"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tim Richardson Joins Editorial Advisory Board of Physical Therapy Products

Physical Therapy Products announces the addition of Tim Richardson, PT to its Editorial Advisory Board effective immediately.

The publication's Editorial Advisory Board is a panel of therapy professionals with diverse specialties who help guide the magazine's content and direction.

Richardson has been a practicing physical therapist for nearly 20 years. A graduate of both the University of Florida and the University of St. Augustine's physical therapy programs, Richardson is currently in private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc. in Palmetto, Fla. He has made available for "open source testing" the Clinical Decision Support system at BulletproofPT.com.

An accomplished writer, Richardson pens the 5-year old blog PhysicalTherapyDiagnosis.com and his book Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is due out Summer 2011.

"I’m honored to be joining Physical Therapy Products’ prestigious Editorial Advisory Board", Richardson says.

"I’m looking forward to working with the editors and my fellow board members to contribute new ideas on how to cover products and technology for physical medicine professionals.”

Monday, June 20, 2011

Physical Therapy Bill Delayed - Not Dead Yet!

California's POPTs bill, AB 783, failed to reach a new vote Monday, June 20th 2011 in the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee.

Assembly Member Mary Hayashi (D-Hayworth) failed to muster the minimum five votes to move the bill out of committee.

But, this issue may not be dead yet.

Comment on the NBC Los Angeles website cover story Physical Therapy Bill Delayed that ran today to keeps the story on the front page.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Physical Therapy Videos Can Help Your Patients

1.    Physical Therapy Tips: Physical Therapy Techniques for a Bulging Disc: Learn more about the spine, and some of the techniques for treating a bulging disc.

2.    Physical Therapy Tips: Exercises for Sciatic Nerve Pain: Learn how to reduce pain in the sciatic nerve in the back.

3.    Physical Therapy Exercises for the Back: More Ways to Do Pelvic Tilts for Back Physical Therapy: One of a variety of videos aimed at physical therapy techniques designed to help the back.

4.    Physical Therapy Exercises for the Back: Range of Motion Exercises: Learn more about different range of motion exercises you can do to help your back.

5.    Physical Therapy – Preventing Low Back Pain During Pregnancy: A great video with techniques for preventing back pain during pregnancy.

6.    Physical Therapy Exercises for Shoulder Muscles: Helps with upper back pain.

7.    How Physical Therapy Can Help Back Pain: A great look at the ways that physical therapy can be beneficial in terms of easing back pain.

Foot, Leg and Ankle Physical Therapy Techniques

If you are helping someone recover the use of lower limbs, these techniques can be helpful. Find out more about physical therapy and how it can improve the use of legs, feet, and ankles.

8.    Achilles Tendon Physical Therapy Exercises: Learn about massaging the Achilles tendon effectively as a therapy technique.

9.    Achilles Tendon Physical Therapy: How to Massage the Calf Muscle: You can learn how to massage the calf muscle as part of therapeutic treatment.

11. Exercises for Iliotibial Band Syndrome: Learn how to do exercises to treat IT band syndrome more effectively.

12. Physical Therapy Exercises for Foot and Ankle Pain: Shows strength building exercises that can help you avoid pain.

13. The Alphabet Exercise for Ankle Pain: Help get beyond ankle pain with this interesting exercise.

Physical Therapy Techniques for the Neck

Find out more about treating neck problems. These physical therapy techniques are demonstrated so that you can learn more about improving neck function.

14. Physical Therapy Neck Stretches: Helpful look at using neck stretches as part of physical therapy.

15. 45 Degree Angle Stretch for Neck Physical Therapy: Find out how you can do this specific stretch aimed at helping your neck.

16. Scalene Muscle Stretch for Neck Physical Therapy: Get your neck muscle properly stretched.

17. Interior Neck Muscle Exercise for Neck Physical Therapy: You might be surprised at the muscles in your neck. Use this exercise to help the interior muscle.

18. Stretching & Relaxation for Neck Physical Therapy: Learn how to relieve tension in your neck.

19. Stretching to Relieve Neck & Shoulder Pain: This physical therapy treatment can help you get beyond neck pain.

Arm, Wrist and Hand Physical Therapy Techniques

Recover the motor use of your upper limbs with these helpful YouTube videos. Great resources to help you become a better physical therapist.

20. Arm Circle Exercises as Shoulder Physical Therapy: Use this arm exercise to help your shoulders.

21. arm wrist shoulder: Techniques to help you learn how to treat the arm, wrist and shoulder in physical therapy.

22. PNF, Stroke Recovery, Spasticity and Hand Therapy Physical Therapy: This hand physical therapy can help in stroke recovery.

23. Drop Arm Test: Learn how to use the drop art test to check for tendon tears.

24. Tennis Elbow Exercises: Physical therapy exercise to help treat tennis elbow pain.

25. Elbow Exercises for Complex Regional Pain: Ease complex regional pain with these exercises.

26. Physical Therapy for a Frozen Shoulder: Help your shoulder regain better movement.

27. How to Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis: Physical therapy to techniques to relieve arthritis in the hand.

Working with Prosthesis in Physical Therapy

Learning to work effectively with a prosthesis can be a real challenge. A physical therapist needs to know how to help patients learn techniques to help. These YouTube videos demonstrate helpful techniques for use with prosthesis.

28. Advancements in Prosthetics – Inside the Socket: Learn more about the socket of a prosthesis. Helps you undertand how it works, so you can be more effective.

29. Horse Therapy: A look at how this can help a little girl learn to walk with prosthesis.

30. Understanding Phantom Pain and Phantom Sensation: Learn more about this phenomenon that can affect recovery.

31. How a prosthetic hand/claw works: A look at the way a prosthetic hand works. Can be helpful as you create physical therapy programs.

32. Warrior Care: Gait Lab:  A look at the gait lab treating wounded soldiers.

33. Prosthetic Application: How to put on a prosthesis.

Other Physical Therapy Techniques

See other physical therapy techniques when you watch these videos. You can find out more about different scoring methods, and about helping patients who are facing different challenges.

34. Physical Therapy Education: How to score the OPTIMAL scale: A helpful video from a physical therapist on how to use the OPTIMAL scale.

35. Physical Therapy Tips: Physical Therapy Techniques: These are techniques meant to help with mobilization.

36. Physical Therapy Treatments: Physical Therapy Treatments for Spina Bifida: Using resistance techniques to help treat spina bifida and strengthen the body.

37. Cralle Physical Therapy: This news feature on the therapy techniques of Ray Cralle is very interesting. Cralle is an internationally known physical therapist whose help treat Cerebral Palsy, stroke and brain injury.

39. Physical Therapy and Interstitial Cystitis (IC): A look at techniques that can help you with bladder pain.

40. Insomnia Help with Mind Body Physical Therapy Methods: You can learn how to use physical therapy to treat insomnia.

This guest post is contributed by Penny Thomas, she writes on the topic of HowToBecomeAPhysicalTherapist.org. She welcomes your questions and comments at her email:

Monday, June 13, 2011

California POPTs Bill Dies in Senate Committee

Just moments ago, AB 783, (Mary Hayashi D-Hayward) which would override current California state law preventing medical corporations from employing physical therapists and referring patients to their own clinics, died in State Senate Committee.

Five yes votes were needed to move the bill out of Committee, and there were 3 Ayes and 2 Nos and 4 Senators didn't vote.

Aye votes were Vargas, Correa and Wyland.

No votes were Price (Chair) and Walters.

The Chair declared the bill failed to move out of committee and allowed for reconsideration at a later date.

It is unclear when the bill will be reheard, but we will keep you posted.

Thanks to all of you that sent emails to your state legislators.

Thanks to those members of the California chapter who fought this fight for all of us.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Oxford Debate 2011: Clinical Prediction Rules Dead or Alive?

It seems appropriate that the next logical step in physical therapists’ practice, clinical prediction rules, would be politicized at the Oxford Debates at the American Physical Therapy Associations’ Annual Meeting in Washington DC.

A question that should never have been framed allowed the student-led body of voters on Friday, June 10th to move their feet to one side of the giant auditorium in the Gaylord Hotel in response to emotionally-charged arguments from the debaters.

Arguing AGAINST clinical prediction rules:
  • Stanley Paris, PT, PhD argued that clinical prediction rules “dumbed down” the practice of physical therapy.
  • Chad Cook, PT, PhD argued that clinical prediction rules were incomplete.
    • One of Dr. Cook’s students, from the audience, called out that she was sure she had learned clinical prediction rules from Dr. Cook’s class within the last two years. That earned a big laugh. (Typically, Oxford debates pit advocates arguing positions contrary to their stated beliefs or published findings).
  • Margaret Elaine Lonnemann PT, DPT argued that derivation level rules may find associations due only to chance.
Arguing FOR clinical prediction rules:
  • Julie Fritz, PT, PhD, from the audience, argued that the question is not “either/or” and that clinical prediction rules are incomplete and evolving.
  • Stephen George, PT, PhD argued that physical therapists’ training traditionally prompted a biomechanical approach to problem-solving and that newer evidence indicates “who” you treat is more important than “how” you treat them.
  • Anthony Delitto, PT, PhD used the analogy of a hammer. Just as you would not build a house using just a hammer, so physical therapists should not approach decision-making using just clinical prediction rules. Dr. Delitto then drew a big laugh from the audience when he expressed his urge to use a hammer on the opposing team’s argument.
  • Nicole Raney, PT, DSc argued that physicians are required to use clinical prediction rules in medicine. To not use clinical prediction rules is to practice below the standard of care. Further, she argued that clinical prediction rules are merely the starting point for fully informed medical decision making.
The end result was that many more audience participants, led by student members, got up and ran to the “CON” side of the room – winning the debate for those arguing against clinical prediction rules.

But, I blame Washington’s political climate that falsely dichotomizes every debate into “either/or”.

Remember “You’re either for us or you’re against us!”?

The debate should not be whether or not to accept or reject clinical prediction rules.

The debate should be how we can most efficiently integrate validated rules into the clinical workflow so that physical therapists can ALWAYS have the option to use clinical prediction rules as their FIRST decision in patient care.

Diet and Nutrition for Physical Therapists

International Networks Archive / Map of the Month

"Princeton offers a look at two different infographics describing the place of McDonald’s and Starbucks in public health implications that are related to the foods they show.

Sometimes we forget how much sugar Starbucks coffee has, and the lack of nutritional value in McDonald’s food.

An eye-opening infographic that provides an interesting look at the way we eat — and how it is being exported around the world."

Click the graphic to enlarge it in your browser.
Thanks to Allison Sharp at the Health Hawk.com

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Physical Therapists Go To Washington DC to Advocate for Patients

Take Action: Support Your Colleagues on Capitol Hill This Week

On Thursday, June 9, approximately 1,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy will visit the Capitol Hill offices of their U.S. Representatives and Senators as part of this year’s PT Day on Capitol Hill. These physical therapy advocates will lobby Congress on cosponsoring legislation to repeal the cap (H.R. 1546/S. 829), adding physical therapists to the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program (H.R. 1426/S. 975), Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act (H.R. 469), and other issues.

Even if you can’t be in Washington, you can help!

Please e-mail your Members of Congress this week to support your colleagues and to increase the voice PT will have on Capitol Hill. APTA’s goal is to generate more than 10,000 emails.

Contact Your Members of Congress
E-mail: APTA members can utilize the Legislative Action Center to contact their members of Congress on the issues below.

Talking Points

Repeal of the Therapy Cap: Request your Members’ cosponsorship of the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (H.R. 1546/S. 829) to ensure access to outpatient rehabilitation services for the most vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries. This legislation repeals a provision from the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) that set an arbitrary annual financial limitation on Medicare beneficiaries’ rehabilitation services. The current therapy cap exceptions process will end on December 31, 2011.

Adding PTs to the National Health Service Corps Program: Request your Members of Congress to cosponsor the The Physical Therapist Student Loan Repayment Eligibility Act (H.R. 1426/S. 975), legislation that would provide for physical therapists’ participation in the National Health Service Corp’s Loan Repayment Program. This initiative encourages physical therapists to serve in rural and urban underserved communities and helps to address the rising debt load of physical therapists who might otherwise not be able to practice in an underserved community. This is particularly important given the growing demand for the services of physical therapists.

Passage of the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act of 2011: The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) strongly supports the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act of 2011(H.R. 469), legislation that would allow for the development of concussion management guidelines that address the prevention, identification, treatment, and management of concussions in school-aged children. Legislative and policy efforts at the state and local level on concussion management have been highly inconsistent. This inconsistency can be a detriment to the quality of care and considerations necessary for the complexity of concussion injuries within active student athletes.

Additional information on these issues can be accessed on APTA’s website. Thank you for your continued efforts to improve physical therapy and the patients that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants serve.

If you would like to inform others about advocating this week, encourage them to email their members of Congress through APTA’s Legislative Action Center by visiting http://www.apta.org/TakeAction!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

California Senators Should Vote No on AB 783


Physical Therapy Practices are in Serious Jeopardy!

Private PT Businesses will Shut Down Unless You Act Now!

AB 783 passed through the Assembly.

Next it will go to the Senate Business and Professions Committee.

We MUST stop it there!

Without the proactive actions of our entire profession, the bill to legalize physician owned physical therapy services will go unchallenged, and hundreds of Physical Therapy practices likely will go out of business, putting us and 6,000 of our employees out of work!

Please help by faxing a letter and calling these legislators no later than Monday, June 6th, at the latest. Please don't delay.

Click here to download all the faxes you will need (Flash image)

We did the busy work for you.

Follow these very simple steps.

1. Enter your name and date in the fields at the top.

2. Write your story - Nothing fancy but let him know that Physician Owned Physical Therapy services have cost you money, jobs, and is hurting the profession. Tell a horror story but we need a massive outpouring of stuff coming down on this these 3 senators' heads.

2. Delete Yellow Highlights and Sign the bottom and fill in your address

3. IMPORTANT Print them out on your LETTERHEAD

4. Fax them.

5. Repeat with everyone in your office!

Feel free to customize them as you see fit.

For Phone Calls: Here are the names and phone numbers. If they ask questions, simple state the information that is contained on the fax.

Senator Lou Correa
Phone: (916) 651-4034

Senator Ed Hernandez
Phone: (916) 651-4024
Fax: (916) 445-0485

Senator Mark Wyland
Phone: (916) 651-4038
Fax: (916) 446-7382

For those of you who might feel "weird" about participating in the political process, think about it, this is why we live in America. This is your chance to have your voice be heard. (unless you don't mind working for a physician and believe, like they do, that anyone is qualified to do our job... then you can disregard this message).

Please Don't Delay.

Defeating AB 783 depends on every one of our CA members (and those out of state supporting their colleagues) taking action immediately so our voice can be heard. Our independence and livelihoods depend on it!

If you can donate - we need every penny we can muster.

The California Private Practice Group Board of Directors

PS: check www.StopPOPTs.org for regular updates

Follow us on www.twitter.com/StopPOPTs

**The California Private Practice Group is a special interest group of the California Physical Therapy Association.**

Free Tutorial

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Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

"Make Decisions like Doctors"

Copyright 2007-2010 by Tim Richardson, PT.
No reproduction without authorization.

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American Physical Therapy Association
Consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association supports exclusive physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.