#35: Unraveling the mechanisms of manual therapy with Associate Professor Amy McDevitt

Season #1

In this episode of The Shoulder Physio podcast, I am joined by Amy McDevitt, an associate professor and clinician at the University of Colorado. Amy shared her perspective on manual therapy and the importance of unraveling the mechanisms behind this treatment approach.

We discussed the evolving causal explanations of manual therapy, moving beyond antiquated notions towards a more contemporary and scientifically based explanation for how it many help people in pain.

We delved into the complexities of how manual therapy works, from historical biomechanical viewpoints to more contemporary neurophysiological aspects. Amy highlighted the importance of considering contextual factors and therapeutic alliance, which may play a more significant role in patient outcomes than previously believed.

Don't miss this enlightening episode that sheds light on the intricacies of manual therapy and the quest for a deeper understanding of how interventions work to benefit patients.

Key Papers:

1. McDevitt AW, O'Halloran B, Cook CE. Cracking the code: unveiling the specific and shared mechanisms behind musculoskeletal interventions. Arch Physiother. 2023 Jul 6;13(1):14. doi: 10.1186/s40945-023-00168-3. PMID: 37415258; PMCID: PMC10327381.

2. Bialosky JE, Beneciuk JM, Bishop MD, Coronado RA, Penza CW, Simon CB, George SZ. Unraveling the Mechanisms of Manual Therapy: Modeling an Approach. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2018 Jan;48(1):8-18. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2018.7476. Epub 2017 Oct 15. PMID: 29034802.

3. Silvernail JL, Deyle GD, Jensen GM, Chaconas E, Cleland J, Cook C, Courtney CA, Fritz J, Mintken P, Lonnemann ME. Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy: A Modern Definition and Description. Phys Ther. 2024 Mar 8:pzae036. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzae036. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38457654.

4. Powell JK, Lewis JS. Rotator Cuff-Related Shoulder Pain: Is It Time to Reframe the Advice, "You Need to Strengthen Your Shoulder"? J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2021 Apr;51(4):156-158. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2021.10199. PMID: 33789431. 

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Jared on Twitter: @‌jaredpowell12

Amy on Twitter: @awmcdevittDPT

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