McKenzie Therapy, or Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), is a comprehensive approach to assessment and treatment that is extremely effective and well-researched.

What makes McKenzie Therapy unique is the very systematic examination process, which involves repeated testing of various movements and positions, in order to determine their “cause and effect” relationship on pain or other symptoms. Based on symptom-behaviour, the physiotherapist is able to determine very quickly who will do well with mechanical therapy, and prescribe the appropriate treatment. In many cases, symptom location and intensity can change quite quickly – even in a single treatment session.

Central to the philosophy of McKenzie Therapy is that the patient is taught first and foremost to treat him/herself. Education, posture and “homework” exercises are all key components of McKenzie treatment plans. The aim of McKenzie Therapy is to solve the current problem, but also to provide patients with the ability to prevent or manage their own pain in the future.

One key advantage of McKenzie Therapy is that physiotherapists can quickly determine which patients will benefit from this method of care, and which ones need to be referred for a different approach, thus avoiding unnecessary or overly expensive treatment. This is a very safe treatment method as well, because the patient is in control of his/her movements, with the physiotherapist adding exercises or “hands-on” techniques in a gradual and systematic fashion.


McKenzie Therapy is most commonly applied to spinal problems such as low back pain, neck pain, sciatica and disc herniations. Research has found it to be very effective for these conditions. However, the systematic method of assessment and treatment is also applicable to muscles and joints in the arms and legs. Research in these areas is much newer, but the results are very promising.

York Rehab is committed to using and teaching McKenzie therapy (MDT) because the results speak volumes. We have more credentialed McKenzie physiotherapists at York Rehab than anywhere in the Newmarket area, and we frequently sponsor post-graduate education courses for physiotherapists to hone their skills.
To learn more about the McKenzie method, and to read up on the current research, please refer to the McKenzie Canada website: /