My AAOMPT 2018 Experience

AAOMPT 2018 was the first manual therapy conference I attended.  Going to a conference without colleagues or friends is a daunting experience, especially as a foreign trained physio.  From the start the AAOMPT experience was different.

I got an email a few weeks prior to the conference to register as a first time attendee and was introduced to the Xperience program.  This made all the difference! The focus of the program was to get to know other ‘first timers’ but also to have someone introduce you to long-standing AAOMPT members and fellows.  I was warmly welcomed by the most amazing PTs. Whenever I stood alone or started feeling like an outsider, someone would pull me back in with a friendly handshake and warm conversation.  

After this conference I have an even greater appreciation for all the amazing OMT mentors and teachers I had in South Africa.  I take home an eagerness to learn more, new friendships, a MyoTool, a signed copy of Ken Olsen’s Manual Therapy book (that I won from IFOMPT), as well as the knowledge shared by amazing speakers.  

I have pages and pages of notes and slides, but here is a list of key messages that was repeated over the weekend by different speakers:

    • Patient expectations play a major part in outcome.  Always consider what the patient expects should happen in a treatment, patient preferences, and the outcomes important to the patient
    • Try to solicit the patient’s agenda, do not redirect the patient before hearing the primary complaint
    • Be alert to the patient’s non-verbal communication
    • Communication is not a soft skill it is critical!
    • Precision intervention is the tailoring of our intervention to the individual’s characteristics, biopsychosocial aspects, injury characteristics, genetics, pain etc. For LBP pain we are moving from stratified care to precision intervention
    • Manual therapy should not be considered a passive modality.  The patient should be engaged in what they feel, the depth of the technique, and the education you provide.
    • Explain to the patient what you are doing and how it works to modulate pain, influence the nervous system and help them to feel better
    • We should be excited to be manual therapists.  We make a difference not just in how we treat and treatment techniques, but the examination, patient interaction etc.
    • People tend to forget the the bio of biopsychosocial
    • Research has shown that patients get 30%+ better after just an examination
    • Brain maps can be enhanced by manual therapy as the patient’s body representation of pain shrinks with 33% after manual therapy
    • Pain science cannot be an afterthought. It should be integrated into our treatment

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