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Mckenzie therapy

What is McKenzie MDT?

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


The process you undergo with your McKenzie MDT therapist begins with a thorough, protocolized examination. During an interview, symptoms are identified, followed by a movement examination. In the movement study, repeated movements are used to examine the mechanical influence on the existing phenomena. It examines what movements or postures aggravate symptoms and what movements or postures can be used to reduce symptoms. After the examination, your therapist will be able to clearly indicate whether your complaint is suitable for treatment with McKenzie MDT.

The treatment strategy

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

McKenzie MDT therapists: 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 that McKenzie MDT can still help. For example, they have:
Complaints for a very long time (several years)
already tried many other therapies with no or only temporary effect
a neck or back hernia diagnosed by MRI
already had back surgery before and now complaints again
heard that their complaints stem from wear and tear

It is generally believed that the treatment of such complaints is difficult(-er). Yet in practice, a significant proportion of these patients can also be helped with McKenzie MDT. Sometimes the use of McKenzie MDT can even cancel an already scheduled surgery! Within a few sessions, the therapist can determine if McKenzie MDT makes sense 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 clear explanations about the cause of your symptoms.
  • You practice on your own, effectively and purposefully. As a result, you have daily therapy! Your healing is optimally fast with as few treatments as possible. Symptoms that cannot (anymore) be influenced by other therapy can also be cured this way.
  • You will remain independent of the therapist and/or his equipment as much as possible.
  • Costs remain limited.
  • You will be taught how to prevent a recurrence of symptoms. This will also prevent further aggravation or persistence of your complaint in the future.
  • You have quick clarity as to whether your symptoms can be mechanically beneficial
  • You will not be treated unnecessarily long.
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?

Does your complaint change place?
(for example: sometimes the pain is centered in the middle of the back, and sometimes more towards the side or in the buttock)

Yes No

Do you change the intensity of your complaint?
(for example: in the morning you have a lot of pain and during the day it is more bearable)

Yes No

Does your complaint respond to movements?
(For example: the complaint diminishes after a short walk. Or the complaint worsens or radiates when you bend down)

Yes No

Does your complaint respond to different attitudes?
(for example: the complaint increases after standing for a while. Or the complaint decreases after sitting for a while)

Yes No

Have you had the same complaint more often?

Yes No

If you have answered 2 or more questions with YES, this is a strong indication that your complaints are mechanical. A McKenzie therapist can analyze mechanical complaints and explain with a reliable diagnosis which movement strategy is best for you (at the moment). Treatment according to the McKenzie method can influence both acute complaints and complaints that have been present for a longer period of time.

Visit our McKenzie Therapy page for more information.

McKenzie Therapy

Would you like more information about McKenzie therapy?
If so, contact our practice or check out McKenzie therapy.

McKenzie therapy is a way of examining and treating back and neck pain. I have since specialized in Mckenzie therapy. Often the patient feels results after just one treatment.

– Jan Spits, Physical Therapist – Spits Center for Physical Therapy