Information for Healthcare Providers

Are you a health care professional with a patient presenting with a back, neck or extremity disorder? Do you want to find out whether your patient would be a good candidate for treatment with the McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT)?

The information below outlines more about MDT to help you make an informed decision regarding referral of your patient to a certified MDT clinician. You will also find more information about MDT in other areas of this website.

McKenzie Method® of MDT

The McKenzie Method® is also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) and was developed by a New Zealand physiotherapist, Robin McKenzie.  This system has been extensively researched since Robin McKenzie first published The Lumbar Spine -‘Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy’ in 1981. MDT is now one of the most widely used assessment and treatment systems for musculoskeletal pain in the world.

Specific features of McKenzie MDT

The clinician examines the patient using a validated assessment protocol.  After a history is taken, the clinician puts the patient through a defined series of manoeuvres to determine the classification of their problem. On the basis of this classification the patient is given a tailor-made treatment programme.  The emphasis within MDT is on promoting independence and self-treatment. The treatment may include manual therapeutic techniques, such as mobilisation and manipulation but the goal is always to have the patient become independent of the clinician and self-managing their disorder.

Indication for MDT

The results from the initial consultation determines whether the patient’s disorder is suitable for this type of intervention. If MDT is not indicated, the patient will be referred with appropriate information and recommendations. 

Most common indications for referral

  • Patients with acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain, including headache. 
  • Patients with sciatica or brachialgia for which you are considering CT, MRI or surgery.
  • Patients with mechanical back, neck or extremity problems, which have not responded to other interventions. 

Benefits of MDT

  • Reliable Assessment
  • Early Prognosis
  • Focus on Self-treatment
  • Prevention of recurrence
  • Better Outcomes