McKenzie Method: An Effective Approach to Decreasing Pain

Category: Community Corner, Patient Education

The McKenzie Method, also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), is an internationally recognized method of assessment and treatment for back, neck, and extremity pain. Developed by New Zealand Physiotherapist Robin McKenzie, this method is used by physiotherapists around the world.

I first gained exposure to the McKenzie Method as a physiotherapy student at the University of Toronto. Through placement and labs I witnessed how simple, and yet effective the approach was in practice and was motivated to pursue further training while working at Pro Motion Physiotherapy. After completing Part A: An Introduction to the Concepts and Applications of the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, I began to incorporate the method into my practice and have been pleased to notice substantial improvements in my patients’ recovery. And, of course, my patients are pleased as well!

Here are some of my key takeaways from my McKenzie Method training:

  1. The initial assessment facilitates a safe and reliable way to reach an accurate diagnosis. Once the appropriate diagnosis/classification has been made an appropriate treatment plan can be tailored for each patient.
  2. Many people with pain have a directional preference of movement, which can often help relieve symptoms of pain quite quickly. It is important for people to know what movements they should be doing. (And not doing).
  3. People benefit from learning how to self-manage their symptoms. Simple exercises and education can help prevent another occurrence of pain.
  4. Tests such as MRI’s are often unnecessary.
  5. Biopsychosocial factors influence lower back pain. It is important to acknowledge these factors in addition to physical contributors to pain.

Pro Motion Physiotherapy is pleased to have a number of Certified MDT clinicians. They are Physiotherapists who have taken numerous courses and have successfully completed the certification requirements.

Have pain that you have concerns about? Please contact Pro Motion Physiotherapy to see an MDT Certified, Pro Motion Physiotherapist.

For more information on the McKenzie Method please go to:

Please do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions or if we can be of any further assistance.

Lauren Handler, Physiotherapist