Hands-On Treatment and Empowering Exercise
By Pat Grauer, MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine
In Print: Summer 2013
When MSUCOM initially decided to expand its manual medicine series to physical therapists, it engendered some controversy. Three decades later, the cadre of physical therapists with this training has provided both creativity in its use, and expanded access to OMM care to many more patients.
One prime example is the course “Exercise Prescription as a Complement to Manual Medicine,” to be held October 4-7 at MSUCOM’s Fee Hall. Under the leadership of physical therapist Mark Bookhout, who developed the concept in 1991, the course offers an intriguing extension of osteopathic practice – developing exercise programs based upon the patient’s biomechanics to help them maintain changes made with muscle energy therapies.
“I started learning osteopathic techniques in 1984 from the giants: Philip Greenman, Robert Ward, John Bourdillon, Fred Mitchell, Paul Kimberly, Barbara Briner,” he said. “It changed the focus of the way I practiced – more holistic, more patient-centered, with less emphasis on pain and more on structure and function. With these techniques, almost all of the time the pain improves.”
Also teaching in the course since 2005 is PT Lisa Chase, who attended MSUCOM’s CME courses. “It totally changed my practice after a couple of courses, and I was amazed at the results I got,” she said. “My go-to tools are what I learned at MSU.” Bookhout and Chase have since developed a software system, Rehab Links, that includes exercises and videos to complement the course.
J’Aimee Lippert, an MSUCOM alumna, became involved with teaching in the program as a resident at Metro Health in Grand Rapids. “I love the collaborative approach to teaching and sharing information with PTs, and I’ve learned a lot from them,” she said.
“Why should D.O.s take this course? Advanced skills, like motor control and retraining, open your eyes to a whole new aspect of taking care of the patient,” Lippert said. “I can teach patients stretches and exercises that will empower them to go out and take care of themselves. Even if the physician doesn’t have time to actually teach exercises to the patient, he or she will have the knowledge and ability to collaborate with physical therapy in a much more meaningful and effective manner.”