Manual Physical Therapy

Manual Physical Therapy


 About our physical therapist Bill Amos

Bill Amos has worked in almost every type of setting in physical therapy since he was licensed in 1980: home care, nursing homes, hospitals, in-patient, as well as out-patient settings. He was the first licensed physical therapy assistant (degree from St. Petersburg Junior College, in Florida) accepted into the Physical Therapy program at the University of Maryland, in Baltimore. His post graduate studies have been in learning a wide variety of hands-on techniques (manual therapy) from around the world.

He prefers an eclectic approach. He describes it as having “lots of tools in the tool box. If one approach doesn’t work, I’ll try another until I can figure out the problem, then correct that problem – not just treat the symptom.” He feels that his hands are his primary tools. He prefers to STAY AWAY from the No Pain-No Gain school of thought as much as possible. Philosophically, he feels that most people’s problems stem from muscles that are in spasm — turned on and unable to turn off to allow normal movement, especially in the core. This is what tends to lock up joints and backs. If the muscles can be released first, THEN you can look for weaknesses and other problems and correct them more cleanly than just WORK WORK WORK to make everything stronger. Sometimes strong is not the right answer. He’s looking for YOUR answer.

Bill is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force with 2 tours of Viet Nam under his belt. He was also awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for service in Viet Nam. He is  married to his wonderful wife who is also in the field of healing, and he is very proud of his 6 grandchildren. For fun, Bill teaches juggling and dances up to 4 nights each week.

Manual therapy is a broad term that describes a variety of hands-on treatment techniques that are applied to movement dysfunctions. Grade five mobilizations, Mulligan mobilizations with movement, Maitland and Kaltenborn techniques, functional technique, neural mobilization, joint mobilization, craniosacral therapy, strain/counterstrain, myofascial release, etc. These are some of the more popular manual therapy techniques. Many manual therapists will take continuing education courses, obtain certifications in manual therapy, and will sit for board certification from the American Physical Therapy Association and other organizations. Most physical therapists incorporate manual therapy techniques as a part of a complete treatment plan.

Geriatric Physical Therapy – Some therapists specialize in the rehabilitation of seniors. As the body ages, a variety of challenges arise. We stiffen, we lose strength, our balance skills decline, our bones become brittle (osteoporosis), our endurance decreases, and we take longer to recover from injuries. Balance and fall prevention are of paramount importance to the therapist who is working with seniors and some clinics are solely dedicated to caring for those with balance problems. Most physical therapists work with seniors/geriatric patients. Some have obtained additional education, have passed a board examination, and have earned the Geriatric Certified Specialist (GCS) title.

Sports Rehabilitation – Athletes occasionally need an expert to assist with recovery after injury and surgery. Many sports rehabilitation specialists help with retraining the athlete utilizing running, throwing, jumping, and sport-specific programs, to name a few. A therapist with the Sports Certified Specialist (SCS) title has passed a board certified test.

Fitness and Wellness – Physical therapists are well trained to help with your fitness needs and wellness programs. If you need an exercise program, have trouble with your weight, are concerned about osteoporosis, have an issue with diabetes, or you would like to learn how to prevent falls, physical therapists can help. The previous examples are just a few of the many programs physical therapists offer.

Hand Therapy – Most physical therapists are well trained to treat hand and wrist conditions. Some therapists have taken additional courses and training and have passed a hand therapy certification examination. These therapists are called Certified Hand Therapists (CHTs).

Women’s Health – Some therapists specialize in women’s issues such as pregnancy problems, pelvic pain, and incontinence. Special treatment is available for women who have these problems. Many that suffer from incontinence do so needlessly. A physical therapist may be able to help.

Pediatric Physical Therapy – Pediatric therapists specialize in the rehabilitation of children. They may assist with kids who suffer from cerebral palsy, developmental disorders, neurological disorders, and/or orthopedic problems. A Pediatric Certified Specialist (PCS) is a board certification that some may obtain from the American Physical Therapy Association.

Balance, Dizziness, and Vertigo Rehabilitation – Many suffer from dizziness or BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). Some clinics specialize in the rehabilitation of patients with vertigo. Patient education, strengthening, safety awareness, posture and balance exercise, walking exercise, and special techniques that affect sensory and balance centers of the brain and limbs are all important components of a rehabilitation program.

Lymphedema Rehabilitation – We take it for granted, but a special component of the circulatory system, the lymph system, helps filter and drain fluid from our arms and legs. When this drainage system is damaged, painful swelling can result. Some therapists specialize in the treatment of what is called lymphedema. Special positioning, massage and bandaging techniques are utilized by the lymphedema specialist.

Osteoporosis Rehabilitation and Prevention – Some practitioners specialize in the evaluation and treatment of osteoporosis patients. Working in concert with your medical doctor, the therapist will often design a specialized weight-bearing and resistance training program for those with this silent disease.