What is the Mckenzie Method?

Also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, it was first developed by a famous Physiotherapist from New Zealand called Robin Mckenzie who discovered this method by chance. It is now a widely used method amongst many Physiotherapists in the world.  The Mckenzie Method is a philosophy which involves active patient involvement of certain positions, postures and education to treat spinal and extremity conditions. After a thorough initial examination, practitioners can assess safely and reliably to accurately reach a diagnosis in the Mckenzie method subgroup. Credentialled Mckenzie clinicians and diplomaed clinicians have valid and reliable methods to know whether certain procedures and exercises will work for each patient.

bhujangasana-cobra-pose mc kenzie method


How is it different to other Physiotherapy treatment options?

Mckenzie techniques and exercises are widely used in Physiotherapy. The main difference is that Mckenzie has its own classification system and it empowers the patient to self-treat and problem solve for a long term solution to their spinal or extremity condition. It can promote the body's potential to heal itself naturally without need of medication, heat, needling, ultrasound and even surgery through simple and easily replicated exercises / techniques.

What are the steps involved in the Mckenzie process?

  1. Assessment - The process begins with a thorough history, repeated movement testing to identify distinct patterns of pain which are reproducible or reducible, objective and reliable which reflect the characteristics of the pain generator. A lot of spinal conditions in particular sciatica or so called derangement (in the Mckenzie literature) has a common response of centralisation which is a pain pattern which is well documented as a good diagnostic tool and prognostic indicator. This is where the pain from a more lower part of the leg/thigh/foot gradually moves up the leg or spine. When we are able to replicate this response, there is good evidence to show that good outcomes are favourable.
  2. Treatment - The Mckenzie method is unique in that through a detailed assessment and examination, exercises are tailored to the individual. We base our treatment on the client's response and to their directional preference. We usually choose the direction which will ease, abolish or centralise your symptoms. In cases where there are no movements or positions that can centralise or ease the symptoms, the patient may not be suitable for the Mckenzie Method. The Mckenzie Method can quickly and easily evaluate whether other treatment methods / imaging or other referral will be required.
  3. Prevention - Those who respond well with the Mckenzie method will be given steps and processes to successfully treat themselves safely and reliably. Patients are less likely to get recurring pain in the future.

flexion part of Mc Kenzie method

Who is the method for?

  • With the Mckenzie method we are trained to treat the whole musulo-skeletal system.
    • This includes the spine including back and neck and thoracic spine.
    • Structures like bone/ligament/muscle/tendon
    • Extremities like the shoulder, hip, knee and ankle.
    • If you experience pain, pins and needles, numbness.

At Total Physiocare we have a Credentialled Mckenzie Therapist who has undergone the training for this method.

Contact us at Total Physiocare to make an appointment or to find out more information.



2 Orrong Avenue Reservoir VIC 3073

03 9469 3157


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Suite 8, 30 Eleanor Street, Footscray VIC 3011

03 9304 7356


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