Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT)

MDT emphasizes active patient involvement for orthopedic conditions, and includes manual therapy when necessary.  Empowering patients with knowledge in self-care provides rapid recovery and an understanding of how to prevent recurrence, rather than encouraging long-term dependence on health care providers.



MDT is essentially an assessment process which allows a safe and reliable determination of individualized treatment.  The assessment includes a complete history taking and movement assessment that identifies distinct patterns of symptomatic and mechanical response.  Specific beneficial movements and positions are determined which will be utilized during treatment, while other movements and positions need to be temporarily avoided.


The focus of MDT treatment is active patient movements and forces within specific movement patterns, while passive manual therapy techniques are used in 20% of cases until independence can be achieved.  This patient focused approach produces a more rapid recovery, while fewer visits are used and patients do not become dependent on the physical therapist.


During treatment, specific preventive strategies are learned that will be continued after completing physical therapy. These strategies have been shown to decrease recurrence rates by 80% in low back and neck pain, while spending only 5 minutes per day.


Specialized Physical Therapy is ranked in the top 3% of clinics in North America for functional improvement per visit, according to FOTOinc .

If you would like to read more concerning MDT, click here.