Numerous people who suffer from low back pain also experience radiculopathy or sciatica. They most often describe it as numbness, mild burning sensation, needles and pins, tingling, ants, shooting pain or electricity that happens around the hip or down the leg.
Piriformis syndrome, sciatica and lower back pain cause extreme pain and even though many people have the symptoms associated with these health conditions, the methods used for their treatment vary.
In order to successfully treat this pain and help their patients, some healthcare professionals developed a concept called centralization, whose basic idea is that the pain should move up in the lower back while healing.
There is a great possibility that this procedure will intensify the pain, but this is a clear indicator that the treatment is providing positive effects. If the leg pain and symptoms are alleviated, then, this method is working. Most often, back pain doesn’t increase much by so-called self-reported VAS.
Moreover, centralization is a basic concept in the McKenzie method of treatment and assessment. Hence, any evidence confirming this hypothesis would surely add credibility and relevance to this method as well.
In 2008, Werneke decided to conduct an examination in 2008, which should have pointed out whether the symptoms reported by patients following centralization were indicators of positive results or not.
Patients suffering from cervical and lumbar syndromes were healed with different methods, not just with McKenzie.
The findings of this study were astonishing! Namely, just 17% of patients showed symptoms linked to centralization. Perhaps the results were influenced bu the type of the injury, the time frame in which the treatments were done and the type of treatments these patients have followed.
However, it was evident that centralization was much higher in patients who had more severe symptoms, patients that were younger and had better health in general.
On the other hand, non-centralization was linked to reduced ability on functional task testing and significantly higher pain results in patients with lumbar symptoms. In people with cervical pain, non-centralization was linked to higher pain ratings but all other indicators were the same.
Furthermore, we must mention that the final results were absolutely not affected by the number of visits. To be more specific, probably centralization helps the prediction of pain status and functional status in those with lumbar pain.
On the other hand, Robin A. McKenzie tried to offer another solution to these problems. He was a famous PT and an experienced specialist focused on reduction of pain linked to disc issues.
This condition is characterized by pain that begins from the glutes and goes all the way down to the toes affecting the entire leg.
The specific sensation can be described as tingling or numbing pain that can be felt regardless of your position – standing, lying down,sitting or even walking.
He invented an exercise that can be of great help in these cases. It is called “the McKenzie press up” and it has already helped hundreds of people to soothe the pain and centralize this pain in the specific area of the lower back which is extremely beneficial.