Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

McKenzie Method for spine problems

Posted by john h on 12/03/04 at 12:46 (165131)

I have read about this method of treating spine problems but have no first hand knowledge. We do have on Physical Therapist who has been trained in this treatment in my city. I have had a conversation with him and it is a covered procedrue under my insurance.


Re: McKenzie Method for spine problems

Dorothy on 12/03/04 at 23:16 (165163)

John H - I have Robin McKenzie's books (of course I do!) and it seems to me that the core of his program is using the 'cobra' move from yoga - i.e. back extension like that. In the past, I have found it helpful, but not this time.

I apologize that I did not answer a question you asked of me earlier - do I have Sarno's tapes? - I don't; I do have his books and have been considering buying his video tapes which I learned about when you posted his website. I may do that later.

Re: McKenzie Method for spine problems - Dorothy and John

Julie on 12/04/04 at 06:16 (165167)

I looked at some of the the McKenzie exercises when Nancy was suffering last year (online - I don't have the books) and in general was impressed. I wonder if McKenzie makes a distinction between the different causes and types of spine problems. Spinal extensions, such as the Cobra, are helpful for some problems but not for others, as you've found, Dorothy.

My current problem has been diagnosed as a jammed L5-S1 facet joint. It is (or was - it was released yesterday, we hope, but more painful than ever today post-treatment) locked in extension, and extension is the last thing it needs: I wouldn't dare to do even the gentlest of backbends, let alone Cobra. But mild forward bending (contra-indicated and painful for prolapsed discs) gently stretches and opens the joint. Just about the only positions I am not totally pain-ridden in are squats and all-fours (Cat). The gentle circling of the hips from the all fours position is a comforting movement while I am doing it.

Thank you for the reminder about McKenzie. I'm off to the website to see what it has to offer for stuck facet joints.

Re: McKenzie Method for spine problems - Dorothy and John

Ed Davis, DPM on 12/04/04 at 15:47 (165187)

This may be a bit too vigorous but have you tried a Roman chair? The beauty of the device is that (besides being very inexpensive) it basically allows one to extend while maintaining distraction of the vertebrae. I wonder if extension would work if the vertebrae are adequately distracted. One can use the device in a very gentle way, allowing mild distraction before attempting and flexion or extension. Just be careful not to become overconfident and be tempted to hyperextend.

Re: McKenzie Method for spine problems

john h on 12/04/04 at 17:42 (165191)

Dorothy: Take a look on eBay uner 'Sarno' and sometimes you will find his tapes and CD's there at reasonable prices. I will scott over there now. I bought his CD's there for under $20 last year.

Re: Ed

Julie on 12/04/04 at 21:35 (165203)

It's nice of you to make this suggestion, Ed: thank you. Yes, it would be a good deal too vigorous now - everything but the gentlest of movements is - but I shall keep the idea for later. It's still too acute: my osteopath though on Friday that distraction would upset things. For now my sole occupation is finding, moment to moment, a position to move to that is marginally less painful than whichever one I am in. The worst so far is lying in bed. Here it is 3.30 am and I am up, first alternating cold and heat while listening to a relaxation tape, now checking in here. Soon I shall go back to bed for the rest of the night and, I hope, sleep a bit. I am managing so far, but after a week it is very wearing.


Re: Ed

john h on 12/07/04 at 11:06 (165301)

Julie: I hope you are elevating your legs while in bed. Place a couple of pillows at the back of the knees. Fortunate for me we have adjustable beds so I can raise my legs as high as I want. Everyone is different but for my back laying on my stomach is much more comfortable than on my back while in bed. Also, on my side in the fetal position is not bad. Do you have access to a hot whirlpool? One other consideration is to use the Lidocaine Patches which require a prescription. Same substance the dentist uses. It numbs the skin (not to deep) but does help. They are also used for shingles. Someone on the board tried them on thier feet but they will not stay put if you try to walk.

Re: John

Julie on 12/07/04 at 14:09 (165309)

Thanks John. Yes, I can't lie with my legs straight, so if I'm on my back there is always a bolster, or pillows, under my knees. I can't lie on my front, and I can't sleep either on my front or my back. Sleeping on either side is also painful, so I'm more or less clobbered. I've found that pillows between my legs, lying on my right side, is almost tolerable (the left side is not). Today I got some more powerful meds from the doctor and am hoping that the tough stuff I've been given (dihyrocodeine) will knock me senseless so I can get more than an hour or two of sleep!

It IS getting slowly better, and I am coping and in good spirits. Thanks for your concern and care: it is appreciated.

Re: John - correction

Julie on 12/07/04 at 14:11 (165310)

Error (not that it matters). It's my right side I can't put weight on. My left is the better of the two. But not good.


Re: Ed

Dorothy on 12/07/04 at 14:49 (165313)

John - If being on your stomach is more comfortable for you while in bed, you might really benefit from the McKenzie method. He emphasizes extension over flexion. I usually find extension movements much more beneficial than flexion, but this last time there was no moving any which way. I hope you do give the McKenzie Method a try; I think you would find some useful tools for your personal 'arsenal' in living with back problems.(and one hopes, getting to live without back problems!)

Julie referred to a book by an author I hadn't heard of before. I found my way to his website and you might find it interesting, too. It is: http://www.extensionyoga.com . The author/teacher's name is Sam Dworkis. He has been a yoga teacher for many years, learned he has MS and has used yoga in dealing with that disease (as Julie told us she has in her own history, written about it in her own book). I spent some time with his website and found his information and style to be engaging. I'm going to visit there again - and thought you might like to know about the website, too. Never too much information!! If you like his outlook and style, as I think I do so far,we both have Julie to thank for the 'lead.'

Later, John ~

Re: Dorothy

Julie on 12/07/04 at 15:47 (165319)

And I owe YOU the introduction to Sam Dworkis's exciting-looking website, which I did not know, though I've worked with Recovery Yoga for a few years. I've just had a peek, it looks excellent, and I'll read more tomorrow. Thank you.

But now for my dihydrocodeine.

Yours, hoping for oblivion for at least three hours (I'm not greedy :) )