Further information about the common misconceptions of MDT is explained in detail on the McKenzie International Website at:



Most importantly MDT is an assessment process not a treatment. Although the assessment process typically leads to exercises the patient can perform on their own to get relief or repair injured tissues.

The most common misconceptions are:

  • MDT is only for the spine (This is not true and it is equally effective in joints like the knee, shoulder and hip)
  • MDT is about discs only   (Often the exact structure causing the pain can not be identified and is irrelevant. If the exercises relieve pain and restore movement and function they are the correct ones for you!)
  • MDT does not use hands on (In fact around 30% of people require some form of hands on therapy, usually to increase the effectiveness of their own exercises or clarify the path to recovery)
  • It is extension exercises only (Whilst extension is the most common direction for relief, around 7% of people require flexion, and somewhere between 15-30% of people need lateral force exercises)
  • Ignores biopsychosocial issues (MDT is in fact patient centred, and strongly uses the goals and concerns of the patient to guide management decisions in a joint partnership)