Manipulation Education Manual (MEM) and Resources

The APTA Manipulation Task Force in conjunction with the APTA Section on Orthopaedics and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) have developed a rich set of resources to assist you in enhancing your ongoing curriculum assessment and development in the area of spinal manipulation. We expect faculty members to find it a valuable resource in several regards. Academic coordinators of clinical education may wish to share materials in the manual with clinical instructors. Orthopedic faculty members will likely find the evidence review and curriculum resource information useful in course development and other aspects of instruction.

The Manipulation Education Manual (MEM) (.pdf) was developed to support the ongoing efforts in physical therapist education programs to provide appropriate, evidence-based instruction in thrust manipulation. Educational preparation of physical therapists for the practice of manipulative therapy is often the focal point of arguments made in legislative and regulatory arenas by those attempting to limit our ability to participate in this area. Clearly, all forms of manual therapy, including all grades of mobilization and manipulation therapeutic movements, are within the scope of practice of physical therapy as is reflected in their inclusion in A Normative Model of Physical Therapist Professional Education (APTA, 2004), the evaluative criteria of the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), and the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice (APTA, 2003).

Additional Resources

The APTA White Paper on Thrust Manipulation Provided by Physical Therapists will assist in educating students on the history, training, and safety of manipulation in the PT profession, as well as a summary of the research supporting the use of manipulation. The paper also provides background on the ongoing challenges mounted by chiropractic profession via legislative and regulatory strategies to prohibit physical therapist use of these procedures.

White Paper: Position on Thrust Joint Manipulation Provided by Physical Therapists (.pdf) 

White Paper Summary (.pdf) 

Presentation: Position on Thrust Joint Manipulation Provided by Physical Therapists (.ppt) 

APTA State Advocacy: Manipulation/Mobilization Resources