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Dr Hans van Helvoirt is physical therapist who studied till 1986 at the international academy ‘Thim van der Laan’ in Utrecht. After that he gained his manual therapy license ‘Maitland Concept’ in 1990 and finished the diploma program in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) McKenzie in 1992 in Wellington New Zealand. Besides courses in physical therapy (Butler, Mulligan, Elvey, Comerfort, O’ Sullivan). He did his Masters in Arts in Psychology at the University Benelux in Antwerp and several coaching courses as provocative coaching, inspiring coaching en motivational interviewing. Since 1993 Hans has taught MDT/ McKenzie in the Benelux, Denmark, Hungary and Slovenia and spoke at conferences worldwide about MDT and the place of MDT in the biopsychosocial model. Within the McKenzie Institute International, Hans has position in the promotion committee, public health committee, outcome measurement committee. Hans works as a consultant in Rugpoli Brabant, Tilburg, the Netherlands, the Centre for Manual Medicine and Pain Management. Together with VU university Amsterdam, he does research about the interaction between MDT and Anesthesiology.

6-8 January 2023

Part A: The Lumbar Spine

As a continuous a collaboration with McKenzie institute international, that has started in 2007 PRIMEPHYSIO Introducing the Mechanical diagnosis and therapy once again in the Middle East.



The McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) is an internationally researched and acclaimed system of assessment and management for spinal and extremity musculoskeletal disorders developed by New Zealand Physiotherapist Robin McKenzie. It has been widely used all over the world for more than 60 years.

Clinicians trained in the MDT system are able to assess and classify all complaints  of the musculoskeletal system. That means that if a problem is coming from the spine, extremity joints, muscles or tendons, then a MDT evaluation is appropriate. An MDT clinician will be able to identify if MDT is indicated, what management strategy is best, and outline a predicted recovery pathway.

A key feature of the method is the initial assessment - a safe and reliable format to reach an accurate classification and only then develop the appropriate management plan, taking into account all the various factors that can influence the patient’s experience of pain. Expensive tests such as MRI’s are often unnecessary.

MDT is a comprehensive assessment and management approach based on sound and logical principles that focuses on the patient and their potential to self-manage and recover their previous level of function.

Watch world known researchers speak about the McKenzie Method. More videos are available at McKenzie Institute USA















Robin Anthony McKenzie was born in Auckland in 1931. He was educated at Wairarapa College, spent his student years at Otago University, and graduated from the New Zealand School of Physiotherapy in Dunedin in 1952. In 1953, he started a private practice in Wellington, and it was here that he developed a special interest in treating spinal disorders.

Robin McKenzie created The McKenzie Institute International in 1982 and led its growth into a worldwide educational organisation. Physiotherapists, doctors, chiropractors and other allied health professionals in 40 different countries have been educated in the McKenzie Method and the expansion of The McKenzie Institute’s Education Programme continues to grow.

Robin McKenzie story is an inspiration for the physiotherapists worldwide.Watch this short video to know the man behind this world class method and education. 


Globally recognised as a leading treatment for back, neck and extremities disorders

1. Reliable Assessment

To be effective, any treatment system must be based upon a sound assessment and an accurate diagnosis or classification.
Scientific research supports the reliability of the McKenzie system and can assist to further improve the formal education.
Numerous studies provide data on the prevalence rates, demonstrate the comprehensiveness of the system and the validity of the diagnostic process.

2. Early prognosis

Patients seek information on their estimated prognosis.
The McKenzie evaluation process makes it possible to predict patient prognosis mostly within consultations. 

3. Focus on Self treatment

The emphasis on self-treatment empowers the patient and helps foster a strong sense of independence. Research demonstrates that patients who are empowered through participation in their own care acquire the skills, knowledge and confidence that result in beneficial outcomes18.
Further research has shown that management with a patient specific exercise program based on a classification system monitoring symptomatic and mechanical responses achieves better outcomes than non-specific exercise therapy. 

4. Better Outcomes

The MDT evaluation allows a quick determination of who will benefit from management according to the MDT principles.  
Using MDT strategies has been shown to be able to:

  • reduce surgery rates

  • avoid surgical interventions

  • lead to better outcomes than therapy that is focused on spinal manipulation or general exercise

  • be cost effective

5. Prevention of recurrence

Patients who have been educated in self-management are able to initiate treatment at the first sign of recurrence. Symptoms can usually be relieved before they become severe.


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