McKenzie Therapy (Specialized Form of Physical Therapy) 


“Take Control of Your Pain” -MDT

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Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy also known as the McKenzie Method® is a specialized form of physical therapy that is trusted and used by specialists for back, neck, and joint problems.

McKenzie Therapy is a unique form of physical therapy individualizing care for the patient. McKenzie Therapy is a reliable assessment process intended for all musculoskeletal problems, including pain in the back, neck and extremities (i.e., shoulder, knee, ankle etc.), as well as issues associated with sciatica, sacroiliac joint pain, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, muscle spasms and intermittent numbness in hands or feet.

Most low back pain is “mechanical” in origin, meaning that it is movement or postural based pain.

This form of physical therapy is predicated on an assessment that classifies the disorder, identifies reductive loading strategies, and provides preventative measures for the patient. Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy is a mechanical approach to treating spine and joint disorders. It is based on providing exercises and education regarding loading strategies.

McKenzie Therapy consists of specific exercises that is vastly different than your typical physical therapy. These exercises are defined by loading strategies in which they load force onto the spine and joints. The characteristics of these loading strategies is reduction of pain, centralization of pain, and increased ranges of motion. The patient is educated in understanding their disorder so they know how to respond when they are by themselves. Identifying the pain mechanism and limitations of the disorder is integral in knowing how to respond.


Unique to the McKenzie Method® is a comprehensive and logical step-by-step process to evaluate the patient’s problem quickly. This mechanical examination can “classify” most patient conditions by the level of pain or limitation that results from certain movements or positions. A McKenzie assessment can eliminate the need for expensive and/or invasive procedures. Research has shown the initial McKenzie assessment procedures to be as reliable as costly diagnostic imaging (i.e., x-rays, MRIs) to determine the source of the problem and quickly identify responders and non-responders.
McKenzie treatment prescribes a series of individualized exercises. The emphasis is on active patient involvement, which minimizes the number of visits to the clinic. Ultimately, most patients can successfully treat themselves when provided the necessary knowledge and tools. For patients with more difficult mechanical problems, a certified McKenzie clinician can provide advanced hands-on techniques until the patient can self-administer.
By learning how to self-treat the current problem, patients gain hands-on knowledge on how to minimize the risk of recurrence and to rapidly deal with recurrence if it occurs. The likelihood of problems persisting can more likely be prevented through self-maintenance.

More information available at The McKenzie Institute’s Website