Information for Healthcare Providers

  • Are you a medical professional with a patient presenting with back, neck or extremity disorder?
  • Do you want to find out whether your patient could be a suitable candidate for treatment with the McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT)?

The information below outlines more about MDT to help you make an informed decision regarding referral of your patient to a credentialled MDT clinician. You will also find more information about MDT in other areas of this website.

McKenzie Method® or MDT

The McKenzie Method® is also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) and was developed by a New Zealand physiotherapist, Robin McKenzie.  This system has been extensively researched since Robin McKenzie first published ‘The Lumbar Spine - Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy‘ in 1981. It is now one of the most widely used assessment and treatment approaches for musculoskeletal pain in the world

Specific features of MDT

The clinician examines the patient using a validated assessment protocol.  After a history is taken, the clinician then guides the patient through a defined series of manoeuvres to determine the classification of their problem. On the basis of this classification the patient is given a tailor-made treatment programme.  The emphasis within MDT is on promoting independence and self-treatment. The treatment may include manual therapeutic techniques, such as mobilisation and manipulation but the goal is always to have the patient become independent of the clinician and able to self-manage their complaint.

Indication for MDT

The results from the initial consultation determine whether the patient’s complaint is suitable for this type of intervention. If MDT is not indicated, the patient will be referred back with appropriate recommendations.

Most common indications for referral

  • Patients with acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain, including headache.
  • Patients with sciatica or brachialgia for which you are considering CT, MRI or surgery, even in the presence of neurological involvement.
  • Patients with mechanical back, neck or extremity problems, which have not responded to other interventions.

Benefits of MDT

  • Reliable assessment
  • Early prognosis
  • Focus on self-treatment
  • Prevention of recurrence
  • Better outcomes