The McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) is an internationally researched and acclaimed system of assessment and management for spinal and extremity musculoskeletal disorders developed by New Zealand Physiotherapist Robin McKenzie. It has been widely used all over the world for more than 60 years.
Clinicians trained in the MDT system are able to assess and classify all complaints of the musculoskeletal system. That means that if a problem is coming from the spine, extremity joints, muscles or tendons, then a MDT evaluation is appropriate. An MDT clinician will be able to identify if MDT is indicated, what management strategy is best, and outline a predicted recovery pathway.
A key feature of the method is the initial assessment – a safe and reliable format to reach an accurate classification and only then develop the appropriate management plan, taking into account all the various factors that can influence the patient’s experience of pain. Expensive tests such as MRI’s are often unnecessary.
MDT is a comprehensive assessment and management approach based on sound and logical principles that focuses on the patient and their potential to self-manage and recover their previous level of function.
McKenzie Method is used when necessary, with patients during a normal appointment. Depending on the symptoms and diagnosis, you may be given a series of home exercises to do. This is an integral part of the McKenzie method.
The McKenzie Method is an option for anyone that is suffering from low back pain, sciatica, mid back pain, neck pain, or radiculitis into the arms. We may also use this method in the extremities as well.
I have tried physical therapy before. How is the McKenzie Method different?
We have had many patients go through months of physical therapy or chiropractic and have come to us specifically for this method. We will be able to tell within the first couple of visits if we can help you or if we need to refer you out. The classification and diagnosis system are what sets this method apart from traditional physical therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the McKenzie Method work?
The exercises and therapies used in this method are designed to move the spine in the proper direction. The idea is that by doing specific exercises, you are able to pull the pain from your neck, arm, shoulder, leg, knee, and so forth, and center it in the back. Once treatment is centralized, it can then more easily and effectively be treated.
The McKenzie Method uses intentional exercises without the use of heat/cold therapy and other options.
How effective is the McKenzie Method?
When used, the McKenzie Method has been proven effective – but its level of effectiveness will vary for each person. After a couple of sessions, your therapist will be able to determine whether or not you will be able to reap the benefits of this treatment or if something else may be a better fit.
How long does it take for the McKenzie Method to work?
Dedication to treatment is necessary for it to work, both in therapy sessions and at home. Most patients will begin noticing a significant difference in the way they feel within the first 3 weeks.
Are McKenzie exercises safe?
Yes, the exercises you will do during this treatment are intended to relieve pain and are regarded as safe. Keep in mind that in the process, pain may temporarily increase due to the treatment methods. This is to be expected and will not last.
Can the McKenzie Method help with a herniated disc?
Yes. This method of treatment has been very helpful in providing relief to many patients suffering from a herniated disk.