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McKenzie therapy

What is McKenzie MDT?

McKenzie MDT is the abbreviation for Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment. It is a worldwide used research and treatment method for people with musculoskeletal complaints. McKenzie MDT has become known for its excellent results with back and neck complaints, with or without an appearance in the legs or arms. Moreover, this method also gives good results when treating the other joints, such as shoulder, hip and the like. The purpose of the method is not only to make the complaints disappear as quickly as possible, but also to ensure that the complaints return as little as possible in the future. McKenzie MDT is a clearly defined treatment system based on scientific research.


The process that you go through with your McKenzie MDT therapist starts with an in-depth, protocoled examination. The complaints are mapped during an interview, after which a movement investigation takes place. In motion research, repeated movements are used to look at the mechanical influence on existing phenomena. It examines which movements or postures aggravate the symptoms and with which movements or postures the symptoms can be reduced. After the examination, your therapist will be able to clearly state whether your complaint is suitable for treatment with McKenzie MDT.

The treatment strategy

After a clear mechanical diagnosis, the treatment starts focused on your “self-reliance”. With only a few simple exercises, you learn how to improve your symptoms yourself to speed up your recovery as much as possible. In addition, attention will be paid to the postures and movements during your daily life. The therapist can optionally supplement the therapy with, among other things, manual techniques, such as mobilizations and / or manipulations.

McKenzie MDT therapists:

Angela Hadley
Jan Spits

Frequently asked questions about McKenzie therapy

Why McKenzie therapy instead of regular physical therapy?
McKenzie MDT is currently the world’s most researched and well-documented treatment method for mechanical complaints to the musculoskeletal system, in particular neck and back complaints. The insights are used in many international guidelines for manual and exercise therapy. The therapists listed in the McKenzie MDT register have followed all course parts for 2.5 years and successfully proved their knowledge in a theoretical and practical exam. They will examine and treat you according to the well-defined principles of McKenzie MDT. In addition, they are required to participate in regular in-service training.
Can McKenzie MDT still help you (after a long time)?
Some patients doubt whether McKenzie MDT can still help. They have for example:
complaints for a very long time (several years)
tried many other therapies without or with only a temporary effect
a neck or back hernia diagnosed by MRI
had back surgery before and now complaints again
heard that their complaints stem from wear and tear

It is generally assumed that the handling of such complaints is (more) difficult. However, in practice it appears that a considerable proportion of these patients can also be helped with McKenzie MDT. Sometimes, by using McKenzie MDT, an already planned operation can be canceled! Within a few sessions, the therapist can determine whether McKenzie MDT is useful for you.

How does the McKenzie MDT therapist help?
In the McKenzie MDT philosophy, it is important that you learn to heal yourself. A McKenzie MDT therapist is therefore primarily a consultant. The therapy consists of exercise therapy and is combined with posture and movement advice. You usually have to perform a simple but specially selected short-term exercise several times a day (1 minute each time). This is possible both at home and at work. Only when it appears that healing in this way is not (entirely) possible, will the therapist use his manual techniques to reduce your symptoms.
What are the benefits of McKenzie MDT?
  • Complaints for a very long time (several years)
  • You will receive a clear explanation of the cause of your complaints.
  • You practice effectively and effectively. This gives you daily therapy! Your healing is optimally fast with as few treatments as possible. Complaints that cannot be (no longer) influenced by other therapy can also heal this way.
  • You remain independent of the therapist and / or his equipment as much as possible.
  • The costs remain limited.
  • You will be taught how to prevent a recurrence of complaints. This also prevents further aggravation or persistence of your complaint in the future.
  • You quickly have clarity as to whether your complaints can be influenced mechanically
  • You will not be treated unnecessarily.
Is McKenzie MDT only for back and neck complaints?
No, it can also be very suitable for the resolution of muscle, tendon and joint disorders in the peripheral joints such as, shoulder, hip, etc.
Is McKenzie therapy the right therapy for me?

Wisselt uw klacht van plaats?
(bijvoorbeeld: soms zit de pijn in het midden van de rug gecentreerd, en soms wat meer richting de zijkant of in de bil)

Ja / Nee

Wisselt u klacht van intensiteit?
(bijvoorbeeld: in de ochtend heeft u veel pijn en in de loop van de dag is het dragelijker)

Ja / Nee

Reageert uw klacht op bewegingen?
(bijvoorbeeld: de klacht neemt wat af na een stukje lopen. Of de klacht verergert of straalt uit wanneer u bukt)

Ja / Nee

Reageert uw klacht op verschillende houdingen?
(bijvoorbeeld: de klacht neemt toe na een tijdje staan. Of de klacht neemt af na een tijdje zitten)

Ja / Nee

Heeft u vaker last gehad van dezelfde klacht?

Ja / Nee

Heeft u 2 of meer vragen met JA beantwoord dan is dat een sterke aanwijzing dat uw klachten mechanisch zijn. Een McKenzietherapeut kan mechanische klachten analyseren en met een betrouwbare diagnose uitleggen welke bewegingsstrategie voor u (op dit moment) het beste is. Met behandeling volgens de McKenziemethode kunnen zowel acute klachten, als klachten die al langere tijd aanwezig zijn, worden beïnvloed.

Ga naar onze pagina McKenzie therapie voor meer informatie.

McKenzie Therapie

Do you want more information about McKenzie therapy?
Then contact one of our practices or check out McKenzie therapy.

McKenzie therapy is a way of examining and treating back and neck complaints. I have now specialized in Mckenzie therapy for headache complaints. Often the patient feels results after one treatment.

– Angela Hadley, Physical Therapist – Spits Center for Physical Therapy