Clinicians Frequently Asked Questions

McKenzie is only for spine

McKenzie is the most well researched and most widely practiced Classification system. MDT clinicians since 2000 diagnose extremity conditions using the mechanical diagnosis for peripheral joints and come to a diagnostic classification to treat patients in a homogenous population. The general opinions in the recent studies are suggestive that like the spine, peripheral joints should also be classified for treatment, so that the treatment is to a homogenous population rather than a heterogeneous population. Hence the MDT therapist has taken a lead in management of extremities. Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy in Extremities has been published in the year 2000.


McKenzie is only for the lower back

The Part B of the McKenzie courses is a 4 day, 28 hours credited course on Cervical and Dorsal Spine, and the Part D is a 4 day and 28 hours credited course on advanced Cervical and Dorsal Spine, with joints of upper extremity.  There are 2 volumes of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy in Cervical and Dorsal spine. There are also published research studies on MDT in Cervical Spine. 


McKenzie is an incomplete treatment protocol I have heard. Is it true?

McKenzie is Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, the tool box itself, a highly reliable mechanical assessment, which culminates in a diagnostic classification, treatment, and prophylaxis. It recognizes responders and non-responders


If McKenzie is working, why do we get results with modalities also?

The first question we have to ask ourselves towards this, do patients who have got better on modalities, continue to remain better? Low back pain and neck pain is the second largest recurrent disorder, second to cold and fever. In recurrences, would your patient be empowered to self manage when treated with modalities? 

How can we prove that the patient has got better with modalities or natural history of back and neck pain, where by most of these patients symptoms are said to resolve in 6-7 weeks. Only a research study on this would inform us of this. Research studies are suggestive,  electrical modalities are passive methods of treatment and these do not play a role in the management of low back and neck pain.

McKenzie is not only treatment, it is mechanical assessment, diagnostic classification, treatment based on this classification, and prophylaxis. So in recurrences, a patient is empowered to self manage. It is an active method of managing patients. 


Can patients do other exercises like core or limb exercises along with McKenzie?

Could we ask you a question, in order to answer this clearly. “Can a patient with malaria, also take medications for Kochs, Typhoid, Gasteroenteritis, etc along with anti malarial ? “You would say, why should I, where is the need for it? We have to be treated specifically to the diagnosis. Such a diagnosis is done using Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), or famously McKenzie. McKenzie or MDT is your toolbox, not one of the tools in your toolbox. When you give core or limb exercises, to a patient, the question you would ask yourself is, “What is the reliability and the validity of the method you have used to come to a diagnosis that your said patient needs core or limb exercises?” This is what MDT has in plenty. MDT would tell you, which of the minority of patients would need to get functional, and which would need the more specific exercises as per their diagnostic classification.  Another analogy would be, when you have fever, you don’t treat the fever, you treat the cause for the fever. MDT manages the cause of the mechanical pain. Any further queries, you are free to write to us. 


I know all about McKenzie, I have read it while I did my PG in musculoskeletal or in my UG books.

What is given in the PG or UG books is what is permissible by those authors to publish on McKenzie, due to the nature of the Copyright to the Intellectual Property on McKenzie which is held by The McKenzie Institute International.  The faculties who teach McKenzie are licensed to The McKenzie Institute International, and after successful attainment of their Diploma in MDT, have undergone a rigorous training once they have been accepted as Faculty in Probation. No body other than the faculties of McKenzie Institute International can teach McKenzie as the entire educational material is copyrighted and is the Intellectual Property of The Mckenzie Institute International.

Simply put, just as you cannot attain a masters degree in Physical Therapy without taking an admit to the course and attaining a pass in the examination, you cannot learn McKenzie without taking a admit to the MDT Certification Programme and can be called a McKenzie Therapist only after you have passed the Credentialling Examination. 


Why are the fees so high in McKenzie courses?

McKenzie is an intensive learning programme, which is not just a course, but a complete certification process. We partner you at every stage of your learning, ensuring that you get the complete information and knowledge that you seek when you enter the Certification Programme. There are live patient demonstrations and the faculty presenting the course would assess and treat a patient and the subsequent follow up sessions, in front of you which would help you when you handle such cases in your clinical practice. We understand and address your concerns that, if we treat a patient we have scheduled for you from our end, it may be a dummy patient, and hence we request you to register your patients, friends or relatives during the courses, for the assessment, treatments and follow ups, thus ensuring that your learning is complete. All all times during the courses, you are encouraged to ask questions. That is, you get your money’s worth.

That is not all. We do not forget you when we have finished the course. We have online study groups, and study groups that happen once every month for your benefit. 


Why should I do the course when it is only extension?

As we have mentioned in the earlier questions, McKenzie or MDT is a highly reliable mechanical assessment, which culminates in a diagnostic classification, treatment, and prophylaxis. It is the most widely used assessment method by physical therapists round the world.

Very simply put, physical therapists round the world would not need 4 courses A-D, each of 4 days duration, each having 28 credited hours just to learn extension, neither would any of them spend so hugely to learn just extension!. So, don’t you think there is more to it, come register to one of our courses to see how complete a learning package it is. 


When I do any other expensive course, which costs as much as the Part A of McKenzie, I don’t need to do any further. But when I do McKenzie course Part A, it does not end there, but I have to keep spending for B,C,D and the exam?

With a McKenzie course, it does not even end with the exam. The popular saying amongst all Credentialled and Diplomate therapists is “Learning begins now”. In order that the quality is maintained, every Credentialled and Diplomated McKenzie therapists are supposed to update in continuing educational programmes once every 2-3 years to keep themselves in the reference list.

McKenzie courses are not like ‘just another course’. It is a complete Certification Programme. It is not ‘just a jumble of techniques’, it is a clinical reasoning process, an intensive learning programme which gives you the tool box to treat musculoskeletal disorders and excel in it. So, if you want to be the next generation physio in musculoskeletal care, come register to our courses.


I have been working with a McKenzie Clinician who is credentialed in MDT. I have a good working knowledge of MDT. Now that I am setting up my own clinic, I can use the system effectively without doing the course, why should I do the course?

As we have mentioned earlier, the courses are presented by highly trained faculties licensed to The McKenzie Institute International. One cannot learn MDT unless you register to the course yourself. When you have been treating patients alongside your employer who is Credentialled in MDT, she /he would not be able to explain her clinical reasoning completely, you would understand this only when you would do the course yourself.

When you finally set up your individual private practice, would you be able to use your past employers Credentialing status for your publicity? You would need it for yourself. Is this not enough motivation for you to register to the course, to equip you to better yourself in your clinical practice?