|Stopping Back Pain|
Stopping Back Pain Can Be So Simple!According to OCH Regional Medical Center Director of Rehab Services Randy Maples, PT, the McKenzie approach for the treatment of back and neck pain is a very effective one. Maples has employed the McKenzie approach for the last several years since completing the course on the lumbar spine in 1993 and the cervical/thoracic spine course in 1994. "Although I do not employ McKenzie's evaluation techniques with every patient referred to me for the treatment of back and neck conditions, I do perform his repeated movement testing if pain involving the disc is suspected or if the cause of the pain is in question," Maples said. "I am convinced that Dr. McKenzie is right on course with his theories and methods of evaluation and treatment. If you ask me why I believe this, I'll tell you, 'Because it works!'"
The therapist said the most remarkable thing about the McKenzie method is how simple it is. "A home exercise that takes about five minutes to perform done several times a day and education concerning correct posture is the 'backbone' of the treatment," Maples explained. "Perhaps the best aspect of treatment using the McKenzie approach is that it actually decreases the amount of treatment sessions the patient requires with a therapist, thus significantly reducing treatment expenses."
"A patient who responds successfully to the treatment may see me for only two or three sessions. Once I see the treatment is correct and that the patient understands all aspects of the home program, I've completed my role," he continued. "At that point, it's up to the patient."
According to the director, many of OCH's staff physicians can confirm that the McKenzie method works, as they have seen numerous patients employ a home program that proves to be dramatically successful in a very short period of time. Although not always, McKenzie exercises usually involve spinal extension, and, consequently, Maples said the program is sometimes thought of as being only extension exercises. "If warranted, the McKenzie method employs flexion exercises. However, the fact of the matter is that approximately 90 percent of discs that herniate do so posteriorly; therefore, to push the nucleus back into place, extension is required," the therapist explained. "Flexion moves discs posteriorly, which obviously in the case of posteriorly herniated discs is certain to only make them worse."
In addition to the exercises, Maples said education about proper posture is also very important for one simple reason-- everything that exercise can do, poor posture can undo," he said.
Training in the McKenzie approach has without a doubt allowed me to help many patients," Maples continued. "Although I do not use it in every situation, I am sold on it. I have a variety of McKenzie's materials on hand, and I encourage anyone who is interested in exploring this topic to give our department a call."
Can You Treat Your Own Back?
Answer "yes" to all of the following questions and you may be an ideal candidate for McKenzie's self-treatment program:
1. Are there periods in the day when you have no pain? Even for just ten minutes?
2. Is the pain confined to areas above the knee?
3. Are you generally worse when sitting for prolonged periods or on rising from the sitting position?
4. Are you generally worse when getting up in the morning, but improve after about half and hour?
5. Are you generally worse when inactive and better when on the move?
6. Are you generally better when lying face down? (Give this a few minutes before answering "no".)
7. Have you had several episodes of low back pain over the past months or years?
If you answered "yes" to three of fewer questions, you should consult a health provider trained in the McKenzie system for a specialized program rather than employing McKenzie's entire self-treatment program.
Common Causes of Low Back Pain:
* Sitting for prolonged periods
* Working in stooped positions
* Lying and resting
* Relaxing immediately after vigorous activity
* Standing for prolonged periods
* Coughing and sneezing
For detailed explanation of these causes, consult you personal physician or therapist or McKenzie's Treat Your Own Back book.
Get back on track! For more information about the MCKENZIE METHOD,
call (662) 615-3020.