What is orthopaedic manual physical therapy?
Physically, orthopaedic manual physical therapy (OMPT) is any “hands-on” treatment provided by a physiotherapist. This may include joint mobilization or manipulation, muscle stretching, nerve glides, passive ranging, dry needling, canalith repositioning, soft tissue mobilization, massage, etc.
More importantly, OMPT involves precise clinical evaluation of the individual, critical reasoning, and a continuous cycle of assessment and re-assessment, based on the patient’s response to the therapy provided.
Therapeutic exercises and activities, the backbone of physiotherapy, are almost always prescribed in addition to any OMPT to complement, reinforce and magnify the treatment effect.
What is a Fellow / FAAOMPT?
A FAAOMPT is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists.
Fellows are a special group of physiotherapists dedicated to continuing education in practice, education or research. FAAOMPT is a mark of distinction, internationally recognized for competence and expertise in the practice of manual physiotherapy. It says your physiotherapist has made—and continues to make—special efforts to be a better physiotherapist. It says your physiotherapist cares about delivering optimal health care.
FAAOMPT means that, as a patient, you can have the utmost confidence in your physical therapist’s clinical, analytical and hands-on skills in the treatment of your musculoskeletal condition. Through continual self-improvement and mentored study, the Fellow has added to the knowledge and skills needed to deliver best care for your rehabilitative needs, whether directly with you or by coordinating care with other health care specialists.
How does a physical therapist become a Fellow / FAAOMPT?
Educationally, physical therapists complete their undergraduate and graduate schooling— including their general practice internships-- and are awarded their professional degree (DPT). After graduating, physical therapists have the option of applying to a residency program to continuing their education and training in a specialty area of practice (orthopedics, women’s health, clinical electrophysiology, etc.) under mentorship from a residency- or fellowship-trained physiotherapist(s). The physical therapist also has the option, typically after completing a residency program, of applying to a fellowship program, for even further education and training in sub-specialty practice under the mentorship of a fellowship-trained physiotherapist(s).
Total Education: Entry-Level: 7 years; Residency: 1-3 years; Fellowship: 1-2 years
At the time of this writing there are approximately 210,000 physiotherapists practicing in the United States. Of those therapists, approximately 1,300 are Fellows. Of those FAAOMPTS, 30 are practicing in Michigan, and Dr. Gaunt is the only Fellow practicing in Northern Michigan.