Trust trains whole team in McKenzie Method - 18/7/2013

Trust trains whole team in McKenzie Method

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust has become the only trust in the UK to provide its entire musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy department with specialised training in the McKenzie assessment system for patients with spinal and extremity problems.

The trust has invested £56,000 to train staff in the McKenzie method of mechanical diagnosis and therapy, in an effort to ensure a consistent delivery of spinal care.

The training was proposed by Leeane Walsh, physiotherapy MSK lead and clinical specialist, who has been practising the McKenzie method for 10 years. She said the training would not replace the department’s previous knowledge but ‘will be an extra string to their bow’.

‘McKenzie is an additional tool which focuses the practitioner’s mind in a logical, flow chart way with clinical reasoning to back it up,’ said Ms Walsh.

‘The idea is that another physiotherapist should be able to repeat the method and get the same diagnosis.’

Consistent approach

Ms Walsh adds that one of the problems with back pain is that it is managed very inconsistently. The McKenzie method, which involves going through a series of questions and movements with patients to find out which movements make them feel better or worse, aims to provide a more consistent approach.

‘People get told lots of different things by different practitioners and they build up a complex picture, which it needn’t be,’ she says.

‘The McKenzie diagnosis will help physiotherapists decide on appropriate treatment in a much more consistent way.’

The training is standardising the assessment and treatment approach to spinal pain in addition to skills already existing in clinical staff, said Ms Walsh, ‘and seeks to give a consistent assessment, treatment, education and prevention to patient care where previously different staff had varying knowledge and skills.’

The Isle of Wight MSK physiotherapy team will be required to pass a four-part course and credential exam before they are able to use the McKenzie method, and it is expected all staff will complete their training by early next year.

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