The long-term goal of the McKenzie Method is to teach patients suffering from neck pain and/or back pain how to treat themselves and manage pain throughout their lives using exercise and other strategies. Other goals include:
- Reduce pain quickly
- Return to normal functioning in daily activities
- Minimize the risk of recurring pain (avoid painful postures and movements)
- Minimize the number of return visits to the spine specialist
McKenzie’s exercises for back pain are a series of progressive positions. If your back pain is especially acute, you may not be able to work through all stages straight away. In this case work through as many stages as you can and only progress further as your pain subsides. The stages of McKenzie’s exercises are prone lying, prone lying while resting on elbows, prone push-ups, progressive extension using pillows and standing extension. Numerous variations of the McKenzie sequence exist which add or remove stages according to interpretation of the original sequence.
Some McKenzie Exercises
The following diagrams provide examples of some basic McKenzie exercises that can be done to help allay and prevent pain symptoms. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Always consult with your healthcare professional prior to designing an appropriate exercise routine.