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McKenzie Therapy in River Forest and Oak Park

Why the McKenzie Method?

Imagine you have the power to control your pain and the ability to do your work and daily activities. Save time and money with the McKenzie Method. Free yourself from excessive therapy sessions, expensive equipment/testing and, most importantly, surgery! 

Why MDT Is the Best First Step


The McKenzie Method is your road map leading to a clear and reliable direction for treatment.


MDT is a comprehensive, evidence-based system of patient care. The assessment, classification, treatment and prevention strategies for back, neck and extremity problems are aimed at patient education and independence. It is time- and cost-efficient and does not rely on expensive tests or procedures. 

How It Works


Certified MDT clinicians are highly trained to determine if there is a “mechanical” reason for the problem. If your symptoms are affected by a change in movement or position, there is a likely mechanical cause that will respond very well to exercise-based treatment strategies designed to ultimately give you the ability to self-manage.


By learning how to self-treat your current problem, you gain valuable knowledge and skills to minimize the risk of recurrence.


Through sound clinical reasoning, a certified MDT provider can also safely identify any “red flags” that might be contrary to exercise-based treatment (e.g. fracture, tumor, infections or systemic inflammatory disease) and direct patients to the appropriate care. 

McKenzie Assessment/Classification


Following a thorough assessment that consists of taking a patient history and performing a standardized physical exam, the patient will be classified to help further guide the best treatment strategy. The classifications include:


  • Postural syndromes – pain caused by continued stress of soft tissues while maintaining certain postures or positions.


  • Derangement syndromes – pain caused by a change in position of the vertebrae enclosing a disc due to repositioning of the fluid nucleus of the disc. Pain will change with repeated motion.


  • Dysfunction syndromes – intermittent back pain and limited movement caused by the presence of scar tissue in a shortened state. Pain occurs when these tissues are stressed. 

Two Essential Findings with the McKenzie Method


Reliability of an assessment by well-trained MDT clinicians is well documented and validated in research.


When Centralization and Directional Preference are identified, there is a very high likelihood of successful treatment results and lasting effects. 


Through the repeated movement testing during an MDT assessment, pain from the extremities (leg or arm) moves up into the center of the back (or neck).


Directional Preference – Does it matter which exercise? YES!


When the specific direction of repeated movement and/or sustained position during the testing process results in lasting improvement in symptoms or function, that spells success! When necessary, MDT clinicians are also highly skilled in manual techniques to assist patients to gain the full capacity of the movement. 

MDT provides active, not passive, therapy strategies that lead to more effective management.


Take control of your pain, empower yourself and get back to the life you love!


McKenzie therapy commonly used in physical therapy and chiropractic as the initial treatment for nearly ever joint in the body. 

See how the McKenzie Method is used to treat

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