Episode 73 - Todd Edelson, part 2: Learn the Trade, Not the Tricks

Dr. Todd Edelson PT, DPT, Dip MDT

Dr. Todd Edelson of Montclair NJ USA, completed a bachelors of Science at the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and a masters in immunology in 1987.  He certified in 1991 with the McKenzie Institute and achieved his Diploma in 1994. He was an instructor for the McKenzie Institute including instructing the diploma program at the New Jersey location from 2003-2011. He’s the owner and clinician of two direct-pay certified McKenzie clinics - one in Cedar Grove, NJ and the other in Manhattan, NY.  He’s a life-long athlete participating in competitive olympic weightlifting, and now enjoys hiking and backpacking with his wife Maureen and two sons Ian and Ken.

Show Notes

Patient Analogy

For prophylaxis Todd uses the analogy of their experience in going to the dentist and he asks if the dentist, after their successful appointment, encourages them to stop brushing there teeth. When they say no and remark that that would be ridiculous, Todd makes the analogy that continuing with their home exercise program is much the same.

Common Mistakes from Students

Cervical rotation and lateral mobilization in loaded and unloaded positions.  The greater error, Todd feels, is that we often put our hands on the patient too soon.  

Best Advice Ever Received 

Todd was told, 

“The person sitting in front of you knows the most about their problem than anybody, so its a good idea to listen to them.”

Other great advice, 

“Todd, memory is infallible.  The intelligent person isn’t the person who knows everything, but they know where to find it.”  

In todays time of technology and the internet, Todd would amend that to say, 

“The intelligent person isn’t the one who knows how to find the information, but knows what to do with it once they find it.”


Todd refers to Robin McKenzie’s texts on a very regular basis:

Lumbar Spine - Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy

Cervical and Thoracic Spine - Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy

The Human Extremities - Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy

Achieving Maximal Improvement 

Todd says it depends on the situation. One is when the patient has little to no responsibility for payment and progress tends to be slow.  Others may be fearful of being released worried that they will relapse.  Some have lifestyle behaviors that have to change to improve further. And others will recur when they fail to complete the course of treatment simply because they've achieved more than expected originally.  In all cases Todd believes it comes down to setting expectations early on.


Heavy-load eccentric calf muscle training for the treatment of chronic Achilles tendinosis. Alfredson H, Pietilä T, Jonsson P, Lorentzon R. Am J Sports Med. 1998 May-Jun;26(3):360-6.

Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy versus Sham Surgery for a Degenerative Meniscal Tear
Sihvonen R. N Engl J Med 2013; 369:2515-2524 December 26, 2013

Does it matter which exercise? A randomized control trial of exercise for low back pain.
Long A. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2004 Dec 1;29(23):2593-602.

If you want to learn more about Dr. Todd Edelson and Montclair Physical Therapy you can read more at http://montclairphysicaltherapy.com