AAOMPT Position StatementsDry Needling:
POSITION: It is the Position of the AAOMPT Executive Committee that dry needling is within the scope of physical therapist practice.
SUPPORT STATEMENT: Dry needling is a neurophysiological evidence-based treatment technique that requires effective manual assessment of the neuromuscular system. Physical therapists are well trained to utilize dry needling in conjunction with manual physical therapy interventions. Research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction of motor endplates, and facilitates an accelerated return to active rehabilitation.
POSITION: It is the Position of the AAOMPT that ultrasound imaging is within the scope of physical therapist practice
SUPPORT STATEMENT: Ultrasound imaging is an evidence-based tool used by physical therapists to evaluate, diagnose, and treat altered muscle and related soft-tissue morphology and behavior during physical tasks consistent with the scope of practice of physical therapists. Ultrasound imaging is used to assist in the application of therapeutic interventions aimed at improving neuromuscular function. Physical Therapists are well trained to utilize ultrasound imaging to augment muscular assessment and rehabilitation strategies. This includes providing feedback to the patient and physical therapist to improve clinical outcomes. Additionally, ultrasound imaging is used in basic, applied, and clinical rehabilitative research to inform clinical practice to help support the practice of physical therapy.
Referral for Profit
POSITION: The American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists opposes the ownership of Physical Therapy services by Physicians and any other referral for profit model that presents a conflict of interest for financial gain as a result of making the referral.
SUPPORT STATEMENT: The Academy believes that the consumer of Physical Therapy services is best served when they are able to access a Physical Therapist who has the best skills for their condition based on clinical expertise and physical therapists can exercise their best clinical judgment when free of accepting referrals from referral sources with a potential conflict of interest or potential for financial gain as a result of making the referral.
POSITION: The American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists supports the concepts of continued competence, lifelong learning, and ongoing professional development as identified in APTA Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020 (Vision 2020), the Standards of Practice for Physical Therapy, and the Code of Ethics.
SUPPORT STATEMENT: This position refers to the APTA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, LIFELONG LEARNING, AND CONTINUED COMPETENCE IN PHYSICAL THERAPY HOD P05-07-14-14(Program 65) [Position]* This position statement correlates with the mission of AAOMPT and directly relates to the basis of the Fellow renewal process in AAOMPT. Adoption of this position statement would clearly inform members of the lifelong learning philosophy developed within the renewal process for fellows. This position statement will guide the development of curriculum models and promote guidance in visionary developments in manual therapy education.
Evidence Based Practice
POSITION: To promote improved quality of care and patient/client outcomes, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists supports and promotes the development and utilization of evidence-based practice that includes the integration of best available research, clinical expertise, and patient values and circumstances related to patient/client management, practice management, and health policy decision making.
Procedures Performed Exclusively by a Physical Therapist
POSITION: The physical therapist’s scope of practice as defined by the American Physical Therapy Association Guide to Physical Therapist Practice includes interventions performed by physical therapists. These interventions include procedures performed exclusively by physical therapists and selected interventions that can be performed by the physical therapist assistant under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. Interventions that require immediate and continuous examination and evaluation throughout the intervention are performed exclusively by the physical therapy. Such procedural interventions within the scope of physical therapist practice that are performed exclusively by the physical therapist include, but are not limited to, spinal and peripheral joint mobilization/manipulation, which are components of manual therapy, and sharp selective debridement, which is a component of wound management.
Teaching Continuing Education
POSITION: Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants conducting clinical continuing education courses are obligated to identify target audiences and indicate in the printed, lecture, and advertising materials that course content is not intended for use by participants outside the scope of their license or regulation.
Furthermore, they should make it clear when teaching elements of physical therapist patient/client management that subsequent use of those elements is physical therapy only when performed by a physical therapist or by a physical therapist assistant under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist, in accordance with Association policies, positions, guidelines, standards, and the Code of Ethics.
In the interest of public safety, physical therapists, and physical therapist assistances should not conduct clinical continuing education courses that teach elements of physical therapist patient/client management to individuals who are not licenses or otherwise regulated, except as they are involved in a specific plan of care, and in accordance with Association policies, positions, guidelines, standards, and the Code of Ethics.