The next issue is the lack of research on exam measures and intervention techniques that we use in the clinic. We have had our mentors and fellow clinicians comment on where the evidence is for some of our treatment styles. A perfect example is Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM). While there is some initial research out there currently, there is hardly enough evidence to prove that IASTM is a high-quality, proven treatment. That being said, the results can be impressive. The key comes back to test and re-test your patients after a treatment. This applies to more than just IASTM. With your corrective exercises, joint mobs/manips, etc., assess your patient first (pain, ROM, strength, symptoms, SFMA) and re-check afterwards. Going back to IASTM, we have had particular success improving ROM without neural provocation using IASTM. Utilizing the neural tension test as our base and then follow-up, we have seen gains in ROM by as much as 45 degrees after simply a few minutes of IASTM. Basically, if you can prove that a treatment works by doing this, why stop it? Of course, we can't forget about incorporating these changes into our care and reinforcing them to lock in the changes, but the lesson is we shouldn't limit ourselves by what the literature is (or isn't) saying at the time.
James Heafner PT, DPT, OCS:
Owner and lead physical therapist at Heafner Health, cash-based physical therapy in Boulder, CO. Areas of expertise include orthopedic and manual therapy, functional movement, pain science, and movement science.
In May 2013, I earned my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Saint Louis University. After graduating from the Harris Health Systems Orthopedic Residency in October 2014, I moved to Boulder, CO. Since living in Boulder, I have started my own cash-based PT practice, earned my OCS certification, and teach for the OPTIM Fellowship and COMT program in Houston TX and Scottsdale, AZ.
Chris Fox PT, DPT, OCS: Physical therapist at Foothills Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy in Scottsdale, AZ and regularly lectures at the Phoenix Campus for NAU's DPT program and for Optim Manual Therapy's COMT program. Completed multiple advanced manual therapy courses implementing aspects of biomechanical analysis. He received his DPT from Saint Louis University in 2013. Completed Scottsdale Healthcare's Orthopaedic Residency (now Honor Health) in July 2014. He became a Board Certified Orthopaedic Specialist in 2015. Level I Expert in FMS and SFMA , Kinetacore FDN Level 1 certification, and IASTM Technique course completion. He would like to pursue further education in McKenzie Technique, Dry Needling, Strength & Conditioning, Orthopaedic and Manual Therapy.
Brian Schwabe PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS:
- Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist (SCS) at Elite OrthoSport in Santa Monica, CA which specializes in treating collegiate/professional athletes and clientele from the Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Santa Monica areas.
- USC Sports Residency Trained Physical Therapist (<1% of all PT's residency trained)
- DPT from Saint Louis University
- Future plans/interest include:
1. USAW, SFMA & Catapult Systems technology for NBA teams
2. Pursuing a position as a sports physical therapist &/or Strength coach for a Division 1 athletic medicine department or professional sport team.
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