70% of acute low back patients and 50% of chronic back patients have been shown to have a centralization phenomenon.

Centralization.  The abolition of distal (peripheral) symptoms in response to a specific loading tactic. It is a wonderful occurrence and one I would recommend you strive to achieve with any of your spine and referral symptom patients.  This is not only me but due to the science showing it can aid in diagnosis, yields a good prognosis (or even lack of good prognosis) and overall therapeutic intervention approach.

Pending your strategy, either it be a exercise, specific movement patterns or mobilization/manipulation; I would highly recommend you try to achieve this phenomenon.  Bottom line.  In my opinion, you don’t have to be certified in this or that, just use a clinical reasoning model to get you there. This is a reliable, valid and easily defined approach to getting results.

With 70% of acute back pain patients and 50% of chronic back pain patients shown to have this clinical indicator, you have a good likelihood that this will occur and escort you down a road to specific treatment strategies.  So, listen to the Hunger Games’ escort and “may the odds be ever in your favor’.

Aina A, May S, Clare H.  The centralization phenomenon of spinal symptoms – a systematic review.  Manual Therapy 9 (2004) 134-143. 


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