Mike Wezel: Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

December 7th, 2018

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.

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