McKenzie therapy

Robin McKenzie from New Zeeland developed a method for diagnosing and treating the complaints about the spine and the joints of extremities. This is one of the most widespread treatments of spinal problems and it is used in more than 40 countries. It is mostly used for treating disk diseases (protrusion, prolapses, discus hernia) and for treating the radiating pain and numbness of the arms and legs. Physicians suggest it when the disease is in a state where further improvement without operation is expected.

The method is an active movement therapy where main values are set on the exercises that can be made alone by the patients affecting the paint and the result of the problem.
During the treatment we are trying to push back the protruded disk. This can be reached with certain kind of movements depending on the complaints. The aim is to ‘centralize the pain’ (McKenzie: moving the pain to one central location in the body), and after this to stabilize the state with strengthening the muscles.

First time we make a complete musculoskeletal examination during which the physiotherapist defines the possible reason of the pain. Based on the results of the examination he set up a suited treatment for the patient. This can be done at home with regular supervisory - at the beginning frequent then later less often - control of the therapist.

Use of McKenzie method:

  • Slipped disk (discus hernia)
  • Protruded disk (protrusion, prolapses)
  • Radiating pain to extremities
  • Pain in the neck, back-, lower back pain caused by bad posture
  • Pain in the neck, back-, lower back pain caused by contracture, scars and muscle adhesion


Prevention plays a very important role in the development of these kinds of problems. Aimed physiotherapy and developing the so called ‘corset muscle’ around the trunk are the bases of having a stable and supporting spine. Avoiding and changing the abnormal loads help to preserve our spine.