Following your medical provider’s instructions is important to ensure both your safety and your chances of recovery.
As your spinal pain diminishes, your physical therapist can modify your at-home schedule. Performing maintenance exercises even as you have healed can help prevent the development of further injury or aches.
Choose ProFysio Physical Therapy to Restore Your Spinal Health in Monmouth and Middlesex Counties
At ProFysio Physical Therapy, we focus on personalized treatment plans to restore your health and help you engage in your daily activities safely and more comfortably. Whether you contact us directly or come thanks to a referral from your primary care provider, our team conducts a thorough review of your health history and current symptoms, and we perform a detailed physical examination to establish an accurate diagnosis.
We can use the McKenzie method on its own or combine it with other physical therapy techniques to address your specific needs and goals.
Common spinal pain treatments we can use with McKenzie exercises include:
- Core strengthening and stabilization
- Ergonomics recommendations
- Low-impact aerobic exercises
- Lumbar stabilization
- Posture training
Individualized care can make a positive difference and our providers can modify your in-office and at-home exercises as you make progress to effectively improve your health.
Are you experiencing spinal pain in Monmouth or Middlesex Counties? Contact ProFysio Physical Therapy today at (732) 812-5200 to schedule a consultation and get started with your customized care plan!