Using The McKenzie Method In Physical Therapy
The McKenzie Method, also known as MDT, is a system of treatments used for patients that suffer from a wide range of muscle injuries, joint pain and numbness in the extremities. These practices were developed in the 1980’s by a physical therapist from New Zealand by the name of Robin McKenzie.
The McKenzie Method is based on assessment, treatment and prevention. All of these steps together encourage the body to repair itself without the excessive use of medications, clinic visits or surgeries. With proper guidance the McKenzie Method allows patients to have more control over their treatment plan.
Assessing the Patient
Having an assessment performed by a certified McKenzie Method therapist is the first step in the treatment plan. The therapist takes a detailed medical history of the patient’s injury and will ask the patient to perform a series of movements while being monitored. Monitoring the movements will display the patient’s flexibility and range of motion while providing the therapist with an understanding of the injury. An effective and thorough assessment lays the foundation for the treatment plan.
Creating a treatment plan
The treatment plan is put together based on the results of the assessment. The therapist will prescribe specific exercise movements and advise the patient of postures to use and postures to avoid during treatment. For severe injuries, the therapist may suggest a more hands-on approach until the patient is strong enough to perform the exercises unassisted.
The primary goal of these exercises is to get the patient actively involved in the treatment plan. With proper knowledge and guidance, most patients will be able to successfully treat themselves at home and reduce the need for additional clinic visits.
Learning about Prevention
Prevention is the last step in the McKenzie Method treatment plan. When a patient learns how to self-treat, they can begin to minimize the risk of repeating the injury. Teaching a patient to be aware of their symptoms puts them in control to effectively and safely treat the injury from the comfort of their own home.