McKenzie Technique (Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy)

McKenzie Technique (Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy)

McKenzie Neck Patient
McKenzie Neck Patient

McKenzie Technique (Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy)

The McKenzie Method teaches patients how to treat their own musculoskeletal problems through education and symptom-specific exercises. As such, patient empowerment is emphasized and treatment relies on a strong patient-therapist partnership, starting with a systematic evaluation to determine the best care for acute, sub-acute and chronic conditions of the spine and extremities. Together, patient and therapist work through the following steps to determine how to most effectively restore healthy movement and prevent future injury:

  1. Active Examination: A certified McKenzie Method therapist listens to a patient's detailed history while asking them to perform repeated movements and positions. This allows the practitioner to establish baseline mobility from which to create an individualized management plan.

  2. Dynamic Diagnosis: The therapist then prescribes specific exercises and guidance regarding posture, movement and behavior outside the therapeutic setting. Sometimes, the therapist will also perform hands-on manipulation to support range of motion.

  3. Treatment: The goal of treatment is to educate and therefore empower the patient to correct his or her own physical impairments as they occur so they can prevent future pain or injury. And if/when symptoms do occur, the patient then has the tools to effectively and safely self-treat.
“If there is the slighted chance that a patient can be educated in the methods that enable him to reduce his own pain and disability using his own understanding and resources, he should receive that education. Every patient is entitled to the information every therapist should be obliged to provide it.” (Robin McKenzie, founder of the McKenzie Method)

To learn more about research literature related to this therapeutic modality, visit McKenziemdt.org.


Rib Pain with McKenzie PT
Rib Pain with McKenzie PT

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