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Healing Troublesome Necks, Backs, Extremities
Saturday, May 15, 2010 • Posted May 15, 2010

New Zealand-trained therapist joins Hill Country Memorial

Physical Therapist Curt Rickert, a diplomat of the McKenzie method of mechanical diagnosis and therapy has joined Hill Country Memorial at Our Rehab.

Rickert graduated from Michigan State University in East Lansing in 1980 with a bachelor of science. He earned a master of physical therapy in 1991 from Des Moines University. After he was credentialed in the McKenzie method in Austin, he went to New Zealand where he earned the Diploma in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (Dip. MDT), recognized as the highest level of clinical expertise in the McKenzie Institute International.

"Robin McKenzie is a physical therapist from New Zealand who is an internationally recognized authority on diagnosis and treatment of low back pain," Rickert said. "I actually got to meet him while I was there studying. The basic tenet of the McKenzie method is that activity and targeted exercises heal troublesome necks, backs and extremities better and faster than passive therapies such as heat or bed rest," he said. "And we’ve found that most patients can learn these active methods and take care of any recurrences that happen without having to come back to me again and again."

Rickert joins Brad Harding, PT, MPT, Cert. MDT, director of the hospital’s rehabilitation services, as the only McKenzie credentialed therapists in the 78624 ZIP code.

"I am excited to be joining a practice already led by a credentialed practitioner in the mechanical diagnosis and therapy discipline. As trained therapists, anytime we can offer a safe and effective treatment, one that is a less expensive option and one that most patients can learn in order to treat themselves, it is good news for everyone," he said.

Mark D. Eden, MD, a family practitioner in Fredericksburg, said he is a supporter of the McKenzie method. "I personally have experienced the benefits of McKenzie when I had serious lower back issues," he said. "It helped me, and I like to pass the same opportunity on to my patients. I think it’s great that we have these McKenzie-trained therapists right here in Fredericksburg."

For more information on this or other rehabilitation services at HCM, call 830-997-1357.

Method helps Mason rancher get back to his cattle business

John C. "Corky" Eckert of Mason, a veteran of two successful back surgeries and one of Curt Rickert’s patients, said the McKenzie method has made it possible for him to continue his ranching activities.

"Before my surgeries, the pain got so severe that it would go from my back all down my leg," he said. "I would have to hold onto the fence to go from gate to gate."

After his second surgery, when his family wanted to give him a golf cart to help him get around the cattle pens, Eckert refused. He grew up around ranching and had always used horses. "And I wasn’t going to have a darn golf cart," he said. His son, Carlton Eckert, presented him with one anyway, and, to his surprise, he liked it.

Eckert, a high-tech cattle broker who sells livestock via satellite to buyers across the United States, said a few years after his second surgery he began to experience back pain again. "My problems had extended," he said. After x-rays and MRIs, in an attempt to avoid a third surgery, Eckert was sent to see Ellen Lin, M.D., a San Antonio physician who is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation with a subspecialty certification in pain medicine. She referred him to Rickert.

"Curt taught me some very simple exercises that I can do at home," Eckert said. "They have been highly successful, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results we’ve achieved. Curt is a great guy. I’ve already recommended that several people I know go to see Dr. Lin, and she has referred them to Curt. I know that I’m in a much more comfortable zone than I have experienced in a good many years."

Does he still use that golf cart?  "I wouldn’t do without it" he said.

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