Posts in Physical Therapy
American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists

If you are looking for a physical therapist with a strong orthopedic background, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists is a good place to start. Note the “find a doc function” for members and fellows. A fellowship is designed for the graduate of a residency or board-certified therapist to focus on a subspecialty area of clinical practice, education, or research, so fellows are highly trained and typically have a strong focus on manual therapy and rehabilitation, rather than “bells and blinkers” therapy, such as ultrasound.

David Schechter, MD, PPDA


Dr. David Schechter, who specializes in mindbody medicine,  practices the psychophysiological approach to pain, based off Dr. John Sarno’s work, at his private practice in Southern California. (There is a website dedicated to the psychophysiological approach, on which Schechter and similar doctors are featured.) He picks up where John Sarno, MD, leaves off.

Rehabilitation Institute of Washington


The Rehabilitation Institute of Washington in Seattle, WA is a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program led by professionals whose expertise is working with patients with chronic pain, guiding them through rehabilitation intended to restore them to functional health and capabilities. The team at RIW includes physicians, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and rehabilitation counselors.

OHSU Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation Clinic


The Oregon Health & Science University in Beaverton, OR (essentially Portland) developed this Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation Clinic at Cornell West to address sports medicine, spine care, joint care (along with knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, and hand care), pediatric care, X-ray and imaging, and physical therapy and rehabilitation. The clinic has thirteen primary providers, each with their specialty, but almost all have rehabilitation as an area of expertise.

Physical Therapists with Orthopedic Certification

Finding a physical therapist with orthopedic certification can be challenging, but fortunately the American Physical Therapy Association has a helpful website. After you review the material there, click here to search at a very specific level. Look for therapists who have OCS and DPT after their names. This means that they have specific orthopedic training and doctoral degrees.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Functional Restoration Program

New Hampshire

This functional restoration program in Lebanon, NH is provided by the Spine Center of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock network of health programs in northern New England, and led by Dr. Rowland Hazard, one of the leaders in functional restoration. The goal of their rehabilitation program is to limit the need for more spine surgeries and instead help patients develop the tools to return to functional lives at home and work alike.

New England Baptist Hospital – Spine Center

Massachusetts, Minnesota

The Spine Center at NEBH specializes in evaluation, treatment and management of spine disorders. Dr. James Rainville leads an internationally-recognized exercise-based “boot camp” program. 

Here’s a midwestern program based on James Rainville’s protocol.

Read an article featuring Carol Hartigan from the New England Baptist Hospital about hitting the weights.

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago


Each year, the American Pain Society gives a Clinical Center of Excellence in Pain Management Award to five or so pain management facilities around the country. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago was a winner in 2009, the third year of the annual awards. You can find practitioners, locations, and information on different conditions and how the RIC can treat them. Their Center for Pain Management has a number of excellent programs to treat chronic pain, involving long-term strategies for developing a healthy, balanced, and active lifestyle.