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Doc Talk | The 'Mckenzie Method'

New studies show a common way to treat back pain can now treat other mechanical-related pains in the body. It's called the "Mckenzie Method".

"A system of repeated movements and sustained positioning to find a directional preference," explained Jason Dudzic, a physical therapist at Geisinger Holy Spirit. "Then we can continue to move that directional preference to reduce that persons pain."

Dudzic uses this form of treatment on a wide range of mechanical pains.

"We get a lot of people who come in to see the orthopedic surgeon with a referral from the doctor for hip pain when it's actually coming from their spine or even knee pain," he said.

Recent studies showing the McKenzie Method makes a huge difference.

"76% of those people have what's a directional preference so we move them in one direction it makes them worse, movement in another direction makes them better," explained Dudzic.

Eventually reducing or eliminating a pain through this treatment.

"If we continue to move in the direction that reduced their pain 92% of the time they will get better based on that study."

Dudzic applies this treatment to his patients, he says some make great progress. He demonstrates someone with a knee pain: "They come in and tell us it hurts to squat, so we have them squat to see where there pain is and have them repeatedly move their knee in one direction and have them squat again, see if that reduced their pain"

Overtime patients practice these directional movements to reduce pain. The key is to continue these methods at home.

"We need the patient to then continue what we do, what we show them," said Dudzic. "If we show you exercise and you don't do them, you will have no change in your mechanical symptoms."


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