What is the McKenzie Method?

February 7, 2020
Physical therapist working with patient.

Physical therapists use many different approaches when addressing pain and limitation. One of these approaches is the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy.

The McKenzie Method is a systematic approach to assessment and treatment that promotes patient empowerment, and it can help you if you experience pain that affects your spine and extremities, such as your shoulder or knee. At Middlesex Health, several physical therapists are certified in the McKenzie Method.

The McKenzie Method is a philosophy that allows you to learn the principles of symptom management, giving you the tools to be in control of your own care. This can reduce your dependency on medical intervention. This method, developed more than 30 years ago and now used all over the world, is reliable and results in an early prognosis, self-treatment and positive outcomes. It can also help prevent reinjury.

The McKenzie Method is a very structured way of identifying the source of the symptoms you experience. This drives treatment as your therapist helps you achieve your goals. With the use of the McKenzie Method, you are reassessed each visit, and treatment is adjusted accordingly.

Robin Chapin, a Middlesex Health physical therapist certified in the McKenzie Method, says initial assessment is very important. Certified McKenzie Method therapists are trained to rapidly determine the best method to effectively treat your pain. They use safe and reliable techniques to reach an accurate diagnosis and make an appropriate treatment plan.

Intensive Training Required

Not every physical therapist is certified in the McKenzie Method. Intensive training is required. Therapists must complete more than 100 hours of instruction and pass both written and hands-on examinations to be certified.

Middlesex Health has more than 10 physical therapists certified in the McKenzie Method and even more who are in training to earn the distinction. Chapin has completed additional advanced training, earning a diploma in mechanical diagnosis and therapy. Training to earn a diploma includes a 12-week theoretical education component along with 360 clinical training hours. There’s also an oral exam.

For more information about the McKenzie Method and other physical rehabilitation services available at Middlesex Health, click here. To make an appointment with a physical therapist, call 860-358-2700.

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