On this episode of the Functional Freedom Podcast, I interview Louie Puentedura, a physical therapist with over 30 years of clinical and teaching experience.  Louie is an Australian trained orthopedic manual therapist who has recently sharpened his main focus to demystify the manipulation of the cervical spine for physical therapists.

Dr. Puentedura currently teaches at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  He has published extensively in research on spinal manipulation as well as pain neuroscience education.

Dr. Puentedura received the 2013 Rose Excellence in Research Award for Orthopedic Therapy Research for his research in developing a Clinical Prediction Rule (CPR) for the patients with neck pain that would benefit from manipulation to the cervical spine.

In our conversation Louie shares about his manipulation research and the importance of mentorship, and clinical study groups.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Louie’s journey from marrying his mentor’s daughter in Australia to the United States
  • His partnership with Ariaan Louw and starting their company International Spine and Pain Institute
  • His award winning research on developing a clinical predication rule for cervical spine manipulation by physical therapists
  • Evidence that indicates that spinal manipulation by physical therapists is an important clinical technique
  • The importance of defending a physical therapists professional right to perform spinal manipulation for the betterment of patients by all PTs
  • Advice for therapists developing a niche in manual therapy
  • Tips for a new PT graduate to rapidly improve their clinical skills
  • Orthopedic residency programs, mentorship, PT study groups and much more…

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Items mentioned in this episode include: 

Question: What’s your opinion on physical therapists performing manipulation of the cervical spine?