The McKenzie Method, also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), is a method of self-care and prevention that involves active patient involvement and education for back, neck and extremity problems. It was initially developed by Robin McKenzie in New Zealand in the middle of the 20th century, and now has a large and quickly growing base of research support.
The McKenzie Method is an assessment method and treatment approach for all musculoskeletal conditions. As a system of classification based on the symptomatic and mechanical presentation to movements and postures, it guides clinical decision making and treatment during the duration of care as well as prevention of future episodes.
There are several myths that surround the McKenzie Method, for example that it is a series of “McKenzie Exercises”, that it is only for back or neck pain, or that it is a tool in your toolbox to go to if another tool doesn’t work.
The MDT system more than just a treatment technique. Instead, it is a way of thinking guided by a thorough assessment process. The assessment is the key, which leads to accurate diagnosis, which determines the treatment, which ultimately should yield a favorable outcome.
The McKenzie Method is also very effective for extremity conditions as well as spinal problems, and is a very reliable system in pinpointing where the problem is coming from.
Another beauty of the McKenzie Method is that it can spot early on in the process who should respond and who won’t. If the patient needs a different form of care, the system will let the patient and clinician know earlier than later.
Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy encompasses:
- The Mechanical Assessment Process