What is the McKenzie Method?

Young woman with back pain.The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) is a system of assessment and management of musculoskeletal problems.

It is comprehensive, safe, and perhaps the most researched system of assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal problems used by physiotherapists.

A link to the research behind the McKenzie Method can be found here.


McKenzie Method assessment allows us to identify:

  • who is likely to respond to treatment and who is unlikely to respond
  • who is likely to improve quickly and who is likely to be slower
  • who is not suitable for physiotherapy treatment
  • who could require further investigation

With the McKenzie method, the emphasis is on learning the skills to manage a problem independently.

With the correct exercise and advice to help a problem in the short term, it will be possible to also manage it or prevent it in the long term.

In some instances, hands on treatment is also required to help a problem to the point where it can be successfully self-managed.  The McKenzie method helps to identify which problems need this extra ‘hands on’ help.


There are some useful products on our products page including the classic self help books ‘Treat Your Own Neck’ and ‘Treat Your Own Back’, and a selection of genuine McKenzie lumbar rolls.