Osteopractic Physical Therapy

What is Osteopractic Physical Therapy?

Is a Physical Therapist who has completed an extensive, evidence based and advanced post-graduate training program in the use of manual therapy, spinal and extremity thrust manipulation, dry needling, instrument-assisted manual therapies and differential diagnostics for the treatment of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions of the spine and extremities. This is a sub-specialty within Physical Therapy profession that utilizes a multi-modal approach for optimal patient management.

The term osteopractic has nothing to do with the chiropractic or osteopathic professions. The Osteopractic Physical Therapy concept is firmly focused on the management of neuromusculoskeletal disorders in an evidence-based fashion within the scope of Physical Therapy. Osteopractic Physical Therapists do not diagnose or treat other organ systems as Chiropractors and Osteopathic Medical Doctors are trained and licensed to do, and they do not utilize medicine or surgery as Osteopathic Physicians are trained and licensed to do. Spinal manipulation and dry needling are shared procedures between many healthcare professionals and the philosophy, the clinical reasoning and the conditions treated with these procedures dramatically differs between professions.

Spinal and joint mobilization and Manipulation

Spinal manipulation and mobilizations involve manual techniques with the goal of reducing pain, improving motion and returning patients to normal activities. Osteopractic Physical Therapists and Fellows of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists receive intensive training in spinal manipulation and mobilizations.  Your provider will review your medical history and symptoms, complete a comprehensive evaluation and examination and then recommend the most appropriate treatment interventions.

Spinal manipulative treatments can be classified as manipulation-based or mobilization-based that are hands on and passive manual techniques. Manipulation-based techniques apply a high-velocity (quick), low-amplitude  (short) force to the spine and intended area and is often accompanied by an audible sound from 1 or more joints. In contrast, mobilization-based techniques use a low-velocity, low-force approach that generally does not produce audible joint sounds.

Dry needling

Dry needling requires the insertion of small and thin filament needles into taut bands, myofascial trigger points, muscles, ligaments, tendons, subcutaneous fascia, scar tissue and near peripheral nerves and neurovascular bundles. The goal is to manage and treat a variety of neuromusculoskeletal pain syndromes by stimulating a healing response and to reduce pain and dysfunction. They will be placed based on the desired outcome. No medicine is injected and no fluid is withdrawn thus the term “dry” needling. The needles used in dry needling are much smaller in size compared to the hypodermic needles used for injections and blood draws. Used by Doctors of Physical Therapy/Physiotherapists who have completed extensive post graduate training and/or fellowship trained and certified PTs.

Dry Needling Used to Treat Some of the Following:

  • Trigger Points
  • Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder Pain (impingement, subacromial pain syndrome, etc)
  • Elbow Pain (Golfers or Tennis Elbow, etc)
  • Low Back Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • IT Band
  • Knee Pain (osteoarthritis, patellar femoral pain syndromes, etc)
  • Foot/Ankle (Achilles tendon, plantar fascia, etc)
  • TMJ
  • Tendinopathies/Ligaments
  • Acute and Chronic Orthopedic and neuro-muscular conditions
  • Scar Tissue

Difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?

Dry needling is based on the framework of western musculoskeletal diagnoses, not within the theoretical framework of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or Oriental Medicine, and not for the purpose of directing the flow of Qi or energy along traditional Chinese meridians for the treatment of diseases. The theoretical backgrounds for the two treatments are very different.

Body Tempering

Body Tempering was developed by Donnie Thompson in August of 2014 and Utilized by NFL, NCAA, powerlifters, and National CrossFit games qualifiers, etc.

What are the potential benefits?

  • There are many theorized benefits some include the following:
  • Accelerate sport activity performance and recovery by combating soft tissue restrictions
  • Improved range of motion and flexibility
  • Increasing circulation
  • Reduced muscle soreness
  • Myofascial mobilization
  • Address trigger points, tender points and adhesions
  • Alter sympathetic nervous system excitation
  • Event or lifting preparation

What is Body Tempering?

  • Body tempering is a soft tissue treatment that involves rolling heavily weighted cylinders across muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia.
  • Body tempering is different than foam rolling, stretching or rolling across lacrosse balls. Body tempering allows a patient to lay passively while weights are passed over them vs. having to actively hold themselves in an awkward position.


Taber CB et. al The Effects of Body Tempering on Force Production, Flexibility and Muscle Soreness in Collegiate Football Athletes. J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2022 Jan 11;7(1):9. 

“The results of the study concluded that body tempering does not have a negative effect on muscle performance but did practically reduce perceived muscle soreness. Since body tempering is effective at reducing soreness in athletes, it can be recommended for athletes as part of their pre-exercise warmup without negatively effecting isometric or dynamic force production.”

IASTM & Cupping

  • The cup create a vacuum that gently lifts the skin, muscles and fascia up into the cup. There are 2 different types of cups used (silicone and pneumatic plastic) each with desired outcomes. Some may be left on a particular area and some may be moved around.
  • The IASTM tools are metal tools used to press and release soft tissue restrictions. Benefits and desired outcomes only require gentle force.
  • Instrumented Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization are tools and techniques to facilitate remodeling and healing at the tissue level
  • Helps to address myofascial dysfunction
  • Thought to realign collagen matrix as the tissue heals
  • Leads to faster healing times secondary to remodeling of scar tissue. Scar tissue is common in tendinopathies, muscles strains and connective tissue disorders
  • Desired results are increased circulation, muscle recovery, improved connective tissue, less scarring, and decreased pain and disability
  • Increase in hyaluronic acid key player in tissue regeneration in connective tissue