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Non-Surgical Relief of Back and Neck Pain

It is estimated that back and neck pain affects 80 percent of the population at some point in their lives. But there’s hope for back pain sufferers— non–surgical remedies can help even those with long–standing, chronic problems, and they’re available at North Oaks.

“I’ve suffered from back and neck pain most of my adult life, and figured it was part of the aging process," shares Tracy, a physical therapy patient. "My strategy was to grit my teeth and get on with things. I’d used over–the–counter medications and analgesic creams to try to keep my neck and back pain in check—but then I had a series of unfortunate events that finally led me to seek out expert help.”

Tracy was involved in two automobile collisions in the space of a month this winter. “What are the odds of being rear-ended twice in 30 days?” she asks. “I’d already been dealing with a year-old sports injury that affected my neck, and the collisions aggravated that condition. After my physician ruled out any nerve or bone issues, he suggested a referral to a physical therapist. To be honest, I wasn’t optimistic that they could totally reduce my pain, I’d lived with it so long.”

That was before she learned about the McKenzie Method® – a non-surgical treatment for patients with back and neck pain—and some spine-related headaches. McKenzie-certified Physical Therapist Adam Waller used the method, also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MTD), to help Tracy. The treatment involves working with each patient to identify the “cause and effect” relationship between pain and movement, and customizing a set of very specific exercises to fix the problem.

“The beauty of this method,” stresses Waller, “is that it empowers patients to better understand their condition and take a more active role in their plan of care. I believe that the more informed a patient is, the more successful he or she will be in meeting their goals.”

Waller, along with North Oaks Physical Therapist Andy Dalton, are the only two McKenzie Method® certified therapists on the Northshore.

“The exercises were simple— I could do them sitting in a chair in my office.

I began to notice an improvement within a few days. And after working with Adam about 3 weeks, I was back on the tennis court, pain-free.”

Perhaps the best part about the McKenzie Method® is that it teaches people how to self-manage their condition. “I know to watch my posture, and exactly what to do if I start experiencing pain again,” asserts Tracy. “But hopefully, by making the exercises part of my daily routine, I’ll be able to prevent the pain from coming back. I’m absolutely thrilled with the results.”

To learn more about the McKenzie Method®, call North Oaks Outpatient Rehabilitation Services at (985) 230-6160 or (225) 686-4850.