Most people do not know much about the McKenzie Method (also known as Mechanical diagnosis and Therapy or MDT). This includes the general public, but also many doctors, specialists and health professionals.
This is surprising given it is strongly evidence based, and is practiced is close to 40 countries worldwide. In fact the evidence for a non-pathoanatomic approach to both spinal and peripheral joints is becoming overwhelming, and the strength of the MDT system where patients are classified not by anatomical structure, but by symptom response, is becoming increasingly recognised and recommended in practice guidelines worldwide.
(see the International Mckenzie website for a list of practitioners around the globe, and a link to the vast amount of research supporting MDT in both the spine and the extremity joints).
Common misconceptions about the MDT approach amongst those who have heard of it are that it is:
- discs
- back pain
- extension exercises

While of course the MDT approach is best known for managing back pain, its application is the extremity joints such as the knee, shoulder, hip, elbow and foot is becoming much more recognised with high quality research.
What the MDT system is all about is classifying patients according to symptom response, including peripheral/extremity joint problems. How symptoms change in response to repeated movements or specific loading strategies provides the key to management and identifying which exercises patients need to get relief and resolve their own problems.

Attached below is a list of some of the more important research supporting the MDT approach in both the spine and extremity joints.