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The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) is a proven treatment approach for back, neck and extremity pain developed by a world renowned physiotherapy Robin McKenzie. It is taught, used and trusted by practitioners worldwide to provide fast and effective relief for your pain for both recent onset or chronic conditions.
The McKenzie Approach uses mechanical therapy to determine if certain positions/movements can relieve your symptoms. If focuses on patient education and exercise prescription to not only resolve your current symptoms but also prevent future recurrences.
Directional Preference and Centralisation
Core to the McKenzie Approach is the notion of directional preference. When patients have spinal pain (back or neck) that radiates into either their arms or legs (radicular pain), one of the main goals of assessment is to reduce and abolish the arm/leg pain by placing the spine in favourable positions or movements. If a favourable position is found that reduces the back/leg pain, this is referred to as the patient’s directional preference and is used as a reference in prescribing the appropriate treatment.
If a position is found that reduces or abolishes the leg/arm pain and causes it to move towards the spine, this concept is known as centralisation. When this occurs as a result of a specific exercise or position, it indicates the correct exercise is being performed to facilitate your recovery. This is a great indicator of excellent treatment outcomes. ‘
Assessment and Treatment
The McKenzie Approach is a safe and reliable method to accurately reach a diagnosis and then develop a personalised treatment plan. The assessment involves a comprehensive mechanical evaluation, which assesses the effect of repeated movements or static postures on your symptoms. McKenzie therapists are trained to assess and educate you on which exercises or postures are good to help relieve your pain and which ones to avoid for the time being during your recovery. When your exercises are not resolving your symptoms, manual therapy techniques will be used including therapist overpressure and joint mobilisation. Your therapist will provide you with an individualised treatment plan and educate you on how and why you developed your problem, what you can do to treat yourself, and how to resolve your current symptoms as well as long-term prevention.