Last week the Journal of Manual Therapy announced that its’ name was changing to ‘Musculoskeletal Science & Practice: an International Journal of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy’.
‘Manual Therapy’ (MT) encompasses an extremely wide array of techniques (and the varying tissues to which they are directed) from a multitude of disciplines. MT in general has certainly received a lot of attention this past year from those who care enough to have an opinion about it – good and bad.
MT can be an extremely valuable tool in helping people, however it generally has little or no ‘specific’ effect. The non-specific effects can and do have profound changes and we have been encouraged to utilise them to maximum effect for the best part of a decade: http://www.iasp-pain.org/…/PCU_19-2_for_web_1390260453975_5…
Yet in spite of the ‘evidence’ to the contrary there are many who passionately disagree, making a lot of claims about specific effects.
‘Practice’ still embraces the MT component of our profession and its valuable contribution towards effective patient care. As with the pain science and the tissue-centric vs neuro-centric discussion, it is not a dichotomy of ‘hands-on’ or ‘hands-off’. It is still and probably always will be ‘hands-on’.
I love the new title! It still acknowledges the valuable contribution to hands-on practices yet making it clear that the *science* of evidence-informed practice is at the forefront of what we do, whether that be education, exercise or MT.
It is an empowering thing to confront the cognitive dissonance that science inevitably creates in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy. Learning that the things we once believed to be true, which we may have relied upon to such an extent that they define us as clinicians, are incorrect, invalid or even harmful to our clients/patients, is without doubt challenging, but it is an opportunity to do better by those whom we serve. It’s called progress.