The McKenzie Method® - an overview

The McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) is an evidence based assessment and management protocol for patients with spinal and extremity problems1-4. Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® has been shown to be a reliable assessment system to categorise patients into mechanical sub – groups5.

The MDT assessment enables clinicians to triage patients accurately and efficiently, particularly those with pain of spinal origin, to the appropriate services required. The assessment also identifies non-mechanical pain or contra indications to therapy where immediate referral onwards is necessary6. Research has shown that the majority of patients with mechanical spinal pain respond well to specific exercises and experience fewer symptoms when treated with exercises individualised to the patient7.

The unique combination of postural advice, and the application of specific individualised exercises when delivered by an MDT trained clinician enables patients to self-manage their condition. This process promotes patient empowerment, increases satisfaction with treatment and is also cost effective.8,9


  1. McKenzie and May 2000, 2003, 2006,
  2. May and Donelson 2008,
  3. Chorti et al. 2009,
  4. Clare et al. 2004.
  5. May et al. 2006
  6. McKenzie and May 2003.
  7. Long et al. 2004, 2008.
  8. Manca et al. 2007,
  9. Machado et al. 2010.