Jun 12, 2019
NATA Convention Workshops Focus on Manual Therapy

One of the core themes for the seminars at the 2019 NATA Convention is on the topic of Manual Therapy. There are eigh sessions specifically on this topic among the worships scheduled during the convention.

The sessions on Manual Therapy kick off with a workshop on “Improving Shoulder Range of Motion: Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization Techniques for Increasing Functional Ability,” presented by John Vardiman PhD, ATC, or Kansas State University at 7:30 a.m. on June 25. The description of the workshop is as follows:

“Soft tissue pathology plays a primary role in limiting mobility, often resulting in profound loss of function for those with injuries. This session covers the skills necessary to safely begin Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) techniques to the shoulder to increase functional ability during the rehabilitation process. In this laboratory skills based session participants will receive didactic and hands-on instruction in the proper use of IASTM through a lab-lecture teaching format. The session will address proper instrument selection and application techniques to reach the target tissues specific to the shoulder complex.”

That workshop that day is followed by one on “Chopped: Treatment of Common Conditions by Tapping Into the Body’s Reflex System,” conducted by Jaime Fulcher DAT, LAT, ATC, of Indiana Wesleyan University, at 10 a.m.; and then one on “Treating Physically Active Patients with a Joint Mobilization as Functional as Them: Mulligan Concept for the Lower Quadrant,” presented by Lucas Bianco DAT, LAT, ATC, of Biokinetix.

The summary of the workshop presented by Jaime Fulcher is as follows: “The role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in pain and injury recovery is often overlooked and can lead to prolonged recovery periods. By addressing the ANS, a neural reset may occur resulting in a normalization of allostatic loads, allowing the body to move toward homeostasis. As a result, a reduction in pain and overall disability and improved function may occur.”

Here’s a description of the workshop presented by Lucas Bianco: “Athletic Trainers are often faced with patients who have injuries and condition to the lower extremity that decrease function. For these patients, manual therapy can be a viable option as a treatment intervention especially in the fast-pace settings that many athletic trainers practice. The Mulligan Concept (MC), an emerging manual therapy paradigm focused on a pain-free approach, can restore joint biomechanics to increase function. Mobilization with Movement techniques may provide a Pain-Free, Immediate, Long-Lasting (P.I.L.L) effect to treat musculoskeletal pathologies. The purpose of this presentation is to provide clinicians with a manual therapy approach that can be safely applied and lead to decreased pain and improved function in patients.”

One June 26, there are three workshops on the topic of Manual Therapy:

• At 7:00 a.m.: Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) for the Lower Extremity, presented by James Scifers DScPT, PT, ATC, Moravian College. Research demonstrates the benefits of lower extremity PNF for improving range of motion, strength, balance, and function among athletes, The workshop looks at four theoretical mechanisms for the clinical effects of PNF that, when applied, increases strength, promotes injury prevention, and improves athletic performance.

• At 9:15 a.m.: The Management of Patient-Oriented and Clinician-Oriented Impairments Associated with Chronic Ankle Instability: A Focus on Therapeutic Exercise and Manual Therapy, presented by Matthew Hoch PhD, ATC of the University of Kentucky; and Megan Houston PhD, ATC of Keller Army Community Hospital. The purpose of this session is to introduce a patient-centered health care model based on recent original research and systematic reviews to advance the clinical management of Chronic ankle instability (CAI). There is extensive knowledge regarding the rehabilitation of patients with CAI that offers paradigms for therapeutic exercise and manual therapy interventions to enhance CAI impairments.

• At 9:15 a.m.: Thoracic Manual Therapy for the Treatment of Cervical and Shoulder Pain, presented by Michael Higgins PhD, ATC, PT of the University of Virginia. Traditional treatment of shoulder pain involves intervention directed toward the glenohumeral joint, but this undermines the important role of adjacent structures such as the cervicothoracic (CT) spine. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that regional interdependence has some validity in the management of patients with neck and shoulder pain. Cervicothoracic manual therapy has been shown to improve pain and disability in individuals with cervical and shoulder pathology.

At 5:15 p.m.: Examining the Science Behind Stretching and Soft Tissue Manual Therapies: Are We Following the Evidence? Presented by Kenneth Cieslak DC, ATC, CSCS, Teaneck Board of Education. Athletic trainers (ATs) often utilize soft tissue therapies and stretching protocols as an important adjunct in their treatment programs. The goal of this session is to dispel some misconceptions, and instead examine other possible neuro-biological mechanisms that may explain how soft tissue therapies and stretching protocols exert their clinical effectiveness.

At 8 a.m. on Thursday, 6/27, there is a work on “Facilitating Intrinsic Foot Muscle Training,” presented by Kitty Newsham PhD, ATC of St. Louis University. Intrinsic foot muscle (IFM) function is gaining appreciation in foot and ankle rehabilitation protocols. The IFM are considered central to foot stability, playing a key role in dynamic balance activities. Exercises employed to train the IFM are not intuitive and early instruction of these exercises can create a level of frustration for the patient and clinician. Different techniques have been suggested to facilitate learning / performance of these exercises. Joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, and electrotherapy are all suggested for facilitating IFM function. This session will review the evidence regarding efficacy of these techniques.


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