According to the definition provided by the IFOMPT and WCPT, Orthopaedic Manual Physiotherapy is a specialised area of physiotherapy for the assessment and treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. It is based on clinical reasoning, the available scientific and clinical evidence and the biopsychosocial framework of each individual patient. It uses highly specific assessment and treatment approaches including manual techniques and therapeutic exercises. Orthopaedic Manual Therapy combines the information and experience of Manual Therapy, which has been applied since ancient times, Classic Physiotherapy, Sports Medicine, Orthopaedic Medicine, Osteopathy and Chiropractic under one common denominator, clinical and scientific evidence. OMPT treatment is based on a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s neuro-musculoskeletal system and functional abilities. The aim of the assessment is to define any conditions present in the patient’s systems (joint, muscular, nervous or any other relevant system) and explain how these conditions are related to any disability or functional limitation, as described by the WHO’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Likewise, the OMPT assessment seeks to determine the clinical situations in which the use of OMPT is indicated or contraindicated or requires special precautions, as well as situations in which the anatomical anomalies or pathological processes limit or restrict the use of OMPT procedures. Lastly, throughout the OMPT assessment process, practitioners must determine whether, in light of the patient’s clinical situation, the treatment should be aimed at reducing symptoms or whether it can be used to improve the patient’s functional abilities.
OMPT physiotherapists undertake to provide patient-centred care and use procedures based on evidence and measurement results. They are required to perform a physical clinical diagnosis, decide whether the treatment is suitable for the patient, recognise the risk factors and contraindications and identify any precautions that must be taken. They will also design an overall treatment plan and carry it out integrally or as part of a multidisciplinary team. OMPT physiotherapists are capable of acting as the patient’s primary caregiver or as a member of a multidisciplinary team within a health system.
Advanced clinical reasoning skills are, along with manual abilities and skills, essential to the practice of OMPT. These skills are used in a patient-centred model in which the role of the patient/client in the decision-making process is an intrinsic part of the procedure. To acquire and integrate these abilities and skills, we offer a structured educational model that adapts perfectly to the European curriculum (Bologna Declaration, 1999), in which, over the course of 60 ECTS, OMPT students will develop a professional and research profile that incorporates the seven roles that will confirm them as professionals specialised in Manual Physiotherapy: OMPT physiotherapists as clinical decision-making experts, teachers, communicators, collaborators, administrators, health care advocates and health professionals. Each area of action is perfectly defined and structured based on the relevant competences, knowledge, skills and attitudes that students must acquire by the end of the programme.