508-660-1110 1333 Main Street, Suite G ∙ Walpole ∙ MA ∙ 02081 info@mwphysicaltherapy.com

Almost every day, I answer a lot of questions here at Motion Works Physical Therapy.  Why is my knee hurting? How long will it take for my foot pain to go away? Have you seen this type of back pain before?  Do you take my insurance?

Another common question I get from patients is: What do those initials behind your name mean?  They are of course asking about the initials FAAOMPT. They either saw it on my door or on my website.   I try to be general and just say I did some advanced training in manual therapy, but there is a lot more to it than that.

FAAOMPT stands for Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) is a national organization committed to excellence in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy practice, education and research. The “Fellow” is a physical therapist who has demonstrated advanced clinical, analytical, and hands-on skills in the treatment of musculoskeletal orthopedic disorders and is internationally recognized for their competence and expertise in the practice of manual physical therapy.

Not every physical therapist completes fellowship training.  After I graduated from Northeastern University, I practiced as a physical therapist for about six years before deciding to complete a fellowship.  I attended the Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy in Woburn, MA which is a two-year long program with founder Martin Langaas. This experience really helped me improve my hands-on therapy skills, but it also taught me to think better.  There are currently only 36 fellows in Massachusetts and I am the only FAAOMPT in the Walpole area.

Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy is any “hands-on” evaluation or treatment that is used to improve mobility and function of the body.  This could include joint mobilization, muscle stretching, and selected soft tissue techniques. Some common examples of musculoskeletal areas an orthopedic manual physical therapist could treat include the neck, back, arms and legs. Advanced examination, communication, and decision-making skills facilitate the provision of effective and efficient care.

Benefits of manual therapy include:

  • Effective for acute and chronic pain
  • Helpful in relaxing muscles and breaking up scar tissue
  • Useful in increasing joint movement beyond restricted range of motion
  • Helpful in reducing painful muscle spasms

While manual therapy is a great resource to utilize during treatment sessions, that’s not all I do here at Motion Works Physical Therapy.  I may also incorporate a variety of exercises and education to help patients reach their goals. Each patient is different, so we’re sure to complete a full assessment before launching a course of treatment to make sure your plan is individualized to you! Visit our website or call 508-660-1110 to schedule an appointment with Mike.

Another New England winter is almost here and the first snowstorm of the season has already come and gone. Most of us head outside to clear the snow and unfortunately, shoveling snow is one of the most common causes of low back pain in the winter months.  Implementing proper body mechanics for snow shoveling can drastically reduce your chance of injury.

Warm Up

Cold, tight muscles are more prone to injury than warm. It’s easy to warm up. Go for a brief walk and stretch your hamstring/low back

Hamstring Stretch


Lower Back Stretch

Use optimal lifting ergonomics

It’s easy to be safe when shoveling once you know the proper body mechanics and positions.

Directly face the snow you are about to lift, rather than twisting, and when lifting, bend with the hips and knees, not the low back.

Don’t lift too much snow at a time and walk to the location you will put the snow, rather than throwing it.

Pace yourself

Go out a few times during each storm, don’t try to do this all at once! This will lessen the strain on your back and arms

Don’t lift too much at once, taking your time is worth it if you remain injury free!

If the snow is deep push off a few inches from the top rather than lifting the whole depth at once

Take breaks.

To see more, please view our video.

Of course, we know that sometimes injuries can occur. Fortunately Motion Works Physical Therapy is ready to help if you hurt your back, legs, or other area. Call us at 508-660-1110 to learn more and to make an appointment.

Motion Works Physical Therapy introduces our Patient of the Month, Andy. Andy is a firefighter who hurt his knee while carrying a patient on a stretcher down the stairs. Even after preoperative therapy, he had knee pain and was unable to return to work.

The surgery that Andy had is called a meniscectomy. This is surgical removal of the meniscus, which is a cartilage in the knee that helps cushion the joint.  It can get torn in both athletes and non-athletes alike and present with a loss of motion, pain, swelling, popping, clicking, and loss of strength. This condition can make it difficult to walk and negotiate stairs. While some people can get better without surgery, Andy required surgery.

Three weeks ago, he had surgery to remove this tear.  He is gradually improving and making good progress. We are currently working on gaining motion, reducing swelling, and controlling pain. He is just beginning to incorporate functional strengthening, like step ups, squats, and balance activities.

“My goal is to return to work stronger,” Andy said. “I want to be able to get back to playing with my kids.” We hope to also get him back to work as a firefighter in the next few weeks. We will work on strengthening to be able to let him lift his gear up and down stairs and ladders. 

Andy has had a very positive experience here at Motion Works. “I would absolutely recommend Motion Works. Mike and his staff are awesome. They provide a great, clean, effective environment and they make treatment pertinent, challenging and fun.”

Thank you, Andy. We are glad to have helped you along your road to recovery and getting you back to doing your important work.

Motion Works Physical is here to help you. Please learn more  at our website or call our office at 508-660-1110 for appointments.

I’m pretty sure that most of us have been there. We have back pain and our first instinct is to sit on the couch or lie down until it gets better. In this case, going against our instincts is going to help us feel so much better.

Research shows that this inactivity can lead to more pain. Getting up and moving might be the last thing you want to do,but physical therapy and exercise can be a effective way to reduce pain.

Even without physical therapy, light aerobic exercise like walking or riding a bike can also help back pain.  Of course, like everything else, when we get into the specifics of exercises, this can vary between each individual. What might be helpful for one person’s back may be harmful to another. At Motion Works we can help you find the right exercises for you.

Beyond just actual movements, your time here at Motion Works Physical Therapy is used to get educated. You won’t be here forever, but your physical therapist can provide exercises to take home to help you get better now and for you to incorporate into your normal routine.

We will make sure you are doing everything correctly and make modifications if certain exercises don’t work for you. Your time here at Motion Works is an hour or so for you to focus on you and your healing and not get distracted.

We will develop an individualized plan of care for you which will include appropriately prescribed exercise! Strong core and back muscles improve posture and increase the body’s ability to hold the spine in its proper place. This, in turn, relieves a lot of sciatic nerve pain.

There is no need to suffer at home alone. Call Motion Works to schedule an initial appointment in our Walpole, Massachusetts facility to start feeling better and get back to the activities that you love. We look forward to helping you!

*Even if physical therapy doesn’t help, there are other options. If you have persistent back pain for 3-4 week despite exercising, see a physician.  It’s also important to see a physician if you have other symptoms like pain/numbness and tingling downs the legs or weakness. Also, see the doctor if you notice back or neck pain in combination with fever or night sweats, or bowel or bladder incontinence. It’s very important that you get these conditions looked at right away.

Rene came to Motion Works Physical Therapy after undergoing a right total hip replacement. Rene lives in Walpole and dealt with hip arthritis for a long time before having surgery.

When we started working with her, she had some definite goals. “I have a couple of goals,” Rene said when discussing her treatment. “Unfortunately, my left hip needs to be replaced as well, which will be done in October. My immediate goal is to strengthen my right side so that it will be strong enough when I have my next surgery, to make it a bit easier. I am trying to look forward and I will definitely come back to Mike, as soon as I am cleared for outside PT after this second surgery. My goal at that time will be to strengthen and get me back to enjoying life – I certainly didn’t like being held back as I have been for the past couple years. My long-term goal is that I would like to take yoga one day. In the past couple of years, I have not been able to get down to the floor and up, which my ortho said he was not surprised when he saw x-rays of how bad my hips were with the bone on bone and I had no range of motion in my right and limited in my left.”

Rene realizes that hip replacement is a surgery with a lengthy recovery time and is practical about her treatment. “While Mike is encouraging, he is also realistic. Baby steps for me since I lack confidence after all this time of being in pain. While I know my long-term goal won’t happen in a couple of months, I’m hopeful with Mike’s help I’ll get there.”

Four weeks after surgery, Rene started attending PT twice a week. We have worked on stretching her hip and lower extremities to improve her range of motion. Performing progressive strengthening has helped improve her tolerance to walking and also helped with transfers and using the stairs. Rene has made great progress and will be transferring to an independent home exercise program soon.

Rene has been very pleased with her treatment here at Motion Works. “I cannot emphasize enough how highly I recommend Mike and Motion Works and I have told everyone who needed a recommendation. For me, I did not want to go to a place as I did in the past where you are often in a room with 5 therapists and many patients – and most of the time the therapists are talking amongst themselves without much coaching to their patients – I was uncomfortable in those situations.  Most definitely not so with Mike! If you’re looking for someone who is going to be make you his priority and who is informative and caring, there’s no doubt in my mind he will help you.”

If you have recently had an orthopedic surgery, give Motion Works Physical Therapy a call at 508-660-1110, email Mike at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or browse our website. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more blogs and tips on staying injury free.


I’ve been an active runner for a long time.  I ran in high school and college and now I run for stress relief (which it is great for!). Here’s the problem though. We all struggle with finding enough time in the day to do the things we like. Runners like running...and truthfully, not much else.  Many of the runners I see at Motion Works express their concern that they would like to avoid injuries and also improve their performance. My answer is straightforward:

Start including strength training.

To many runners, the idea of adding strength training is foreign and many just avoid it. They think that it will slow them down, but I assure them that nothing can slow them down as much as an injury can.

Strength training can improve the muscles ability to accept load. The lower the tolerance to load, the higher the risk of injury. By improving this load tolerance, you will decrease your risk of injury. In addition, research has shown that strength training is also beneficial for your running economy, in that your muscles will use less oxygen at the same pace.

While every runner is different and there is no real ‘one size fits all’ approach, most runners are typically weak in the glutes. To pinpoint where your personal weaknesses may lie, you can talk to us here at Motion Works Physical Therapy, or if you are not in the Walpole area, to a PT in your hometown.

A very basic exercise program to increase a runner’s strength is the following:

Frequency 2-3x week

Goblet Squats – Hold a weight at your chest.  Bend your knees and sit you hips backward. Do not allow your knees to go in front of your toes, fall inwards towards one another, or outwards away from one another. Repeat 




Single Leg Deadlifts – Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent. Hold a small weight in your opposite hand. Bend forward at your waist, reaching toward the floor with the weight. Return to upright.  Repeat.




Lateral walking – Wrap a resistance band around your ankles. Walk in a straight line to the side approximately 20-25 feet, keeping your knees relatively straight. Do not lean to the side with your trunk as you walk. Walk both to the right and left.




Single Leg Glute bridge – Lie on your back with one knee bent and the other leg straight off the floor.  Raise your hips off the floor, keeping your pelvis level.  Repeat.




Single Leg Calf raises – Stand on one leg, holding onto something sturdy for balance. Raise your heel off the ground and then slowly lower yourself back down.  Repeat.




And remember as you train, runners should increase their total running amount by NO MORE than 10% per week. Be sure to get a good, quality pair of running sneakers and change them every 300 to 400 miles.

You may need exercises more specific for you. We here at Motion Works Physical Therapy are available to help you and create a program specific to your unique needs. Visit our website or call 508-660-1110 to make an appointment.

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1333 Main Street, Suite G
Walpole, MA 02081

Phone # 508-660-1110
Fax # 508-660-1088

Providing Physical Therapy for:

Walpole ∙ Sharon
Foxboro ∙ Norfolk
Norwood ∙ Medfield
Canton ∙ Westwood

And surrounding communities.

Business Hours

Appointments Available

Mon - Thu

 7:00am - 8:00pm 

Friday 7:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday By Appointment only