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Ever wondered, despite of rigorous pain medication, countless imaging and treatments that nagging pain does not seem to resolve. You are probably thinking surgery is the only option. Think again! Recent research that was done over 369 patients showed an important link between extremity pain arising from spine. The research does not talk about disc compressing on the nerve, rather a systematic “baseline-test-retest baseline” protocol where a series of repeated movements are performed in the spine to check the effect on the extremity. Those effects can be anything from increase/decrease in range of motion, strength or functional task.

This technique (Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy) was developed by Robin Mckenzie, a Physiotherapist working in New Zealand, back in 1981. He was one of the first to devise a systematic way of applying spinal movements and positions to patients with spinal pain and evaluating the effect on symptoms and ability to move. He discovered a number of consistent patterns in the behaviors of the symptomatic and mechanical response that dictated the optimal treatment.

Majority of the health care workers have a misconception thinking Mckenzie is only about extension exercises. Personally, I have been using this technique to my patients and can tell one thing for sure that extension exercises are common but it’s just a tip of an iceberg!

Patients complaining of shoulder* or forearm pain* that came up with no apparent reason and lasted for years. Despite the conventional therapy they are not able to be pain free and return to pre injury state. With the help of MDT technique, I personally feel that patients are in more control of their pain and know what to do when pain increases. Years of pain with a simple spinal movement can be effectively brought down. Nonetheless, takes even more effort from the patient to be consistent with that particular movement to be pain free.

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