The Mckenzie system was created by a physical therapist called Robin Mckenzie in New Zealand in the 1950’s. This particular approach was discovered by chance, just like a number of great inventions. Robin apparently asked a patient to just lie down on the bed in a treatment room and to just wait for him without knowing that the head of the bed was actually raised up. The patient, who just following his therapist’s advice, actually laid on his stomach with his back arched backwards. To his surprise, the patient reported that he felt better already when Robin came to see him. From this incidence, Robin Mckenzie started experimenting more with repeated movements of the back in different directions to reproduce this success. He concluded that extending the spine backwards could provide significant pain relief to certain patients and allow them to return to their normal daily routine activities.

Robin Mckenzie then further classified patients into different classifications based on their response to repeated movements. The Mckenzie system started off with the lower back , but now incorporated the same principles for the neck, back, and the extremities as well. It is a treatment approach that is gaining popularity in Europe, Belgium, Australia, and the United States due to the advantages of using such a classification and treatment system.