McKenzie Method to Treat Pain

At Bridge Physiotherapy, my aim is to help you function physically, at your highest level. After an assessment of your physical abilities, you receive a personalized treatment and exercise program designed to:

  • alleviate your pain
  • restore joint range of motion
  • increase your muscle strength and coordination
  • maximize your independence

To improve your results, the focus at Bridge Physiotherapy is on Active rehabilitation. I am a certified McKenzie Therapist and employ thephilosophy of active patient involvement and education. The McKenzie Method, also called Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), is trusted and used by practitioners around the world for neck, back, and extremity problems.

Here’s how the McKenzie Method works.


Step 1 – Assessment
Unique to the McKenzie Method is a process that begins with a thorough history review and testing to identify your distinct patterns of pain responses that are: reproducible, objective, reliable, and reflect the characteristics of the underlying pain generator.

The most common and meaningful pain response pattern is Centralization. This means that your referred or radiating pain promptly reverses, returns to the center of your spine, or injured joint, and then usually disappears.

If Centralization occurs, it provides a rational guide to the most optimal treatment strategy for you. While every client can benefit from MDT assessment, not all clients will be suitable for mechanical therapy. This can be determined quickly so that alternative treatments can begin as soon as possible.


Step 2 – Treatment
There are three basic stages to your treatment program:

  1. Pain control – When appropriate, individual exercises are prescribed based on yourDirectional Preference*that will centralize or abolish your pain.
  2. Recovery of movement
  3. Physical conditioning and work/sport conditioning

These stages are not mutually exclusive. They serve as a guide for goal setting during treatment. They overlap one another, and you may move backwards and forwards through this treatment continuum.


Step 3 – Prevention
Most clients who respond favorably to MDT can successfully treat themselves. If it’s a fit for you, I will provide the necessary knowledge and tools to put you in control of your treatment, safely and effectively. This can minimize the number of visits to the clinic.


Pain does not take time off! You need to be an active participant in your treatment, to maximize the benefits. You will need to learn a lot, and be able to remember things when you need to use them again.

This blog and website were created to provide you with the immediate resources you need, when you need them, and can’t wait for an appointment with me.

I’d love to know what you want to hear about, so I can post relevant information that will help in your healing, and pain management. Please leave any questions, or suggestions in the Comments section below, or contact me at

To your pain-free health,

Bob Jacobsen
Bridge Owner & Physiotherapist


Note: *Directional Preference

The direction of movement that causes pain symptoms to move more centrally (toward the mid-back or neck), where they are generally better tolerated than if the pain were to remain in the legs, hips, or low back.


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