Physiotherapy and The McKenzie Method

Physiotherapy and The McKenzie Method

The McKenzie Method (also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy - or MDT) is a physiotherapy method for assessing and treating pain in your back, neck and/or extremities. It was developed by New Zealand physiotherapist Robin McKenzie, and became widely used in the 1980’s. Today, the method is used all over the world to help people in pain and is taught in schools as a primary method of assessment and treatment. Sometimes as little as one or two sessions can produce results.

The McKenzie Method breaks down into four basic components: Assessment, Classification, Treatment and Prevention. Assessment involves your physiotherapist taking a detailed history of your pain, and then asking you to repeat certain movements and rest in certain positions so that your concern can be categorized properly. Classification is taking the information gained in the Assessment stage and having your physiotherapist further determine where to place your condition categorically, so that your treatment can best address your pain. Treatment involves prescribed exercises and advice related to posture, with the goal being to have your treatment be as effective as possible in the least possible number of sessions. Prevention is the natural progression of you, the patient, taking an active role in your treatment process through self-care and maintenance.

What can physiotherapy and The McKenzie Method Treat?

Conditions treated by the method include:

The McKenzie Method is not recommended for concerns where lengthening your spine may have a negative effect, such as with lumbar spinal stenosis or facet joint osteoarthritis. Your physiotherapist at Yellow Gazebo can properly determine whether the method would be of use to your, or contraindicated.

If you’re wondering whether or not The McKenzie Method is right for you, make an appointment with one of our physiotherapists at Yellow Gazebo for an assessment. They are the most qualified experts on determining what techniques might best help your pain, and will do whatever is most appropriate for getting you feeling better as quickly as possible.

For more information on our physiotherapists or to book your next appointment, please call us at 416-909-2334, email us at, or book online using the link below. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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