Back Pain

In today’s society, we are hyper-aware of symptoms that cause dysfunction and prevent us from remaining active. If you are a younger individual who is highly active in sports,  or the older individual who walks regularly to stay active, it is likely you have experienced back pain. Over 80 percent of the population will experience Low Back Pain (LBP) at least once in their life. This form of pain is the most common reason people will miss time at work and is the second most common cause of disability in adults across the United States. The rate of re-occurrences within the first year for the working population is approximately 20-44 percent, and over a lifetime is up to 85%.

These facts are potentially scaring if you have already experienced a single episode of back pain. I will try not to discuss the rising cause of health care and the increase utilization for chronic LBP with imaging, injections, and pain medication.

I want to highlight what we as physical therapists can do to reduce, prevent, and eliminate your back pain all while improving your overall quality of life. The literature is saturated with numerous forms of therapy from chiropractor care, core stabilization, surgical intervention, and of course my favorite, the Mckenzie Method. When I first explain the principle in your initial evaluation, I can see the “light bulb” moment happen right in front of my eyes.

But the real question why does the method work? The method is successful because YOU the patient want to succeed in treatment, management, and self-diagnosis. As I progress through my certification process, I am learning the “new” way to treat back pain. Robin Mckenzie developed the method in the late 60’s in Australia and New Zealand and continued research demonstrates superior results when compared to chiropractic care, manual therapy, and core stabilization.

Let the evidence based research point you in the right direction. Patients that seek treatment from a physical therapist, practicing the Mckenzie Method, are quicker to respond, better able to manage their symptoms, and less likely to utilize healthcare on a reoccurring basis.

When selecting a therapist for YOUR recovery, make sure to be an advocate for yourself. Ask questions like How? Why? What does the research show? Try not to solely rely on the professional’s opinion, prior experience, and/or website. Best practice is driven by research and should be individualized and tailor to your deficits.

Don’t fall into the statistics above. Choose Collins PTI.


Petersen T, Larsen K, Nordsteen J, Olsen S, Fournier G, Jacobsen S, The McKenzie method compared with manipulation when used adjunctive to information and advice in low back pain patients presenting with centralisation or peripheralisation. A randomised controlled trial, Spine, 36.1999-2010, 2011.

Deutscher D, Werneke M, Gottlieb D, Fritz, J, Resnik L, Physical Therapists' level of McKenzie education, functional outcomes, and utilization in patients with LBP, JOSPT, 44:12:925936, 2014

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevalence of disabilities and associated health conditions among adults--United States, 1999. JAMA. 2001;285(12):1571–1572.

Rubin DI. Epidemiology and risk factors for spine pain. Neurol Clin. 2007;25(2):353–371

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