Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

I'm looking for a physical therapist to help with my neck pain. There are several listed in the phone book. Two have OCS and FAAOMPT next to their names. What do these initials mean?

Answer:

OCS stands for Orthopaedic Certified Specialist. It means the therapist has taken a special test and passed. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) gives the test. It's used to identify "experts" in orthopedic problems like neck and back pain.

FAAOMPT stands for Fellows of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. This group of therapists has done extra training in the area of orthopedic manual physical therapy.

A residency or fellowship program is required. Manual therapy is a hands-on approach to restoring joint motion especially in the spine.

When looking for a physical therapist to meet your needs, don't be afraid to ask about years of experience and level of training. This doesn't always guarantee a level of expertise but it helps.

Training is one thing but bedside manner is still very important to many people. Once you find a therapist with the kind of training needed for your problem, then you can narrow down the one you can work with based on your personality and goals.

Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, OCS, COMT, et al. Identifiers Suggestive of Clinical Cervical Spine Instability: A Delphi Study of Physical Therapists. In Physical Therapy. September 2005. Vol. 85. No. 9. Pp. 895-906.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.

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