McKenzie Method - Peripheralization vs Centralization

Bradley Muse  0:04 

All right. In this video, we’re going to talk about a phenomenon called Centralization and Peripheralization. I’m Dr. Brad Muse, this is Dr. Ben Kraft. Now, centralization and peripheralization stem from something called the McKenzie Method. So, you can get on our YouTube channel and look at some of the other videos that we’ve made that will explain a little bit more about the McKenzie Method, but for the sake of this video, we’re going to talk about centralization and peripheralization. Centralization is the act of bringing the symptoms from a distant site up to its origin, in this case being the spine. So, if somebody were to come in with something like sciatica-type symptoms, symptoms are going down the back of the leg, centralization is the act of pulling those symptoms up towards the origin, being the spine in that example. Peripheralization, you may guess, is the opposite of that. So oftentimes, when patients come into our office, they are peripheralized. So, symptoms have gone away from the origin, the spine, and have made their way into the extremity, whether it be the leg or the arm. And there’s actually a really good study that that outlines, it’s called the expo study.

Ben Kraft  1:10 

Yeah. Just showed that a significant portion of extremity pain; arm pain, leg pain, is actually as a spinal origin. So, we see that, in here, everything from like people coming in complaining of elbow pain, then when we screen it out, we figure out it’s actually coming from the neck, and we treat the neck to fix it. So, in that process, like he was saying, improving is working it back towards the spine. So, someone comes in with pain into their shoulder or pain into their arm, and we start to treat it, we want to see it climbing back towards the neck. If they come back, and they said, “No, it’s now down into my hand,” that’s peripheralizing, or worse.


Bradley Muse  1:46 

Right. So, it kind of helps guide us in the treatment. We want to see those symptoms come up towards the spine. If we’re taking someone through a repeated movement, and those symptoms are beginning to go in the wrong direction, well, fine, we’re taking the guesswork out of this. Now we know we’re heading in the wrong direction, we still get information from that so we need to change our approach and figure out the direction that’s going to bring those symptoms up or centralize them. So, some of the common things we may see are like carpal tunnel syndrome. The number of cases we see walk in this door who have carpal tunnel syndrome, who may have even had the surgery for and still have symptoms, actually end up being a peripheralization coming from the neck. And the only way that we can figure this out is through doing a really thorough exam like the McKinsey Method. So, if you want to learn a little bit more, make sure you hop over to one of our other videos to learn more about what the McKinsey Method is, and then, we have another video that’s going to detail what the actual exam looks like. So, if you are experiencing any symptoms in the extremity, whether it’s the arm or the leg, it may actually be the spine that’s causing those symptoms, especially if you’re not having any sort of changes with the typical treatments that are going after those specific areas. So, if you guys want more information, visit our website. You can book a discovery call with us if you just want to chat a little bit more about it, or just give our office a call and you can find that on our website. Thank you guys.

Ben Kraft  3:11


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