Guiding Philosophy:

  The McKenzie Method.

Also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), the McKenzie Method is a philosophy of active involvement and education that is trusted and used by practitioners and patients all over the world for back, neck, and extremity problems. An evidence based approach, the key distinction of MDT is its initial assessment component - a safe and reliable means to accurately reach a diagnosis and only then make the appropriate treatment plan. Certified McKenzie clinicians have valid indicators to know right away whether - and uniquely how - the method will work for each patient.

     To watch a video about the McKenzie Method, click here:   


Step 1: Assessment

 MDT provides a safe, logical guide to the most optimal treatment strategy for a specific patient. Unique to the McKenzie Method, the process begins with a thorough history and testing of repeated movements to identify distinct patterns of pain responses that are: objective, reproducible, and reliable.
The most common and meaningful pattern of pain response is Centralization: when pain that has spread from the center of the back or neck down to leg or arm, can reverse returning to the center of the back or neck, and eventually cease. Whether the patient's pain is acute or chronic, if Centralization occurs through this logical step-by-step assessment process, treatment is the most successful and lasting.

Do you have questions about your first appointment/assessment? We answer many common questions here. 

Step 2: Treatment

 The basis of the McKenzie system is the patient's own ability for movements and forces to abolish the pain and restore function. A series of individualized exercises are prescribed subsequent to the patient's responses during the assessment process and - most critically - are based on the identified Directional Preference of movements that will centralize or abolish the pain, i.e., extension or flexion, right or left lateral movement, etc.
Patients who do respond favorably with MDT can succesfully treat themselves-and minimize the number of visits to the clinic-when provided the necessary knowledge and tools putting him or her in control of their treatment safely and effectively.

Step 3: Preventive Strategy

 Patients who stick to the prescribed treatment protocols are less likely to have persistent problems. Thus, 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.  Check our website and YouTube channel often for helpful articles and videos about prevention and maintenance of our bodies. 

McAllen Physical Therapy, Inc. is a Certified McKenzie Center, which assures that you are being seen by a highly trained McKenzie practitioner.

Simply put, if it's not certified, it's not Mckenzie.  To locate or verify McKenzie MDT Certified Practioners, go to




Fortino Gonzalez, PT, Dip MDT, FAAOMPT, OCS  

McAllen Physical Therapy