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1101 Twin C. Lane,
Suite #203
Newark, DE 19713


121 Becks Woods Drive
Suite #100
Bear, DE 19701
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The McKenzie Method: An Overview

We specialize in the McKenzie Method for treating mechanical spine and other orthopedic conditions. The method is a widely respected, comprehensive approach to managing spine and limb/extremity disorders.

At SOS Physical Therapy, we utilize the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) as it is a reliable assessment process for musculoskeletal problems, including: back pain, sciatica, sacroiliac joint pain, arthritis and degenerative disc disease. It is an evidence-based approach that relies on active patient involvement and education.

The McKenzie Method is a system of evaluation and treatment that emphasizes exercise, posture, and teaching people to independently manage their own condition.

Research has shown exercise to be the most valuable tool for longstanding relief of spine-related pain, but not all exercises are appropriate for all conditions. The McKenzie Method begins with a comprehensive evaluation to determine how the problem/painful region responds to movement or position. Based on this assessment, an individual treatment program is developed, tailored to the specific needs of the condition.

If the patient is still having significant pain at the time of his or her assessment:

Exercise will at first focus on pain relief and recovery of motion. Many musculoskeletal disorders have a direction of movement that eases the pain. If this is found in the assessment, treatment will focus on exercises that bring pain relief. When exercise alone is insufficient, manual therapy is used to supplement the benefits of movement. As the pain resolves, treatment focuses on recovery of function, strength and prevention of recurrence. Correct postures are emphasized and taught for sustained relief.

If the patient is past the beginning stages of his or her injury, and some or much of pain has resolved, treatment will focus on:

  • Refining any previous exercise program
  • Developing an exercise program that is safe for the condition and that also helps to prevent recurrence
  • Discussing the best way to perform functional activities in a pain free manner.

How is the McKenzie Method different from traditional physical therapy?

  1. It is focused more on teaching home exercise programs vs. coming to the clinic to perform a general exercise program.
  2. It emphasizes active treatment using exercise and minimizes use of passive treatments such as ultrasound, electric stimulation, heat/ice.
  3. Manual therapy is used when necessary to supplement the benefits of the exercise.

For more details, please visit
McKenzie Method - Tribute to Robin McKenzie
From the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 2013 | source:

"This type of evaluation and treatment can be utilized for back and neck pain, any other orthopedic or joint problem, as well as for post-operative spine and limb/extremity rehabilitation."


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