Rapid resolution of chronic shoulder pain classified as derangement using the McKenzie method: a case series

J Man Manip Ther. 2013 Nov;21(4):207-12. doi: 10.1179/2042618613Y.0000000034.


The McKenzie method, also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), is primarily recognized as an evaluation and treatment method for the spine. However, McKenzie suggested that this method could also be applied to the extremities. Derangement is an MDT classification defined as an anatomical disturbance in the normal resting position of the joint, and McKenzie proposed that repeated movements could be applied to reduce internal joint displacement and rapidly reduce derangement symptoms. However, the current literature on MDT application to shoulder disorders is limited. Here, we present a case series involving four patients with chronic shoulder pain from a duration of 2-18 months classified as derangement and treated using MDT principles. Each patient underwent mechanical assessment and was treated with repeated movements based on their directional preference. All patients demonstrated rapid and clinically significant improvement in baseline measures and the disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (QuickDASH) scores from an average of 38% at initial evaluation to 5% at discharge within 3-5 visits. Our findings suggest that MDT may be an effective treatment approach for shoulder pain.

Keywords: Chronic; MDT; McKenzie method; Shoulder pain.

Publication types

  • Case Reports