The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT)

Take control of your pain, empower yourself and get back to the life you love with the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy®!

What is the McKenzie method of MDT

The McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® is an active patient treatment philosophy that emphasizes prevention and intervention, and encourages patients to be in control of their own treatment. Using its thorough assessment and diagnostic process, Advent Physical Therapy’s certified MDT physical therapists execute a total system of care based on sound principles and backed by extensive research.

The McKenzie Method of MDT 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. If you are suffering from any such issues, then an MDT assessment may be right for you!

Developed by world-renowned expert physical therapist Robin McKenzie in the 1950s, this well-researched, exercise-based approach of assessment, diagnosis, and treatment uses a comprehensive evaluation of to determine their individualized strategies for recovery. The treatment principles of the McKenzie Method focuses on the body’s ability to repair itself, allowing you to become pain-free without the use of medication, needles, or surgery. McKenzie allows patients to learn the principles and empowers them to be in control of their own symptom management

This system of diagnosis and patient management applies to acute, subacute and chronic conditions of the spine and extremities. It offers a reliable and practical approach that focuses on “what patients need” and not on “what therapists want to do”.

  • Backed by years of research, evidence and clinical practice
  • Known to show results in as little as two to three visits
  • Assessment-driven and individualized treatment plans
  • Active, not passive, therapy strategies for more successful management
  • Cost efficient – treatment without expensive tests or procedures
  • Non-invasive – no needles, no surgery
  • Self-directed and managed – our certified therapists work with you and teach you
  • Preventative – lifelong knowledge and skills

The Results

The McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) is an evidence-based assessment and management protocol for patients with spinal and extremity.

The MDT assessment enables clinicians to triage patients accurately and efficiently, particularly those with the pain of spinal origin, to the appropriate services required. The assessment also identifies non-mechanical pain or contraindications to therapy where immediate referral onwards is necessary. 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 individualized to the patient.

The unique combination of postural advice, and the application of patient-specific 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.


Al-Obaidi S, Al-Sayegh N,Ben Nakhi H, Al-Mandeel M, Evaluation of the McKenzie Intervention for Chronic Low Back Pain by Using Selected Physical and Bio-Behavioral Outcome Measures, Phys Med Rehab, Vol 3 (7): 637-646, 2011

Albert HB, Manniche C., The efficacy of systematic active conservative treatment for patients with severe sciatica. A single-blinded randomized controlled trial. Spine, 37:7:531-542, 2011

Abdulwahab SS, Sabbahi M, Neck retractions, cervical root decompression, and radicular pain., J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, Jan;30(1):4-9, 1999.

Guzy G, Franczuk B, Krkowski A., A clinical trial comparing the McKenzie method and a complex rehabilitation program in patients with cervical derangement syndrome., J Orth Trauma Surg Rel Res, 2:32-38, 2011

For more information contact us today at Grand Rapids, Ada, Caledonia, Hastings, Jenison, Grandville, Byron, Kentwood & Walker, MI Centers.

It was my first time going to physical therapy and I give Advent 5 stars! The staff is super friendly and I couldn’t have asked for a better place! I would definitely recommend them! Thank you for helping me get back on my feet after my accident.

Allen F

I owe my health and well-being to the staff at Advent. Without their help, I would be in a tons of pain. This is an awesome place that cares about you as a person and your health. They give 100%.

Casey S