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Have you been suffering from chronic back, neck, or extremity pain? Have you been getting "adjustments" for many years to relieve the pain?
Then it may be time for you to pursue an intervention that gets to the root of the problem and puts healing back in your own hands.
What is The McKenzie Method®
The McKenzie Method®, also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy®, is a philosophy of active patient involvement and education that is trusted and used by practitioners and patients all over the world for back, neck and extremity problems. It is a three step process: Assessment, Treatment, Prevention
The stated goal of McKenzie MDT is to "Promote the body's potential to heal itself without mediation, heat, cold, ultrasound, needles, surgery or endless visits to the clinic"
What is unique about this approach?
The distinction of this method is actually what happens BEFORE any treatment ever begins. A thorough evaluation is completed to reach an accurate diagnosis. In a congested healthcare system, this imperative step is often glossed over, but determining the correct source of pain is absolutely essential to effectively treating the problem.
The evidence has shown that the initial Mckenzie assessment procedures performed by competent MDT clinicians are as reliable as costly diagnostic imaging (i.e., X-rays, MRIs). References here
The ultimate goal of The McKenzie Method® is to equip patients with the knowledge and techniques they need to prevent pain and treat themselves. MDT Practitioners want to empower patients to use their own ability for movement and minimize trips to the clinic.
What happens during treatment?
Based on the individual evaluation, a series of exercises are used to move and ultimately eliminate pain. The goal is to centralize pain, which means moving it from the upper/lower back, neck, and extremities to the center of the back through various movements (i.e., extension or flexion, right or left lateral movement, etc.). Patients who respond favorably can treat themselves safely and effectively.
Visit The McKenzie Method®website to learn more and find a practitioner near you!
Our patients affectionately refer to the Graston Technique® instruments as "butter knives!" It's a treatment they hate to love, but the results speak for themselves. Many famous athletes swear by the technique including Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.
Does it work?
Historically, The Graston Technique® has had positive outcomes in 75-90% of all conditions treated. It is equally effective on restoring function to acute and chronic injuries, and pre- and post-surgical patient. Click here for Outcome Summary Data of the 17 most common diagnoses.
How do the instruments work?
In the healing process, our body attempts to repair muscles, tendons and ligaments with “scar tissue,” much like a scar that forms on the skin when you have scraped your knee. The Graston Technique® (originally developed by athletes) is a form of soft tissue mobilization using six stainless steel instruments to glide along a patient’s muscles, tendons or ligaments to detect and break up this scar tissue as well as fascial restrictions and adhesions which tend to be weaker and less flexible than undamaged tissue. It is not meant to replace a clinician’s hands, but to complement them by substantially improving the ability to detect and treat dysfunction.
Does it hurt?
If there is a large amount of scar tissue, there can be minor discomfort while the clinician breaks it up, but this is part of the healing process.
What is Graston used to treat?
Graston Technique® has been clinically proven to achieve quicker and better outcomes in treating both acute and chronic conditions including:
Achilles Tendinitis/osis (ankle pain)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain)
Cervical Sprain/Strain (neck pain)
Lateral Epicondylitis/osis (tennis elbow)
Lumbar Sprain/Strain (back pain)
Medial Epicondylitis/osis (golfer's elbow)
Patellofemoral Disorders (knee pain)
Plantar Fasciitis/osis (foot pain)
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis/osis (shoulder pain)
Women’s Health (post-mastectomy and Caesarean scarring)
Who can do it?
Only clinicians who have been trained and accredited in the Graston Technique® Basic course are qualified to obtain the Graston Technique® instruments and apply the technique to treat patients
Last week we discharged a patient who had been suffering from chronic neck pain after a car accident five years ago. After only four sessions utilizing the Graston Technique®, she had complete relief and could not believe the results. She said she could actually feel the scar tissue being broken up and began craving the twice weekly treatments.
The Graston Technique®website does a good job of answering some other FAQs
If I could give you one piece of advice to reduce or even prevent pain, it would be to improve your posture while sitting.I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked in the house to see my wife sitting on the couch, laptop resting on her knees, neck craned forward, shoulders rounded and eyes looking down. She would work like this for hours and then be baffled as to why her shoulders and neck hurt so much.
TIPS TO IMPROVE POSTURE
Here are the strategies I most commonly recommend to patients:
1. When your mother told you to “sit up straight”, she was right. Think about a string pulling you up so that your ears, shoulders, and hips are aligned. Also squeeze your shoulder blades down and back.
2. Keep your rear, upper back and head all the way back on your seat to help you maintain proper alignment. If you don't have enough lumbar support on your chair, you can purchase a mesh support for just a few dollars.
3. Remember to keep your feet flat on the floor. Crossing your legs or tucking one foot underneath you can place added pressure on your knees and hips.
4. Use a hands-free device when talking on the phone. Just this week, I got one for our front staff . You might be an expert at balancing a phone between your ear and shoulder, but your neck is not impressed.
5. Only work on your computer when you’re sitting at a desk or table. Logitech makes a great stand to keep your screen at eye level (http://amzn.to/yv3aLO)
6. Follow my 20/20 rule - For every 20 minutes you sit, get up and walk around for 20 seconds. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when it’s time to move about the cabin.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF POOR POSTURE
Maintaining proper posture takes focus and work, but it's well worth it. It helps keep our bodies loose, strong and balanced which can help keep us stay injury free and even improve athletic performance.