McKenzie Method, back pain in flexed posture picture Treat Your Own Back with the McKenzie Method

Back pain is the #2 cause of disability in for adults in the United States. Most of us have felt a little back twinge after a long road trip or after a day at the computer, but what happens when that back pain persists?

Did you know:

  • 40-80% of people experience back pain at some point in their life. 
  • 60 to 75% of people who already have back pain will experience recurring or chronic back pain problems in their lifetime.
  • Back pain is ranked 6th globally in terms of number of years lost due ill-health, disability or early death, known as the ‘overall burden’.
  • Back pain is one of the most costly diseases for which data is available
  • 80% of low back pain patients can be taught the self-treatment methods and only 10% out of the 80% will require manual treatment.

These statistics are definitely shocking and may make you sit a little straighter in your chair, BUT there is good news! There’s a way you can treat your own back by utilizing the McKenzie Method!

The McKenzie Method

According the McKenzie Institute, the McKenzie Method “is a biopsychosocial system of musculoskeletal care emphasizing patient empowerment and self-treatment.” McKenzie Method’s system of diagnosis and patient management applies to acute, subacute and chronic conditions of the spine and extremities. It offers a reliable and practical approach that focuses on “what patients need” and not on “what therapists want to do“.

Why we love the McKenzie Method:

  • Backed by years of research, evidence and clinical practice
  • Known to show results in as little as two to three visits
  • Assessment-driven and individualized treatment plans
  • Active, not passive, therapy strategies for more successful management
  • Cost efficient – treatment without expensive tests or procedures
  • Non-invasive – no needles, no scalpel
  • Self-directed and managed – we work with you and teach you
  • Preventative – lifelong knowledge and skills

The McKenzie Method give patients control of their pain and empowers them to get back to the life they love.

Let’s talk about back pain

There are many ways to describe back pain and whether that is localized, radiating, acute, or chronic. However, chances are, it all comes from the same place… the spine. A majority of back pain is mechanical meaning. This means it is caused by the moving parts in your back. Most people experience back pain when bending forward or when seated for a long time. If they continue to stay seated or bent forward, the pain increases. However, the pain can be relieved by movement, such as walking. Pain comes and goes, sometimes constant, sometimes excruciating and sometimes no pain at all. You might try and figure out how, why and what happened. As you diver deeper into your Google search you may come across some of these common back pain myths:

  • Acute back pain is a short-term pain
  • Spinal manipulation is the best and most effective treatment for back pain
  • Ultrasound treatment and various electrical therapies are proven to assist recovery from back pain
  • Back pain is caused by inflammation
  • Back pain is caused by arthritis or osteoarthritis
  • You should take it easy and avoid vigorous activity
  • You will have to stop jogging, running, playing football, golf, etc
  • Back pain is caused by damp conditions or the weather

What really causes back pain?

According to MDT, there are two identified lifestyle factors affecting low back pain:

  • Sitting
  • Frequency of flexion (aka bending over)

They say that all of those with back pain can be classified in 4 different categories:

  • Derangement Syndrome
  • Dysfunction Syndrome
  • Postural syndrome
  • Other

Come back and check out our McKenzie blog post part 2 next week, where we will explain the difference between the four categories of back pain and ways to treat/prevent them. Our clinics are MDT certified clinics and all of our providers have received training in low back pain assessment and treatment by the McKenzie institute.

Contact us!

If you are experience back pain or would like to learn more about the McKenzie Method, stop by or call us today! Direct Access in NJ allows you to come in without having to see your Doctor, probably quicker than you could get that appointment, while also saving you both time and money!  

Please, call us to schedule your student’s evaluation at one of BeneFIT’s locations, Bridgewater (908.203.5200) or Chester (908.879.5700)  with one of our highly trained Doctors of Physical Therapy!