Learn more about the McKenzie Method of MDT!

As a board certified chiropractor, Dr. Reza Ghassemi has always had his patients’ best interests at heart. The ultimate goal of his work is to improve his patient’s condition so they either no longer need additional chiropractic care or the number of visits are reduced and patients can continue visiting Reza Chiropractic on a maintenance program.

As part of his desire to continue his education and provide effective treatment options for the number of symptoms he sees on a regular basis, Dr. Reza earned his certification in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT). He will be using the McKenzie Method of this therapy to treat patients who present with pain, particularly pain in the spine and extremities.

A study published by the International Director of Education for the McKenzie Institute found that for some patients, pain they experienced in one part of their body was actually originating from their spine and not the extremity joint or area where the pain was reported. An average of 43.5% of all patients with an extremity complaint could source their pain to their spine, with hip pain and shoulder pain being the most common, at 71% and 47%, respectively. Hip pain was found to be originating from the lumbar spine, while shoulder pain was associated with the cervical spine.

The McKenzie Method, a Step-by-Step Guide

The McKenzie Method is globally recognized as a leading treatment for back, neck, and extremity disorders, and there are four steps that a certified MDT provider will go through when working with a new McKenzie patient:

Step 1: Assessment

The assessment step of the McKenzie Method is where Dr. Reza will perform movements to determine how your symptoms are affected by different positions. There are two major benefits to the assessment step, which are:

  1. Dr. Reza will be able to gain a better understanding of where your pain is actually originating from. Through a proper assessment, the vast majority of patients will report that their pain moves from an extremity to the midline of the spine.
  2. Dr. Reza will also be able to know for certain if you are or are not a candidate for the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy. If not, there may still be other techniques and methods that Dr. Reza can use to treat symptoms.

Step 2: Classification

Through a proper assessment, patients are typically classified in one of the three syndromes:

  • Derangement Syndrome
  • Dysfunction Syndrome
  • Postural Syndrome

Derangement Syndrome is when a joint has deviated from its normal articulation, while Dysfunction Syndrome means that the tissue is damaged and not moving as it should. If a patient is classified as being part of the Dysfunction Syndrome category, they typically present with a limited range of motion and chronic pain that continues to occur in one area of the body. Postural Syndrome is caused by improper posture or  sustained stance that leads to pain and can affect joints, muscles, and tendons.

By identifying the syndrome, Dr. Reza is better able to determine the appropriate treatment strategy to employ.

Step 3: Treatment

Patients are in the Treatment step once they have been classified into one of the three syndromes. From here, Dr. Reza will develop an appropriate treatment plan that can include office visits, at-home care, or a combination of the two. Here are the typical treatment plans for each syndrome:

Derangement Syndrome: For the treatment of Derangement Syndrome, Dr. Reza will guide you to move in the direction that causes your pain to gravitate toward your spine, or that will result in a lasting reduction in the intensity of the pain.

Dysfunction Syndrome: For the treatment of Dysfunction Syndrome, movement is focused on the soft tissues and remodeling them to reduce pain.

Postural Syndrome: To treat a patient presenting with Postural Syndrome, Dr. Reza will teach the correct postures to assume that aids in keeping the joints in a beneficial, neutral position to prevent prolonged loading of the tissues.

The McKenzie approach emphasizes the patient as an active participant in their own recovery. Dr. Reza’s draw to this method of MDT is because of the educational and self-care portion as part of treatment. Patients are encouraged to perform the same treatments that they’ve learned in-office, but treatment may also include coming back into the office for supplemental mobilization from Dr. Reza.

Step 4: Prevention

Chances are that any spinal pain will reoccur at some point in your life, and the pain will be worse with each occurrence. With the McKenzie Method of treatment, the goal is to prevent this as much as possible. During the Prevention step, Dr. Ghassemi will continue to encourage you to perform the specific movements and postures he’s shown you with the intention of preventing recurrence. It’s more important to set you up with the necessary tools so you can help prevent future pain than it is to achieve pain relief over a short period of time that is then not sustained.

To learn more about the McKenzie Method and how you may benefit from this type of treatment, contact Reza Chiropractic today at (727) 526-7700 or fill out our contact form. Dr. Reza Ghassemi operates a concierge and patient-based practice, only seeing one patient at a time so he can take the proper time and care to understand your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that’s unique to you.