The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) is a Method of assessment and treatment for spinal pain developed by New Zealand Physiotherapist Robin McKenzie.

Through the McKenzie method, a clinician evaluates a patient by taking a thorough history and performing a mechanical examination. The evaluation includes observing the patient’s response to repeated, end-range spinal movements or sustained positions in order to provide a mechanical diagnosis. This comprehensive and logical process is unique to the McKenzie method and allows the clinician to evaluate the patient’s problem quickly and effectively. 

Once the mechanical diagnosis has been made, a series of individualised exercises are prescribed.  The patient must take an active role in his or her own recovery, with the emphasis being on guided self-treatment.  MDT credits the patient’s ability to learn the principles and be in control of their own symptom management, reducing their dependency on medical intervention and gaining life-long pain management and preventative skills.  Some patients require advanced spinal mobilisations or manipulations by a therapist until they can self manage.

The aim of the McKenzie method is to:

  • Reduce Pain

  • Improve Posture

  • Restore Full Function

  • Prevent Recurrence

  • Educate the patient on self-management