Evan Johnson, PT, DPT, OCS, Physical Therapy Director of the Spine Center, and fellow physical therapist Rami Said, DPT, M.Eng.,OCS, recently presented their research on hip joint manipulation in Quebec City, Canada at the International Federation of Manual Physical Therapists (IFOMPT).
Drs. Johnson and Said first began to look at ways to quantify forces imparted during manipulation of the hip while Dr. Said was a student working with Dr. Johnson at Columbia University’s Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy.
Dr. Johnson notes that many patients with spine and pelvic pain exhibit loss of motion at the hip. The lack of hip mobility often results in more stress and degeneration of the spine. This can cause back pain during activities like walking and playing golf.
“We often mobilize and strengthen the hip as a way of improving patient performance and endurance during activities of daily living,” says Dr. Johnson. “Research that identifies and measures the effects of manipulation we use during treatments will enable us to be more precise and effective when treating patients. This is our goal in all the treatments we provide.”
“We did some preliminary trials and experiments when Rami was a student,” says Dr. Johnson. “With his engineering* background, this research was a perfect fit.”
“We have teamed up with Thomas Gardner, an engineer at Columbia’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery,” says Dr. Said. “We have done biomechanical 3-D analysis of what the joint reaction stress is and forces are at the hip joint during mobilization and manipulation.”
This year in September, Drs. Johnson and Said were invited to present their research, The Effects of Hip Manipulation Force, Velocity and Limb Position on Three-Dimensional Hip Joint Reaction Forces (see poster presentation below), at IFOMPT’s 2012 Meeting.
“Conferences like these are a great opportunity to see how your own research fits in with what others in the field are working on,” says Dr. Johnson. “We had a lot of good feedback.”
IFOMPT was formed in 1974 and meets once every three years. The Federation, “represents groups of Manipulative Physical Therapists around the world who have completed stringent post-registration/post-graduation specialization programs in the field of neuro-musculoskeletal disorders.”
Manual/manipulative physical therapists are those, like Drs. Johnson and Said, who use a wide variety of hands-on techniques to mobilize and manipulate joints and soft tissue to decrease pain and increase function for their patients.
*Dr. Said received an undergraduate and a masters degree in Engineering from Cooper Union and graduated from Columbia’s Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy in 2007.