McKenzie Method

What is McKenzie Method ?

The McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) is an internationally acclaimed method of assessment and treatment for spinal and extremity pain developed by New Zealand Physiotherapist Robin McKenzie. It has been widely used all over the world for more than 30 years.

MDT clinicians are trained to assess and diagnose all areas of the musculoskeletal system. That means that if a problem exists in or around the spine, joint or muscle, an MDT evaluation may be appropriate.

MDT is a philosophy of active patient involvement and education that is trusted and used by clinicians and patients all over the world for back, neck and extremity problems. This approach continues to be one of the most researched physical therapy based methods available.

A key feature is the initial assessment - a safe and reliable way to reach an accurate diagnosis and only then make the appropriate treatment plan. Expensive tests such as MRI’s are often unnecessary. Certified MDT clinicians are able to rapidly determine whether the method will be effective for each patient.

In its truest sense, MDT is a comprehensive approach based on sound principles and fundamentals that, when fully understood and followed, is very successful.


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Benefits of MDT

1. Reliable Assessment

To be effective, any treatment system must be based upon a sound assessment and an accurate diagnosis or classification.

Scientific research supports the reliability of the McKenzie system and can assist to further improve the formal education.

Numerous studies provide data on the prevalence rates; demonstrate the comprehensiveness of the system and the validity of the diagnostic process.

2. Early prognosis

Patients seek information on their estimated prognosis.

The McKenzie evaluation process makes it possible to predict patient prognosis mostly within 1-2 consultations

3. Focus on Self treatment

The emphasis on self-treatment empowers the patient and helps foster a strong sense of independence. Research demonstrates that patients who are empowered through participation in their own care acquire the skills, knowledge and confidence that result in beneficial outcomes.

Further research has shown that management with a patient specific exercise program based on a classification system monitoring symptomatic and mechanical responses achieves better outcomes than non-specific exercise therapy.

4. Better Outcomes

The MDT evaluation allows a quick determination of who will benefit from management according to the MDT principles.

Using MDT strategies has been shown to be able to:

Reduce surgery rates
Avoid surgical interventions
Lead to better outcomes than therapy that is focused on spinal manipulation or general exercise
Be cost effective

5. Prevention of recurrence

Patients who have been educated in self-management are able to initiate treatment at the first sign of recurrence.

Symptoms can usually be relieved before they become severe.