The Mckenzie ®Method of Mechanical Diagnosis & Treatment

The Mckenzie ®Method of Mechanical Diagnosis & Treatment

The McKenzie ® Method is not just ’based on’ stretching exercises. In its true form, McKenzie method is a comprehensive approach relating to the spine but also to the peripheral joints, it is based on certain fundamental principles which, when understood and followed correctly are very effective. It is a fact that the McKenzie evaluation process is highly regarded and "unique", something that must be appreciated overall.


Something unique in the McKenzie ® method is an algorithm-which is clearly defined- and which leads to simple classification of spinal (or regional) disease. It is based on a consistent "cause and effect" relation, between the history of pain behavior of the patient and pain response, by repeating movement trials, in positions /activities during the evaluation process.
The systematic progress of applied mechanical forces (the cause) utilizes pain response (the effect) to monitor changes in motion / function. The underlying disorder can then be quickly identified through objective findings for each individual patient. The McKenzie ranking of spinal pain (or regional joint pain) classifies patients who present similar reproducible reactions in clinical trials, in three specific sub-groups (syndromes) which determine the appropriate treatment.

The three mechanical syndromes of the Mckenzie method are: Postural Syndrome, Dysfunction Syndrome and Derangement Syndrome.

  • Postural: stress of normal structures in the final orbit.
  • Dysfunction: End-range stress of shortened structures (scarring, fibrosis, n.root adherence)
  • Derangement: Anatomical disruption or displacement within the motion segment.

(All three mechanical syndromes - postural, dysfunction, and derangement - occur in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine as well as joints.)

Each distinct syndrome is classified according to its unique reaction to the mechanical procedures utilizing movement and positions.
The Derangement syndrome where the phenomenon of "centralization" occurs is the most common.
Well-trained McKenzie practitioners will be able to identify, the most difficult cases while applying advanced Mckenzie techniques, which will help their patients, therefore “eliminating” and “distinguishing” those patients whose diagnosis is non-mechanical and in this way are referred to other «specialties» for the proper “treatment” and also protecting them from wasting time and money.


The McKenzie treatment emphasizes on education and active patient involvement in the management of their treatment in order to decrease pain quickly, and restore function and independence, minimizing the number of visits to the clinic. However if for any reason a problem is more complex, self-treatment may not be possible immediately. Therefore, a certified McKenzie clinician will know when to provide the patient with additional technical help until their patient can once again successfully manage their condition.
Eventually, most patients can successfully treat themselves provided that they are given the necessary knowledge and tools. An individualized self-treatment program tailored to the patient’s lifestyle puts them in control safely and effectively.


Patients gain an experiential education learning to self-treat the problem at hand. Proper use of these skills and behaviors in everyday life activities will minimize the risk of recurrence and allow patients to quickly treat themselves when and if symptoms reoccur.

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