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McKenzie Treatment - When is the right time?

Hi everyone,

I'm recovering from a huge L5S1 herniation and I wonder when is the proper time to do McKenzie exercises.

1) Is anyone familiarized with this kind of exercises? What about your experience?

2) I'm still currently in a flexion-intolerant stage (can't tie up my shoes), is this the right time to do McKenzie exercises? Or is recommended after surgery, maybe in smaller hernias or perhaps in asymptomatic situations?

Many thanks in advance,


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,472
    hello gct

    please click on the welcome link below as well as the system tutorial for more information.

    welcome to spine health

    all new members should take the system tutorial 

    there are several members that have used the mckenzie exercises and hopefully they will tell you their experience.
    but as far as when to do them, we cannot advise on that. you should talk to your doctor and get his advice as to when to start.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • catapamcatapam AustriaPosts: 157
    Same flexion intolerant (cannot tie my shoes)
    Pain in right calf increased with cramps 
    I started with 3 min on my belly with one fist under chin, as advised in McGill book 
    Then I put a pillow under my chest lying on my belly with a cold pack on my back going at 2 times per day 20 minutes each
    Then I added another 20 min same position but with TENS unit 
    Pain moved from my leg in my back
    Then I increased the time until I got a lot of back pain.
    I stop belly lying for few days, doing only back lying with pillows under head and knees
    Back pain subsides to previous level
    Now I am back at 3x20 min
    So I am not doing by the book McKenzy because bad mobility but what I am doing did work for me
    I can also tie my shoes now, pain free, if I am putting on leg on an elevated object, ~ 80-90 cm
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  • Hello @memerainbolt

    Thanks for the info and for your advice, I'll take it into account.

    Hey @catapam

    I really appriciate your detailed experience, which by the way I'm glad to know that it worked for you :) Can I ask how are you now and when did you start doing this exercise sequence?

    On the other hand, in which moment (stage of pain) did you start doing them? I mean, after few months and when you could be able to walk (at least), after the sciatica pain had relieved, maybe you started in your peak of pain (hope not hehe), what whas your initial condition?

    By the way, I've read your history in your profile and it turns out that you have come across with different episodes in regarding low back pain. I'm so sorry to hear it. 

    Hope you are getting better!

  • catapamcatapam AustriaPosts: 157

    @GCT I updated my profile.

    You can read now a more updated / detailed story

  • Good! I'm gonna read it!

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