A Note From Laura Novak

June 15th, 2020

Hello all!  This is Laura Novak, PT, DPT, Cert MDT, and clinical director of Excellcare Physical Therapy.

Growing up, I dedicated any hours that were not in school to gymnastics training. The intense nature of the sport landed me in physical therapy for my back several times. These experiences are what led me down the path to become a physical therapist. Early in my physical therapy career, I worked alongside a therapist who practiced the McKenzie Method. The wonderful outcomes of the method were very clear to me, and I started on the rigorous journey to become an MDT certified therapist.

What is MDT therapy you might ask? It is a way of evaluating a patient using certain movements to expose a therapy diagnosis and treatment plan. The unique thing about the MDT method is that it is built to empower the patient. The treatments are based on active movements in which the patient is able to become independent in their care. It can be applied to neck pain, back pain, and even extremity pain and dysfunction.

This method utilizes very detailed questions and interactions with the therapist, and the treatment for each patient is individualized. The patient is always able to continue some portion of self treatment at home, which is beneficial on days when the patient is not coming to physical therapy.

As I was learning more about the method, the very first thing I noticed is how much more quickly the patients became better when the McKenzie method was applied. Many doctors seek out therapists who are certified in this method.

What does the exam look like? I will ask you to perform different motions, and we will have a discussion on how that affected your symptoms and I will test your function. It is very important to determine your response to certain loading strategies, which are forces from moving in a certain direction. The patient response and change in function will drive the next step of treatment.

My main goal is to keep you doing what you love to do. This system is built to get you back to doing what you need to and love to do, and I love empowering and educating my patients!

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