The McKenzie method (also MDT = Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy) is a comprehensive method of care primarily used in physical therapy.
A physical therapist named Robin McKenzie (born 1931) developed the method in the late 50s. In 1981 he launched the concept which he called Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) – a system encompassing assessment (evaluation), diagnosis and treatment for the spine and extremities. MDT categorizes patients’ complaints not on an anatomical basis, but subgroups them by the clinical presentation of patients.
MDT uses primarily self treatment strategies, and minimizes manual therapy procedures. The McKenzie trained therapist supports the patient with passive procedures only if an individual self treatment program is not fully effective. McKenzie believes that self treatment is the best way to achieve a lasting improvement of back pain and neck pain.
The McKenzie method is commonly used worldwide in diagnosis and treatment of low back pain, neck pain, and peripheral joint complaints.