• News New Blog Banner

  • Pediatrics Section and Scoliosis Research Society Emphasize Importance of Early Detection

    The effectiveness of bracing in treating adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) has been well-established, but early detection is key. That's where physical therapists (PTs) come in.

    The APTA Section on Pediatrics is working with the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) to develop resources for physical therapists (PTs) on the detection and management of AIS. SRS has already issued Screening Procedure Guidelines for Spinal Deformity.

    Coming soon: More information from APTA on the role of PTs in managing those diagnosed with AIS.

    WCPT Award Nomination Deadlines Coming Soon

    The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) is seeking nominations for its awards program that honors physical therapists (PTs) who have contributed to the profession or global health at an international level. The WCPT deadline for nominations is August 31; however, nominations seeking support from APTA must be submitted to APTA staff by August 15.

    There are 4 award categories open to nomination by WCPT’s member organizations, regions, or subgroups: the Mildred Elson Award, the International Service Award, the Humanitarian Service Award, and the Leadership in Rehabilitation Award. Descriptions of the awards and eligibility criteria (.pdf) can be found on WCPT's awards webpage. Nomination forms are required for all submissions and can be obtained by contacting Rene Malone.

    Awards will be presented during the 2015 General Meeting and Congress May 1-4 in Singapore.

    APTA Challenges AHA Report on 'Association' Between CMT and Stroke

    A recent American Heart Association (AHA) statement that cervical manipulation may "play a role" in stroke fails to consider how physical therapist (PT) clinical judgment can reduce this risk, and overlooks the fact that manipulation is associated with far fewer complications than drug-based and surgical interventions, according to a news release from APTA. The AHA statement (.pdf) focused on an analysis of strokes caused by cervical arterial dissections (CDs).

    "Incidents of stroke associated with cervical manipulation are rare," according to the APTA statement, which cites studies from 2002 and 2010 that found "no strong evidence" connecting cervical manipulation therapy (CMT) and adverse events.

    APTA's statement was issued in response to an AHA report that concludes there is a "statistical association" between CD and CMT but does not cite a definitive link. In fact, AHA describes the incidence of CD in patients who have received CMT as "not well established, and probably low," and characterizes evidence as "insufficient to establish the claim that CMT causes CD." In a news release issued by AHA, the report's lead author is quoted as saying that “A cause-and-effect relationship between [CMT] and CD has not been established." Still, he said, “Patients should be informed of this association before undergoing neck manipulation.”

    In its statement, APTA emphasizes the role of the clinical judgment of the PT, supported by a 2-decade history of guidelines for CMT, and a 2012 clinical reasoning framework developed by the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists, an organization that works closely with the Orthopaedic Section of APTA. The framework in particular was designed "to provide guidance for the assessment of patients for the likelihood of stroke in advance of [CMT]," according to the statement.

    APTA also points out that CMT has rates of risk lower than the use of pain relievers or cervical spine surgery, both of which are reported to increase likelihood of a range of adverse outcomes in addition to stroke.

    "The physical therapy community is committed to educating patients and practitioners about the risks and benefits of cervical manipulation," said Timothy W. Flynn PT, PhD, OCS, immediate past president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. "[PTs] understand the small risk of stroke associated with cervical manipulation, and they base decisions regarding the select use of this procedure on a detailed and ongoing evaluation and a treatment plan that is consistent with patient preferences."

    State Policy and Payment Forum Registration Closes Aug 29

    August 29 is the last day to register for the 2014 APTA State Policy and Payment Forum set for September 13–15 at the Grand Hyatt in Seattle, Washington.

    This important members-only gathering is designed to equip physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) with the knowledge and tools to be more effective in legislative, regulatory, and payment advocacy efforts at the state level. Issues that will be addressed at the Forum include copay legislation, health care reform implementation, scope of practice, dry needling, and much more.

    In addition to presentations on current advocacy efforts in the states, the forum will include a case study on state legislation allowing PTs to order imaging, a session on infringement from other providers, and 2 luncheon speakers: Washington State Rep Laurie Jenkins and Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, director of the health care innovation and value initiative at the Brookings Institution.

    Registration is online-only—no onsite registrations will be offered. Visit the forum registration page to sign up and learn more about the forum.

    PTs Sought to Review Musculoskeletal Resource

    Qualified physical therapists (PTs) have an opportunity to contribute to the development of an important work on the current state of musculoskeletal diseases in the US.

    The US Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) is seeking reviewers to assist in the revision of The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States (BMUS), a resource that describes the musculoskeletal landscape as reflected in data from the National Center for Health Statistics’ 2008 National Health Interview Survey.

    USBJI is seeking reviewers for the following chapters of the BMUS:

    • The Big Picture
    • Back and Neck Pain
    • Spinal Deformity
    • Arthritis
    • Osteoporosis and Bone Health
    • Injuries (including falls, traumatic, workplace, military, sports)
    • Children and Adolescents
    • Tumors
    • The Older Population (Medicare)
    • Military Population

    APTA members interested in being a reviewer should contact Anita Bemis-Dougherty by August 31 and indicate which chapter(s) of BMUS they are interested in reviewing.

    The USBJI advocates and promotes multidisciplinary, coordinated, and patient-centered care to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. APTA is a founding member of the organization.