Each October, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) commemorates National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) as a way of recognizing the impact physical therapist assistants and physical therapists make in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives.
Earlier this year Robin McKenzie, a pioneer of musculoskeletal disorders and their treatment, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Robin developed the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnostics and Therapy (MDT) in 1950.
The McKenzie Method is based on the idea of self-care and patients managing their own pain. The MDT system consists of the following:
- Assessment: A well-defined algorithm leads to simple classification of spinal-related disorders and is unique to MTD. Disorders are addressed according to their unique nature with mechanical procedures utilizing movement and positions.
- Treatment: In order to restore function and independence, minimize visits to the clinic and diminish pain quickly, MTD uniquely emphasizes active patient involvement and education.
- Preventive measure: Educating patients to self-treat the present problem minimizes the risk of relapse and gives patients the skills to manage the pain themselves when symptoms occur.
Robin believed that self-treatment was the best way to achieve long lasting improvement of neck and back pain. MDT is recognized worldwide as a standard for management of low back pain as well as the basis on which Relax The Back was founded. Robin made great strides in the field of physical therapy and his legacy will live on through the McKenzie Institute International. You can find more information on the McKenzie Method and the McKenzie Institute International at McKenzieMDT.org.