How Effective the McKenzie Method Is in Treating Non-Specific Spinal Pain

The Lower Back Problem (LBP), a musculoskeletal condition, is one of the several health problems many people face and can transform into a Chronic Back Problem (CBP) if untreated. The CBP may require more costly and complex treatments. The McKenzie method or the mechanical diagnosis and therapy is a method physiotherapists employ to manage lower back pain in patients.

This method employs exercise as a prescription to treat lower back pain after it diagnoses it. The best way to achieve the desired results when treating or improving pain in the neck or back is self-treatment according to this method.

Diagnostic Procedure

The centralization of the pain is of diagnostic relevance during the evaluation and treatment. Due to centralization the pain moves back to the spine from extremities. Centralizing the pain makes one feel it more severely and that is a positive sign in the diagnosis and treatment of lower back pain. There is good prognosis in Lumbar centralization and what that means for the patient is better recovery when it comes to short or long term disability and pain.

Clinical research by Luis Fandos demonstrates the reliability of the McKenzie evaluation.

Efficacy of Using McKenzie Method for Lower Back Pain Management

To determine the extent of this method’s effectiveness, an analysis of patients who have been treated by general practitioners versus those that have been treated using the McKenzie Method for treating lower back pain. The results of randomized clinical trials conducted to determine the McKenzie Method in treating non-specific spinal pain showed that there are great reductions in both pain and disability.

The McKenzie method appears to be most promising system for implementation in clinical practice among other clinical-feature based systems and has the most support based on its reliability and the validity of the system. Many physiotherapists have adopted this method for treating patients of lower back pain. In a survey on lower back pain management done in 1994 on 293 physiotherapists who had adopted the method, the McKenzie Method was found to be rated from moderate to very effective in treating patients.

Another meta-analysis of clinical trials done in 2006 revealed the McKenzie method to be effective in the lowering of lower back pains in patients.

Prevalence of Use of Mckenzie Method

As an effective method for diagnosing and treating lower back pain, this method is used worldwide. When compared with general mobility exercises, spinal mobilization, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the individual study results were in favor of the McKenzie therapy for low back pain and disability. The method was found to be efficient in lowering back pain in patients having LBP in some short term (less than 3 months) studies with follow-up.

Furthermore, results for two groups of patients – an exercise group and the McKenzie group – were compared and the results were that the McKenzie group, overall, had better pain management, less disability and less health-related contact the exercise group.

The McKenzie method was, once again, found to be favored by 3 to 12 months follow ups. And in both short and intermediate term follow-ups studies in the Cervical Spine, groups that used the McKenzie Method reported less pain in the back compared to those that did only exercise for LBP.

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