Saturday, March 22, 2008

Manual Physical Therapy: We Speak Gibberish
Tim Flynn and John Childs have done it again...I wish they'd stop making so much sense. It will likely lend more credibility to our profession than we deserve at times. In the latest JOSPT editorial (March 2008) the gang outline our serious language problem in orthopedic physical therapy. They even offer some salient solutions to remedy the problem.
  • Develop a common language we can agree upon
  • Teach students manual skills versus indoctrinating them into a specific schools of thought
  • Publish a framework of common treatment techniques using a common language independent of political bias
  • Develop a glossary of technique descriptions for the Manipulation Education Manual
  • Develop a dialogue with members of the international community regarding this common language

In my first few years as a therapist, I abandoned many manual techniques because of the aforementioned political bias and risk of associating with the faith healers of the manual world. Authors who advocate a more science-based approach to our patients continue to give me hope that our profession may be ready for the responsibility of autonomy we demand. If we are able to work toward the ideals that Flynn and colleagues put out there, we'll be adhering to the rigors of science rather than the trappings of politics.

Flynn, T.W., Childs, J.D., Bell, S., Magel, J.S., Rowe, R.H., Plock, H. (2008). Manual Physical Therapy: We Speak Gibberish. Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 38(3), 97-98.

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