McKenzie Method of Diagnosis and Treatment

At Knoxville Spine and Sports, we have the benefit of offering patients a multi-disciplinary approach that is well-researched and proven in both literature and the clinic. We are pleased to have a physical therapist on staff who is certified in the McKenzie Method of Diagnosis and Treatment, or Certified MDT.

What is the McKenzie Method?

McKenzie treatment is widely known for a select few exercises that treat a bulging disc in either the neck or back, but the McKenzie Method of Diagnosis and Treatment is much more than that. It can be used for every joint in the spine and the upper and lower extremities. The McKenzie Method was developed by Robin McKenzie, a physiotherapist from New Zealand. The Method was introduced in North America in the 1980’s and has grown to become an internationally recognized method of treatment. To become a certified MDT therapist, clinicians complete 108 hours of classroom and hands-on training from the McKenzie Institute and are required to pass a written and clinical examination to demonstrate comprehension and appropriate technique.

How is the McKenzie Method Unique?

McKenzie MDT is different from typical physical therapy in a few ways. It is an assessment process that allows a clinician to classify the patient’s issue into one of four classifications: derangement, dysfunction, posture, and other. These classifications help to guide the clinician’s decision-making process, not only at the evaluation but throughout treatment because it is an ongoing assessment process each visit. These classifications, however, are not “cookie cutter” guidelines that mandate every patient with a certain diagnosis received the same exercise regimen. The McKenzie Method focuses the clinician’s assessment to allow an individualized treatment program to be developed. Another difference is that the MDT classification is not based on a pathoanatomical model, in which the diagnosis or pathology present drives the clinical decision making. For instance, if a patient has a diagnosis of rotator cuff tendinitis, with or without radiological evidence (x-rays, MRIs, etc.), the MDT clinician does not design a treatment program based on the diagnosis alone. A typical treatment would start with a set of predetermined rotator cuff strengthening exercises based on the presenting diagnosis and a few clinical tests for impingement or weakness. But with MDT, the patient is given a thorough history and physical exam, including repeated movements of both the shoulder and neck, to determine if in fact the suspect rotator cuff is the cause of the patient’s issue. This ensures that patients begin treatment with the exercises that will best suit their individual needs.

Better Outcomes?

The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment is patient-centered and patient-driven. From the first visit, the emphasis is determining what the patient can do to alleviate his or her problem. Throughout the evaluation and each treatment visit, the patient is educated about his or her issue and guided through how best to treat and manage the issue, both for recover during that episode of care and for the prevention of future episodes.

Many patients have experience the ability to rapidly reverse lower back and neck pain through Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment. Come and find out what you can do to alleviate the pain that is limiting your activities and life. Discover the difference for yourself and find out what we mean by Together for Health.

Give us a call at (865) 337-5574  Knoxville Spine and Sports is here to help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be!

Font Resize