The Mckenzie Method is a highly researched musculoskeletal diagnostic and treatment system used in treating acute, subacute, and chronic conditions of the spine and extremities. Mckenzie therapy has a strong emphasis on patient empowerment and self-treatment. Once a directional preference is established, it often leads to symptom abolishment and allows the patient to continue to self-treat without the need for a provider.
Mckenzie therapy is a great clinical tool to help decipher between differing diagnoses. (I.e. using Mckenzie Therapy to decipher between a disc protrusion or stenosis causing the patient's radicular pain. “Well couldn’t an MRI also tell you that?” The answer to this question is yes and no.)
Many times in healthcare we rely heavily on diagnostic imaging as it can be an extremely great tool in the diagnostic process. However, when solely using imaging to diagnose a problem, it can actually lead to a misdiagnosis.
"How does this happen?" It is well known in literature that aging has a direct correlation with increased "wear and tear" on our bodies' spinal and extremity joints. It has also been concluded that majority of these "wear and tear" diagnosis such as osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, etc., can, but often don't actually cause pain or problems, but simply are due to aging. With that being said, when a patient's imaging lists multiple problems and/or abnormalities that do not correlate with their pain or symptoms it can lead to a misdiagnosis. If no proper movement assessment is performed with a very detailed history to help decipher between multiple issues, then this often leads to a misdiagnosis and/or providers simply speculating to which diagnosis is actually causing the pain.