Robin McKenzie, a physical therapist in New Zealand, developed his Method in the 1960’s. He noted that extending the spine could provide significant pain relief to certain patients and allow them to return to their normal daily activities.

Here’s what we know about the McKenzie method for low back pain from a recent review of the literature.

  • No placebo- or no treatment-controlled trials
  • There is a decrease in short-term (less than 3 months) pain and disability compared with other standard treatments, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, educational booklet, back massage with back care advice, strength training with therapist supervision, and spinal mobilization
  • No differences at 3 to 12 months
  • Insufficient data on longer-term outcomes
  • Limited information on its effect on neck pain

10/15/06 15:59 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.