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Procedure - Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment of the Spine (MDT)

Do you suffer from ongoing pain in your neck or back? To help patients manage and relieve pain associated with the spine, physical therapists at Ogden Clinic in Utah may recommend mechanical diagnosis and treatment of the spine (MDT), also known as the McKenzie Method. MDT was developed by New Zealand Physiotherapist Robin McKenzie, and has been used all over the world for more than 30 years. This method is both an assessment and treatment of the neck, back, and extremities in order to reduce and eliminate pain. MDT specialists are trained to diagnose issues with the entire musculoskeletal system including the spine, muscles, and joints. The difference between MDT and other treatment options is that the patient is actively involved and learns from their practitioner how to perform exercises throughout the day to treat the symptoms.

If your doctor at Ogden Clinic in Utah determines that mechanical diagnosis is a viable treatment option for your condition, you will go through four stages consisting of the assessment, classification, treatment, and prevention.


To begin the mechanical diagnosis, your physical therapist will take a detailed history of your symptoms and how they behave. He/she will observe how your body responds to repeated movements and what it is like at rest in various positions. Depending on how the symptoms and range of motion changes during these movements, your doctor will be able to categorize the problem.


Based on the nature of your symptoms and how they respond to the various, repeated movements, your doctor will classify you as one of three syndromes. These classifications include Derangement syndrome, Contractile or Articular Dysfunction, and Postural syndrome.


Once your condition has been classified, your physical therapist will use the results of your assessment to prescribe different exercises, postures, and movements. The doctor may use some hands-on techniques to help alleviate the symptoms, but they will mainly show you how to self-manage your pain on a daily basis.


Once you understand the cause of your problem and how to manage it, you can enact preventative measures to keep it from reoccurring or worsening. Managing pain through self-maintenance is effective for many patients.

If you are in constant pain due to an injury of the neck, back, or extremity, you may benefit from mechanical diagnosis and treatment of the spine (MDT) and McKenzie exercises at Ogden Clinic in Utah. If you would like to learn more about this treatment, reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.

Jake  Cooper, DPT, Physical Therapy,  Professional Center South

Cooper, Jake, DPT
4700 Harrison Blvd.
Ogden, UT