Resources and FAQs

Q: What is a Certified MDT physical therapist?
A: MDT clinicians are trained to assess and diagnose all areas of the musculoskeletal system, and are experts in mechanical pain. Credentialing in The McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) requires completion of a comprehensive curriculum of post graduate courses, demonstration of knowledge and skill by passing a thorough written and practical Credentialing Examination, and regular continuing education. Credentialing is available to Doctors of Physical Therapy (DPT), Osteopathy (DO), Medicine (MD), and other select health care providers. Fewer than 3% of all US physical therapists have attained this distinction.

Q: What is mechanical pain?
A: Mechanical pain is caused by stress or strain (mechanical load) on nerves, joints, muscles, and connective tissues, it is not the same as inflammation. Mechanical pain can be from poor posture, repetitive movements including daily movements done incorrectly such as lifting and bending to name a few. Signs of mechanical pain include: change in pain with change of position; predictable symptoms with specific tasks one day but not the next; or change in symptom size, location, and intensity throughout the day. Mechanical pain is often not improved by taking medications.

Q: What are Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)?
A: Our musculoskeletal (MSK) system includes bones, joints, nerves, muscles, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are problems with the musculoskeletal system. Common MSDs include: arthritis, neck pain, low back pain, stenosis, degenerative disc disease, osteoporosis, tendonitis, bursitis, sprains, strains, and fractures, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff injuries, as well as symptoms that ‘come out of nowhere’. MSDs are extremely common and have an enormous impact on our society as greater than half of all Americans currently suffer from a MSD, and 90% of us will during our lifespan. Learn more about MSDs at the United States Bone and Joint Initiative.

Q: Why does being a Certified MDT clinician matter?
A: Better outcomes, a 38% reduction in costs due to fewer visits, and decreased need for repeat therapy. Get better, faster, for less. Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) is an internationally acclaimed method of assessment and treatment for spinal and extremity pain. Learn more about why certification matters here.

Q: Why use Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy?
A: We pride ourselves on being certified in and utilizing the most up-to-date research backed method of physical therapy to assess, diagnose, and treat our patients. Got some time and enjoy reading? See the MDT core reference list of peer reviewed research articles. Or watch this short video titled The Evidence.

Q: How do I know it’s appropriate to see a MDT physical therapist?
A: If you’re having trouble moving, be it due to pain, muscle/joint weaknesses, a reduced range of motion, etc., or you simply want to move and perform better (e.g., athletic enhancement), a physical therapist can help. MDT clinicians are specialists in treating musculoskeletal disorders. That means that if a problem exists in or around the spine, joint or muscle, an MDT evaluation is appropriate.  Even if you’ve already been to physical therapy, or are uncertain about where your pain or limitation may be coming from, a thorough mechanical evaluation can provide valuable information and put you on the path to recovery. 

Q: What can I expect during my first visit?
A: You will be thoroughly assessed by a Certified McKenzie physical therapist. The initial evaluation appointment will typically take about 1 hour. During the assessment process, you will be asked your history followed by some flexibility and strength tests, and you will perform a series of repeated movements that will help the clinician assess your level of mobility to determine how you might benefit from MDT treatment techniques. The nature of your problem will be thoroughly explained to you. The clinician will identify what they can do to help you. You will be advised and educated on what you can do to help yourself.

Q: What will treatment be like?
A: Using the information from the assessment, the clinician will prescribe specific exercises and advice regarding postures to adopt and postures to temporarily avoid. Your home program may consist of as little as one exercise to be performed throughout the day. If your problem has a more difficult mechanical presentation, a qualified MDT clinician may need to add hands-on techniques until you can self-manage. The aim is to be as effective as possible in the least number of sessions. Treatment that you can perform five or six times a day is more likely to be effective in a shorter period of time than treatment administered by the clinician once or twice per week. The emphasis is on you, the patient, being actively involved. This can minimize the number of visits to the clinic. Ultimately, most patients can successfully treat themselves when provided with the necessary knowledge and tools.

Q: What is good posture and why does it matter?
A: There is much debate on this topic with good people on both sides. We don’t ‘correct’ everyone’s posture. We do adjust posture and try various positions during the assessment to establish if this is relevant to your symptoms. Watch the video from Dr Vikas Agarwal MD Cert. MDT, FACP titled Posture and Mechanical Pain.

Q: Will you work with my physician?
A: Of course. If you’ve been referred to us by a physician following injury, surgery or a specific diagnosis, we will keep your physician up to date on your treatments, progress, and any additional findings or concerns we might have. 

Q: Do I need a referral to see a physical therapist?
A: No. You can be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without a referral from your physician. If you wish to use insurance, however, first check by calling the number on the back of your card to see if your insurance will cover your appointment without first getting a physician’s referral. 

Q: What insurances do you accept?
A: We participate with all major insurances listed here. If your insurance is not listed, please call the number on the back of your insurance card and ask about your Out-of-Network Physical Therapy coverage. Also, please read both The Cost of Care information sheet and Our Financial Alliance for planning purposes. Not sure how insurance works, see the next FAQ.

Q: How does my insurance work with PT?
A: There are nearly as many insurance plans as there are people. Each year insurance plans change making it difficult to know what services are covered and what your costs will be. To help you decode your insurance plan language and learn a bit about how using your plan works, please read The PT Patient’s Guide to Understanding Insurance.

Q: I don’t have insurance / I have a high deductible / What will therapy cost me?
A: While many musculoskeletal issues are rapidly reversible, the length of time in physical therapy sessions, and number of visits needed will impact your cost and do vary from one individual to the next. We think you will find The Cost of Care information sheet to be a helpful resource allowing you to estimate your costs upfront. It is important to us that the quality of our business services matches the quality of our medical care. We want the handling of your account, from the start through the final payments to be without surprises. Please read Our Financial Alliance and learn how this too is an extension of our care to you and your family.

Did you know the application of MDT extends beyond physical therapy?
Want to learn more about MDT in the Primary Care setting? Visit
Mechanical Cause in Medicine, the YouTube channel of Dr. Vikas Agarwal MD, Cert. MDT, FACP an Internal Medicine Physician and MDT certified clinician who is finding that mechanical symptoms extend well beyond just mechanical pain.

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950 Taylor Ave, Suite 180
Grand Haven, MI 49417

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Founded in 2017 with the goal of educating and empowering individuals to reduce or eliminate their pain and symptoms. The ReSOLVE team can get you back to doing what you love!

Is MDT for you?

Spine and extremity problems are some the most common types of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), mechanical pain and symptoms can be rapidly reversed with movement. Still wondering if you could benefit from a McKenzie Method® assessment?

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