McKenzie Method

Synergy’s physical therapists are trained and certified in the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment (MDT), the leading option in treating lower back pain, spine issues, and more. It was initially developed by New Zealand Physiotherapist Robin McKenzie and has been recognized globally as the leading treatment for back, neck and extremity disorders. The McKenzie Method distinguishes between mechanical and non-mechanical causes of pain and functional limitations and provides a logical guide to the most optimal treatment strategy for the patient. The emphasis is on active patient involvement and education that gives the patient the power and potential to effectively treat and manage their symptoms. Our team has expertise in evaluating all areas of the musculoskeletal system and can determine if the McKenzie Method is the right therapy for you.

It may be appropriate for those with:

  • Neck or back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Sacroiliac joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Intermittent numbness in hands or feet

Evaluation and Classification

A Mckenzie evaluation begins with a thorough history of your symptoms.The examination is an active one as the patient is asked to perform specific movements. These certain movements are then repeated in order to assess if and how your symptoms and your motion change in order to classify the problem. The therapist will determine if you have a “mechanical” reason for your problem. The results of the assessment will be explained to you along with instructions on what you can do to help yourself.


A series of exercises dependent on the patient’s responses during the assessment will be prescribed, with ongoing evaluation as to the symptom response to treatment. Attempts will be made in establishing a directional preference for symptom behavior. Patient generated forces will be initiated to determine the response. Additional hands-on manual techniques may be used if appropriate, with the goal of returning the patient to self-treatment. We will provide you with valuable knowledge about your symptoms in order to empower you to help heal yourself. You will learn skills that will allow you to control and manage your condition. Actively involving the patient in their treatment is an important component of this method, so you will have home exercises to help promote faster, more thorough healing. Your therapist will teach you how to effectively treat yourself!


Your therapist will keep you closely involved in your treatment and provide education on self- care and maintenance, how to prevent symptom recurrence, what to do if symptoms do recur, and the best options for staying healthy and pain-free. This is integral part of the McKenzie Method and allows patients to take an active role is their spine and extremity health. It’s an invaluable component because you’ll be able to have more control, the knowledge of preventative practices, and the ability to quickly and appropriately respond if symptoms do recur.