While all physical therapists and athletic trainers have the option to use manual therapy as they treat clients, many clinicians haven’t had the resources to become proficient in this area of their practice. While some therapists consider themselves “manual therapist,” others shy away from the concept for many reasons. Many struggle with manual therapy skill acquisition because they are lacking confidence in their palpation skills, observation skills, and selection of the appropriate mobilization technique. However, all clinicians have the ability to improve these skills is given a systematic approach to manual therapy.
This course presents a three-step approach to gaining new, and improving existing manual therapy skills. (1) Palpation is a critical component of patient assessment, and is necessary to perform basic manual therapy skills. Whether palpating for painful conditions, joint position, tone, bony structures, symmetry, or mobility, a systematic approach to locating and describing landmarks is invaluable. (2) Incorporating breathing observation and respiration techniques is a gentle and efficient way to adapt mobilization skills to multiple populations. (3) Joint mobilization can be accomplished through a variety of techniques ranging from prolonged passive stretching, to “thrust” manipulations. Matching the techniques to the situation can be a daunting task, unless approached systematically, with evidence-based reasoning. This course covers both the axial skeleton and the extremities, and can be applied immediately upon returning to the clinical setting. Specific techniques will be reviewed for the following areas: First rib, Clavicle, Mid-Lower ribs, Quadratus Lumborum, Pelvis, Sacrum, Hip, and Ankle.
Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:
1. Palpate landmarks in order to identify painful areas/ structures, assess position of landmarks and relationship between landmarks, identify atypical position and tone, locate target of soft tissue/ mobilization techniques. Locate target of modalities.
2. Describe and demonstrate the domains of observation, including visual, static and dynamic palpation, and a three-plane approach.
3. Incorporate respiration into a manual therapy paradigm.
4. Identify hypomobility and joint dysfunctions.
5. Describe and differentiate the types of manual treatments, including mobilizations.
6. Document palpitation findings as well as mobilization techniques.
7. Describe and demonstrate a three-step approach to manual therapy: palpation, respiration, and mobilization.
8. Perform an efficient manual therapy treatment for specific body parts.
Physical Therapists (and Physical Therapy Assistants)* and Certified Athletic Trainers
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