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Caroline Wiley, The McKenzie Method

Caroline's back pain is gone.

Caroline Wiley has been a farmer all of her seventy-six years. Wiley’s roadside “Veggie Shack,” outside her Schoolcraft-area farmhouse, kept her busy seven days each week...until sudden back and leg pain interfered.

“I thought the back and radiating leg pain would go away but instead it continued for weeks,” said Wiley. “The pain wasn’t totally debilitating but it limited the lifting and twisting that are an essential part of farming and selling organic produce to neighbors and the general public.

“I needed help.”

Wiley visited a local physical therapy clinic and was prescribed an assortment of exercises. She was diligent about adhering to the routines but the pain did not subside.

The McKenzie Method

Then Wiley scheduled an appointment with physiatrist Gene Yu, D.O., Borgess Spine. Dr. Yu recommended treatment with Borgess Physical Therapist Julie Rogers. Rogers is certified in the use of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), which is commonly called the “McKenzie Method.” The McKenzie Method is a philosophy of active patient involvement and education for back, neck and extremity problems.

Caroline Wiley’s pain was substantially resolved after her first treatment session at the Borgess Physical Therapy office within Woodbridge Hills.

“We discussed her concern and learned that Caroline was sitting for extended periods when she was not active,” Rogers said. “We then performed a mechanical analysis of her back. This initial analysis component is a key distinction of the McKenzie Method. We establish a safe and reliable means to accurately reach a diagnosis and only then make the appropriate treatment plan. Certified clinicians have a valid indicator to know immediately, and how, the method will work for each patient.

“Based on our assessment, we recommended one exercise designed specifically for Caroline’s unique problem,” Rogers said.

“After completing her initial recommended exercise, Caroline said her pain immediately subsided by 75 percent,” Rogers said. “We have had several additional treatment sessions involving posture and correct body mechanics to prevent a recurrence of her spine issue,” Rogers said.

“Caroline has continued performing her exercise and now she says her pain has essentially disappeared,” Rogers said. “Her many Veggie Shack customers are very happy.”

Julie Rogers, like many Borgess physical therapy professionals, have received extra training in the use of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy in the classification and treatment of spine pain. This approach is also known as the "McKenzie Method." Nine Borgess therapists are certified in MDT. Borgess Spine is one of two McKenzie-certified clinics in Michigan.