Although there is no simple cure for lower back pain, there are many treatment philosophies out there that claim to be.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lower back pain is the leading cause of activity limitation and work absence in the majority part of the world. If the cure for lower back pain was so simple, disability wouldn’t be so high.

In our opinion, there are lots of great treatment systems out there, but there is not one that is all-encompassing. This is because there is no one size fits all approach to rehab. Each person is unique and will respond to pain and recovery strategies differently.

Today we want to shed light on the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) and how it can be helpful in recovering from lower back pain.

What is the McKenzie Method?

The McKenzie Method is a treatment system that is trusted and used by many health care practitioners all over the world for back, neck and extremity problems.

MDT uses a series of repeated movements and positions to help determine a movement diagnosis. The results of the movement-related tests establish what is called a directional preference which helps dictate the road to recovery.

One of the most important findings within the McKenzie Method is what is called centralization of pain, or having the pain move towards the center of the body. Once pain has been centralized, you can then finally work on getting yourself out of pain.

How The McKenzie Method Fits Into A Multifactorial Model

Here at Perfect Stride Physical Therapy, we go further than just utilizing treatment systems like the McKenzie Method, we use a multifactorial approach to reducing pain.

In a multifactorial treatment model, we focus on all of the factors that can contribute to one’s pain:

As you can see in the image, there is not one particular factor that causes pain. This is due to the fact that pain is an output created by the brain in response to ALL of the stressors that act on the body, not just the physical ones.

Utilizing the McKenzie method allows us to identify, from a movement perspective, what positions, postures, and movements that drive pain. We then add that into the bigger picture and tackle treatment from all angles.

The PSPT model for recovering from lower back pain:

  • Take a full history from the patient to understand what is going on, how it is affecting their lifestyle, and identify areas that need to be addressed from the multifactorial approach mentioned above.

  • A thorough movement evaluation to figure out the true cause of your lower back pain.

  • Utilize treatments, such as the McKenzie Method, to reduce pain and improve the ability to move.

  • Improve mobility and build strength and resilience through specific and guided exercise.

  • Create enough resiliency where you are stronger than you were before the injury to put your injury in the past for good.

Set up a free discovery call to see how we can best help you get out of pain and return to life uninhibited.

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“I have been to several PT practices over the years, and Perfect Stride deserves five stars. I worked with Vikash, who was knowledgeable and thorough and got me back on my feet – literally! Although I did not work with any of the other therapists, I observed they maintain the same high standard as Vikash. And Austin does a great job of keeping everything running smoothly. I am glad my doctor recommended Perfect Stride!”


– Brian C

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