Introducing Patients to the McKenzie Method of Exercising to Improve Spine Health

Chiropractors have a variety of methodologies and techniques they can employ to assist them in correcting a patient’s spinal misalignments. Gonstead Technique and other HVLA adjustment methodologies are the primary modalities, allowing professionals to tailor individual adjustments around the unique needs of patients. And, of course, Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) enables them to deliver those adjustments over a tailored schedule.

One adjustment methodology that patients are more apt to understanding is the McKenzie Method. This method encourages patients to strengthen their own spine outside of scheduled chiropractic appointments, via a series of predetermined exercises. It’s a way to keep patients on track between formal adjustments.

At Ideal Spine, the McKenzie Method is something we strive to employ with patients as part of a CBP holistic treatment plan.

The history of the McKenzie Method

The McKenzie Method was created in the 1960s by famed physical therapist Robin McKenzie, as a way of helping his patients develop a more engaged, hands-on approach to their own wellness. McKenzie quickly realized that spine stabilization was a key component of any recovery, so much of the focus of his methodologies centered on the spine.

Depending on the recovery plan of each patient, McKenzie worked to devise an at-homme regimen of exercises that would strengthen the body and restore range of motion, while lowering the recurrence and severity of pain. In doing so, he quickly realized patients would come for formal physical therapy in much better shape, with a better grip on their pain.

Today, the McKenzie Method has been adopted by chiropractors from around the world, as a way to spur healing in patients recovering from acute injury or managing chronic pain.

Centralizing pain

The chief concept of the McKenzie Method is to “centralize pain.” This means stimulating the spine to promote better nerve health and blood flow to affected areas, via a central focus on the spine. For example, someone dealing with IT band syndrome may practice stretches and movements focused on the lumbar spine, promoting blood flow to the lower body and drawing focus away from the IT band and any referred pain caused by a low back misalignment.

Most at-home exercises focus on extending the spine. This works to keep patients loose and limber, allowing the changes in spinal alignment affected at a previous chiropractic appointment to take hold. It also keeps stress from undoing adjustments.

Promoting individual wellness

Exercises and stretches are tailored to each person’s unique condition and ailment. And though they may vary extensively as prescribed by a chiropractor, these stretches all fall into practice with the core tenants of the McKenzie Method:

  • Minimizing pain by targeting prone areas;
  • Restoring and maintaining acceptable range of motion;
  • Resolving pain flare-ups quickly;
  • Minimizing the number of emergency visits to a chiropractor.

It’s also important to note that prescribed exercises are movements every patient should be able to do. Rather than building strength or extending range of motion, these exercises work within the limitations of a patient’s current situation to promote maintenance of chiropractic progress.

Introducing at-home wellness

Any chiropractor following a CBP adjustment schedule will likely prescribe McKenzie Method exercises for a patient to undertake at home. At Ideal Spine, it’s part of our general practice to help enable patients and encourage them to seek the highest possible level of wellness at home, between scheduled visits.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.