The American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) was established over 26 years ago and has since significantly propelled forward the study of manual physical therapy in the United States. To this day, AAOMPT continues to promote orthopaedic manual physical therapy (OMPT) in the hopes that their vision of creating a “healthy world in motion, free of musculosketal pain” is attained. In early 2017, AAOMPT took further steps towards realizing this vision by establishing the AAOMPT Endowment Fund with the Foundation for Physical Therapy to provide funding for grants and projects that investigate areas related to musculoskeletal disorders.
“The formal relationship between AAOMPT and the Foundation is a very strong strategic collaboration that will add crucial components to the OMPT body of knowledge,” said Robert H. Rowe, PT, DPT, DMT, MHS, FAAOMPT, Executive Director of the Brooks Rehabilitation Institute of Higher Learning. Dr. Rowe also previously served as AAOMPT’s president from 2009-2014.
While over the years, AAOMPT has amassed research that supports the current practice of OMPT, current President Jim Rivard, PT, MOMT, DMT, OCS, FAAOMPT, explains that there is still a pressing need to continue contributing to this body of knowledge. “Our vision has been shifting more towards the role of manual physical therapy in the larger picture of healthcare, and being able to conduct larger studies that show the benefit of PT and its impact on cost and outcomes,” said Dr. Rivard.
“Regarding the growing debate about whether certain aspects of physical therapy should take a “hands-off” approach, AAOMPT strongly believes otherwise: not only is it necessary, but it is also vital to the future of the profession, to provide evidence to confirm efficacy and push back onthis current trend,” said Dr. Rivard. “We continue to advocate for greater scope of practice and defend our right to perform manipulation, and to do that, we must have the evidence needed to justify our advocacy,” added Dr. Rowe.
Through this pledge, which was announced during the 2017 Combined Sections Meeting, AAOMPT is hopeful that the future will hold “better targeted care and outcomes among patients,” said Dr. Rivard. “The bottom line is to show how physical therapy can ease suffering and improve function, and the more evidence we have for the specific interventions that we do, the more focused exercise, education and hands on care we can provide,” he added.
AAOMPT first became a Foundation donor in 2005 and with the current endowment, their total giving has reached over $300,000. According to Dr. Rivard, “it is difficult to call yourself an evidence-based clinician or to have an evidence-based practice if you are not in some way supporting the creation of that evidence.” And for those that are not able to conduct research themselves, he explains that donating is “a way to be part of the evolution of the profession.”
You can help grow the fund by visiting, foundation4pt.org/aaompt/.
AAOMPT is a national organization committed to excellence in orthopaedic manual physical therapy practice, education, and research and was established in 1991.To learn more about AAOMPT, visit aaompt.org.