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Your back or neck injury related questions answered

If you have a question related to your back or neck injury, then you’ve come to the right place! Look at the Question and Answer archive below as someone may already have asked the same question. 

If your question isn’t there please email.

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Frequently asked questions

  • The Method and Exercises
    • What do I do if the back treatment exercises don’t work for me?
    • How Does Treat Your Own Back Work?
    • Will The McKenzie method work for my back pain?
    • How long and how often will I have to do the exercises for?
    • Is this The McKenzie method safe?
  • The Back Supports
    • How do I know if I am doing the back treatment exercises correctly?
    • Why should I use a McKenzie lumbar roll?
    • Which lumbar roll is right for me?
    • Can I borrow a McKenzie Lumbar roll on a trial basis?
    • What happens if the Lumbar roll I choose is not suitable?
    • Is there somewhere I can go to try the The Original McKenzie® products?
  • Reliable and Safe
    • Shouldn’t I go to my GP first?
    • How and When was the Mckenzie method developed?
    • Are there any McKenzie qualified physiotherapists in my area?
    • Is there Evidence this Method Works?
    • Will I Have to Visit a Physiotherapist?
  • Purchasing
    • How can I order McKenzie treat your pain products?
    • How long will my order take to arrive?
    • What happens if I choose the wrong lumbar roll, can I return it?
    • Can I order from you if I live outside New Zealand?
    • If I order in NZ, will you deliver to an international address?
  • Medical
    • Will this treatment stop my headaches?
    • Will this treatment fix my sciatica?

Answer

For Back or Neck Pain:
If your pain does not begin to subside after the first two weeks, or if your symptoms consistently increase immediately following the exercises, and you remain worse for the following two days, you should discontinue the exercises and seek advice from a McKenzie trained physiotherapist www.mckenziemdt.org.

For Neck Pain:
If you are unable to influence your headaches with the exercises or your headaches become much worse during exercising and remain worse over the next day, you should stop exercising and seek medical advice.

Robin McKenzie’s patient self-management books Treat Your Own Back and Treat Your Own Neck work by firstly educating you on how the spine works, explaining why you may have pain, giving you advice on life style changes that can help prevent further pain and then teaching you the exercises that are needed to stop the pain and prevent a recurrence.

There is no point in undertaking an exercise programme if you do not understand what you are doing to your body. Education is a large part of the key to successfully being pain free.

The McKenzie Method works for up to 80% of back pain sufferers.

Please refer to the Does it work page which contains a short diagnostic questionnaire to show you whether this method is likely to work for you. Throughout the exercise programme there are instructions on whether you should be continuing, stopping or changing the exercise, depending on the results of the exercises performed so far. If these results show that you are someone who needs assessment by a McKenzie trained physiotherapist, their details are available on www.mckenziemdt.org.

While you are treating a current pain you are advised to do a number of repetitions of each of the appropriate exercises, generally repeated 6-8 times per day. If you are wishing to prevent pain then the appropriate exercises will have fewer repetitions and are repeated less frequently.

One of the discoveries of Robin McKenzie’s method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy®, which these books are based upon, is the value of repetition.

Yes this method is safe, provided that you read the complete book before attempting the exercises, and that you follow all the instructions. It is important that you complete the short diagnostic questionnaire provided in TYO Back as well as on this website, to ascertain whether this method could work for you and when it would not be advisable to undertake this method (Refer to page 4 TYON).

Very importantly, be sure to seek medical advice should the book instruct you to or you feel unhappy about any aspect of the exercises.

Pain centralises:

  • For lower back pain – it moves from the leg, buttock or the side, towards the middles of your low back.
  • For Neck Pain – if your pain is usually felt further away from the neck and moves towards the midline of the cervical spine, you are exercising correctly
  • Pain intensity gradually decreases
  • Your range of movement increases

You are exercising incorrectly when:

  • Pain moves away from the spine
  • Pain intensity increases and remains worse
  • Your range of movement decreases

As few seats provide adequate support for the lower back, Robin found it necessary to provide his patients with a portable lumbar roll that could be used when sitting. A portable lumbar roll is essential equipment for people with ongoing back problems. When sitting on a seat with a back-rest, a lumbar roll will facilitate the maintenance of a correct lordosis (curve in the spine) and posture.

Ideally the back of all chairs should provide lumbar support so that the lordosis, naturally present during standing, is also maintained while sitting. It is relatively easy to find seating that has some degree of lumbar support, but few seats or chairs provide adequate support for the low back and it is usually still necessary to use a lumbar roll. The Original McKenzie® lumbar rolls are specifically designed for the purpose.

The McKenzie Institute International commissioned a study to examine the effects of sitting with, and without, a lumbar roll. Patients in the group using the lumbar roll were required to use it at home, at the office and when driving. The results showed conclusively that those patients using a portable lumbar roll when sitting experienced much less or even no pain compared to those not using a lumbar support (see Williams et al. 1991).

Proceeds from the sale of the Original McKenzie® spinal supports have been, and continue to be, donated for research into improved methods of treatment for musculoskeletal disorders and to provide relevant education for health care professionals.

To help you find the right lumbar roll for your condition, we have added some information about each lumbar roll as a general guideline.

When deciding which product to order, also consider:

  • How much lumbar support does the seat (that you want to use the lumbar roll on) have? (Older car seats have less support than some more modern cars)
  • How wide is your car seat (winged seats can prevent the Super Roll from fitting).
  • Are you of petite, medium or heavy build?
    (Petite people might not tolerate a firm support)
  • How big is the hollow in your low back?
    (a large hollow needs more support)
  • What is your personal preference?
    (Some people prefer less support than others)

Unfortunately, due to the nature of our products, the low margin and postage costs, we are unable to provide products on a trial basis.

To help you find the right lumbar roll for your condition, information is provided about each product on the products page .

When deciding which product to order, also consider:

  • How much lumbar support does the seat (that you want to use the lumbar roll on) have? (Older car seats have less support than some more modern cars)
  • How wide is your car seat (winged seats can prevent the Super Roll from fitting).
  • Are you of petite, medium or heavy build?
    (Petite people might not tolerate a firm support)
  • How big is the hollow in your low back?
    (a large hollow needs more support)
  • What is your personal preference?
    (Some people prefer less support than others)

Should you need any further assistance please contact us.

Most products can be returned for a full refund if they are returned within one month and are still in their original packaging and undamaged. Due to hygiene reasons we are unable to refund purchases of night rolls.

Please see our returns policy.

The complete range of The Original McKenzie® products and Books is available for testing and purchase at the McKenzie Global office, 31 Milne Drive, Paraparaumu. Hardy's Healthcare stores in Fielding, Palmerston North, Lower Hutt, Paraparaumu and Wellington also stock most of our range. Physiotherapists in New Zealand tend to stock a very limited range or will order to suit. You are welcome to contact us to find one near you.

In the case of Lower Back pain - In any of the following situations you should not commence the exercise programme of self-treatment without first consulting your health professional:

  • If you have pain in the leg below the knee and experience sensations of weakness, numbness or pins and needles in foot and toes.
  • If you have developed low back problems following a recent severe accident.
  • If, following a recent severe episode of low back pain, you have developed bladder problems.
  • If you are feeling generally unwell in conjunction with this attack of low back pain.

If you suffer from any of the above you may wish to seek advise from a health professional. To locate a credentialed or diplomaed McKenzie Institute-trained therapist in New Zealand visit The McKenzie Institute. For international locations, visit The McKenzie Institute International.

In the case of Neck pain - In any of the following situations you should not commence the exercise programme of self-treatment without first consulting your health professional:

  • If you have developed neck pain for the first time.
  • If there are complications to your neck pain eg sharp and stabbing pains.
  • If your head is pulled off centre
  • If you have severe unabating headache

If you suffer from any of the above you may wish to seek advise from a health professional. To locate a credentialed or diplomaed McKenzie Institute-trained therapist in New Zealand visit The McKenzie Institute. For international locations, visit The McKenzie Institute International.

Robin McKenzie writes:

In 1956 in my clinic in Wellington, New Zealand, I observed a remarkable event that has changed the nature of treatment administered worldwide for the alleviation of back pain. This serendipitous event led to the development of the theories and practice that have now become the hallmark of the McKenzie Method of diagnosis and treatment (also known as mechanical diagnosis and therapy) of common painful back problems.

The chance observation arose from a sudden change in the condition of a patient, Mr Smith. Mr Smith had pain to the right of his low back, extending into the buttock and thigh as far as his knee. He had undergone the conventional treatment considered suitable for back pain in that era. After three weeks of heat and ultrasound, his condition had not improved. He had difficulty standing upright. He could bend forward, but when standing could not bend backwards.

‏I told him to go through to the treatment room and lie face-down on the treatment table, the head-end of which had been raised for a previous patient. Without adjusting the table, and unnoticed by any of the clinical staff, Mr Smith lay face down with his back arched backward and overstretched for some five minutes. When I returned to commence his treatment, I was extremely concerned to find him lying in what at that time was considered to be a most damaging position. On enquiring as to his welfare, I was astounded to hear him say that this was the best he had been in three weeks. All pain had disappeared from his leg. Furthermore, the pain in the back had moved from the right side to the centre. He found he could now bend backward without having severe pain.

‏‏When Mr Smith arose from the treatment table, he could stand upright and he remained improved with no recurrence of leg pain. I placed him in the same position the following day, and this resulted in complete resolution of the remaining symptoms.

The important point is that as Mr Smith lay in this position, his pain changed location and moved from the leg and right side of his back to the centre point just at the waistline. The movement of pain from the leg or buttocks to the middle of the back is now known worldwide as the centralisation phenomenon.

Robin has spent the years since then developing this method. The establishment of the McKenzie Institute International in 1980 started a new era of education worldwide in MDT. There are now 26 branches worldwide who have trained over 20,000 healthcare professionals in MDT. More information can be found on www.mckenziemdt.org

To locate a credentialed or diplomaed McKenzie Institute-trained therapist in New Zealand visit The McKenzie Institute. For international therapists, visit The McKenzie Institute International.

The success of the McKenzie Method has attracted intense interest from researchers in various parts of the world, and is one of the most studied diagnostic and treatment systems for back pain at the present time.

An extensive list of scientific studies carried out worldwide demonstrates the efficacy and importance of the diagnostic process and the treatment system. Most information can be found by visiting the research page of www.mckenziemdt.org.

In most cases, a visit to a physiotherapist will not be necessary.

Throughout the book you are given instructions on when you should stop or continue the exercises, depending on the results of the exercises as you perform them. It is important to follow these instructions carefully, to ensure your safety.

We have listed below, the conditions when you should not commence the exercises:

In the case of back pain - In any of the following situations you should not commence the exercise programme of self-treatment without first consulting your health professional:

  • If you have pain in the leg below the knee and experience sensations of weakness, numbness or pins and needles in foot and toes.
  • If you have developed low back problems following a recent severe accident.
  • If, following a recent severe episode of low back pain, you have developed bladder problems.
  • If you are feeling generally unwell in conjunction with this attack of low back pain.

If you suffer from any of the above you may wish to seek advise from a health professional (to locate a credentialed or diplomaed McKenzie Institute-trained therapist in New Zealand visit The McKenzie Institute. For international locations, visit The McKenzie Institute International.

In the case of neck pain - In any of the following situations you should not commence the exercise programme without first consulting your health professional:

  • If you have developed neck pain for the first time.
  • If there are complications to your neck pain eg sharp and stabbing pains.
  • If your head is pulled off centre
  • If you have severe unabating headache

If you suffer from any of the above you may wish to seek advise from a health professional (to locate a credentialed or diplomaed McKenzie Institute-trained therapist in New Zealand visit The McKenzie Institute. For international locations, visit The McKenzie Institute International.

There are several ways that you can place an order with us. You may order online at this website.

For wholesale orders please email admin@mckenziemethod.com or phone +64 (04) 299 7020.

Most orders received by us before 1.00pm NZ Time are shipped the same business day. Please note that a very small number of orders require extra processing time for various reasons. Those will be shipped the following business day.

Estimated Delivery times: 1-3 working days. These time frames are estimates, and are based on indications given to us by our courier service providers. Rural and some residential areas may require an additional day(s) delivery time.

If, for any reason, you should find the roll to be unsatisfactory, you may return it within 30 days, for a refund or a replacement with a different roll. Due to hygiene reasons the Night Roll and AirBack can not be returned.The cost of returning a product you no longer want is your responsibility, so please choose carefully.

Yes – you can. However, please firstly refer to the International Distributor page to find your closest international distributor. If there is not a distributor close to you, then we can arrange a delivery from NZ. Simply contact us on admin@mckenziemethod.com with details of the destination, so that we can calculate the shipping costs and arrange payment.

Yes we will. Please contact us on admin@mckenziemethod.com with details of the destination, so that we can calculate the shipping costs and arrange payment.

Headaches can often be relieved by some of the recommended exercises in treat your own neck. There are clear instructions on what exercises to do in the case of a headache.

This book is right for you if you suffer from recurrent low back pain, including:

  • Slipped disc
  • Fibrositis
  • Lumbago
  • Arthritis in the back
  • Rheumatism
  • Sciatica

About 80% of people suffering from low back pain can benefit from self-treatment.