Episode 94 - Eva Novakova, part 1: Knowing What's Important

Eva Nováková PT, Dip MDT

Eva Nováková graduated in Physiotherapy in Prague in 1985 and also achieved qualifications in Manual Therapy, PNF and Vojta Therapy. She has been working in the Neurology Department of the Central Military Hospital in Prague since 1985 and was appointed Consultant Clinical Physiotherapy Specialist for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation there in 2006. Her interest in the McKenzie method dates back to the late 1990s; after passing the McKenzie Credentialing Examination, Tucson, USA in 2002 she continued to qualify as Senior Instructor of MDT in 2011, and in 2014 she was appointed member of the European Region of the International Education Committee (IEC) in McKenzie. She founded the Czech branch of the McKenzie Institute International and teaches in this capacity as well as at the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague. Her particular interest is in teaching the McKenzie method at all levels, while her hobbies include cycling, swimming and gardening.

Show Notes

Professional Background

Eva began her studies in 1985 in Prague, Czech Republic, where she studies physiotherapy. Upon graduating she began working in a military hospital treating patients with many and various neurological conditions with fewer musculoskeletal patients which were more difficult for her.  She elaborates on how she was taught and how the patient was treated based on asymmetry.  Eva even tried very hard to correct asymmetries on her own children but without success.  She describes her experience with the Vojtka approach that is popular there in the Czech Republic.  

Eva was made aware of a new approach that was coming to Prague.  This was a McKenzie method course and Scott Herbowy presented this approach to more than 200 attendees.  She describes how the general attitude was resistant to Scott and this approach.  She recounts her initial opposition and how her attitude changed as she attempted to use the method.

She continues bringing us through her further studies in this method and up to her current work. 


“If you don’t know what’s important, then everything is important. When everything is important, you have to do everything. When you have to do everything, you don’t have time to think about what is really important.”

To Eva, the Mckenzie assessment is the structure that allows her to know what’s important.

Greatest Challenge

Mrs. Novakova believes understanding of her peers about the importance of an effective assessment and treatment method is a great challenge.  Insurance coverage is also a challenge and an obstacle for many who find difficulty in being able to afford her services.  She believes that their is some increased interest in MDT but she also sees that resistance to different ideas still exists.

Memorable Patient

Eva doesn't think of one patient as much as she thinks of many of her patients who say, “Why didn’t anyone ever tell me this before.”  She also hears this from students.  This encourages Eva to continue to work hard with her patients and to continue to spread the news about MDT and to teach as many students as she has the opportunity to.