KALKASKA COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) --In this month's Your Health Matters' report we take a close look a physical therapy method that's newer to northern Michigan.
The McKenzie Method being used at Kalkaska Memorial Health Center incorporates certain forms of exercise for people with lower back injuries to other extremities.
One man from Kalkaska shares his story about how the physical therapy has helped him get back to his normal routine after he hurt his back and spine while shoveling snow.
Marty Koskella, a retired engineer and his wife recently moved from southern Michigan to start their retirement life in Kalkaska.
"I like to spend a lot of time at home. I like walking along my creek. I also play the guitar," Marty said.
Just a few months ago all of that changed when Marty hurt himself while shoveling snow.
"I was lifting the shovel with my legs and felt something snap and I said 'uh oh' and then the next day I was here in the ER," Marty said.
Marty has pinched a nerve in his lower back area and two herniated disks. It was the pain that soon became unbearable.
"Pain was severe level at an 8 and 9. I could not sit. Laying down was difficult. The only thing that worked was standing up," according to Marty.
That's when his doctor referred him to Munson Healthcare's Kalkaska Memorial Hospital where he started a form of physical therapy called the McKenzie Method.
It focuses on exercise to help people with lower back pain.
"It focuses mostly on the spine but works great for extremities, any outpatient orthopedic injury or post-surgical patients do well with it," said Sta's Rozanski.
"Our first goal is to determine if we can help them. Second goal is to reduce their symptoms and get them feeling better and get them back to doing what they love, also to teach them to prevent it from reoccurring," Sta's added.
Sta's has extensive training with the McKenzie Method and has worked with Marty for the past several weeks to help ease his pain in his lower back.
"It does seem to becoming more popular in the area. We have two certified clinicians here and we've only been certified for a year now,"Sta's said.
"When I started I had a pain in my rear down to my feet a burning sensation in my lower leg," Marty said. "After the first couple of weeks that went away and my upper leg pain went away and finally the rest of my symptoms disappear."
Marty kept a detailed journal throughout his eigh sessions which he said helped Sta's guide him through the therapy.
"He does have an exercise he needs to do daily" Sta's said. "It's about ten to twenty seconds. If symptoms return he knows what to do."
Also, for more information on the McKenzie Method at Kalkaska Memorial Health Center click here.