Hip pain can affect many people whether they are desk workers, triathletes, or anywhere in between.  Hip pain can prevent you from moving and doing the activities that you enjoy.  Luckily, The Hart Wellness Center often utilizes the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) which is proven method used to treat musculoskeletal conditions (including hip pain).

What Is The Mckenzie Method?

   The McKenzie Method is a biopsychosocial system of musculoskeletal care emphasizing patient empowerment and self-treatment. Most pain is "mechanical" in nature, meaning that it was caused by a force applied to the system. The theory is that mechanical pain is decreased or abolished by using the reversal of forces.This system of diagnosis and patient management applies to acute, subacute and chronic conditions of the spine and extremities. It offers a reliable and practical approach that focuses on "what patients need" and not on "what therapists want to do".

  The goal of MDT is to have patients identify a specific movement direction that decreases their pain.  When this direction is found, the patient will continuously load their body in that direction as far as the joint allows repetitively.  This end-range loading strategy counteracts the forces put on that joint by moving the body in the exact opposite direction.  The best part of MDT is that it can be utilized as an at home self treatment strategy so that there is a simple exercise that can be continuously done to reduce a patients symptoms from the comfort of their own home. 

Hip Joint Function

  The hip joint is a ball and socket joint that can move in 6 different directs.  In a standard day do you typically move your hip joint as far as you can in each of these 6 directions?  The answer to that is more than likely no.  Most people typically only move our hips in 1-2 directions on a daily basis.  Moving the same direction every single day can cause the hip joint itself to then become 'stuck' if it tries to move in any of the other directions.  Not only does the actual joint get stuck, but the muscles around the hip joint either become tight from overuse or weak from not being used.  

How Can MDT Help With Hip Pain? 


  The goal with MDT is to find the direction your hip joint needs to move and repeatedly load it in that motion.  Continuous end-range loading of this joint will help 'unstick' the joint and loosen up the muscles that are tight/overused.  Movements utilized by MDT are not designed to stretch out your muscles, but to push your joint as far as possible in a direction.  When we push a joint as far as it can move this causes the muscles to stretch out secondary to moving the joint.  If you were to just hold a stretch for 30 seconds, that does not have any impact on the joint but does move the muscles.  Pushing repeatedly as far as possible in the same direction may be a bit uncomfortable initially, but that is more than likely due to the fact that your body has never moved like that before.  If the reason your hip hurts is because of the muscle or joint, MDT can be f service to get rid of the pain and prevent it from ever coming back. 


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