>Wilmington’s Leaders in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT)

Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), or “The McKenzie Method”

Back and Neck Pain

Our clinicians are trained in the use of the McKenzie Method for the mechanical assessment and treatment of back and neck pain. One of the most researched physical therapy methods available, the McKenzie Method includes assessment, treatment, and prevention phases.


The therapist takes the patient through a thorough history and also testing of movements to identify specific patterns of pain response. These patterns are reproducible, objective, reliable, and reflect the characteristics of the underlying pain generator.

The assessment provides a rational guide to the most optimal treatment strategy for the patient.


McKenzie treatment takes advantage of the patient’s own movements to abolish pain and restore function. The use of more hands on treatment techniques come later in the treatment progression when safe or necessary to do so.

In cases when a patient does not respond mechanically, alternative means of treatment or further medical evaluation is warranted.


Prevention: Most patients who respond favorably to the McKenzie Method can successfully treat themselves. By learning how to self-treat the current problem, patients gain hands-on knowledge on how to minimize the risk of recurrence and how to quickly manage themselves if symptoms do occur.

The goals of the McKenzie Method are to:
  • Reduce pain and deformity
  • Maintain the reduction with education and posture advice
  • Restore full function
  • Prevent recurrences
Utilizing the McKenzie Method, we treat many common neck and back conditions including:
  • Acute or chronic neck and back pain
  • Herniated “slipped” discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Stenosis
  • Radiculopathy (pain radiating down the arm or leg)