Is Your Physical Therapist a Board Certified Clinical Specialist?

The stated purpose for specialization is to promote the highest possible level of care for individuals seeking physical therapy services in each specialty area. Research has shown that more experienced physical therapists with orthopedic or sports certifications demonstrate greater knowledge in managing musculoskeletal conditions than physical therapists without specialty certification.

About Specialist Certification

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), a national professional organization representing more than 66,000 members throughout the United States, established the specialist certification program in 1978. Specialization is the process by which a physical therapist builds on a broad base of professional education and practice to develop a greater depth of knowledge and skills related to a particular area of practice.

Clinical specialization in physical therapy responds to a specific area of patient need and requires knowledge, skill, and experience exceeding that of the physical therapist at entry to the profession and unique to the specialized area of practice. The specialist certification program was established to provide formal recognition for physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills in a special area of practice and to assist consumers and the health care community in identifying these physical therapists.

Six specialty areas have been established:

  • Cardiopulmonary, Clinical Electrophysiology, Geriatrics, Neurology, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics, and Sports Physical Therapy.

SportsCare Physical Therapy

Jeff Lewandowski DPT, ATC, MTC, SCS is board certified clinical specialist in the John’s Creek area. Jeff has an advanced clinical doctorate degree specializing in sports medicine and is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy. Throughout his twenty five years of clinical practice he has treated patients with general orthopedic dysfunctions as well as sports related injuries.

Jeff Lewandowski DPT, ATC, MTC, SCS and Laura McBurnett, PT, MHS, COMT of SportsCare Physical Therapy are Certified Manual Therapists. They have completed the 235 hours of post-graduate training, residency and testing to attain this Certification from the University of St. Augustine. Several recent studies have shown the efficacy of joint manipulation for orthopedic disorders of the spine and extremities.1, 2, 4-8

  1. Bang M, Deyle G. Comparison of Supervised Exercise with and without Manual Physical Therapy for Patients with Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 2000; 30: 126-137.
  2. Childs J, Fritz J, Flynn T, et al. A Clinical Prediction Rule to Identify Patients with Low Back Pain Most Likely to Benefit from Spinal Manipulation: A Validation Study. Annals of Internal Medicine 2004; 141: 920-928.
  3. Childs J, Whitman J, Sizer P, Pugia M, Flynn T, Delitto A. A Description of Physical Therapists’ Knowledge in Managing Musculoskeletal Conditions. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2005; 5: 32-44.
  4. Cibulka M, Delitto A. A Comparison of Two Different Methods to Treat Hip Pain in Runners. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 1993; 17: 172-176.
  5. Deyle G, Henderson N, Matekel R, Ryder M, Garber M, Allison S. Effectiveness of Manual Physical Therapy and Exercise in Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine 2000; 132: 173-181.
  6. Green T, Refshauge K, Crosbie J, Adams R. A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Passive Accessory Joint Mobilization on Acute Ankle Inversion Sprains. Physical Therapy 2001; 81: 984-994.
  7. Gross A, Hoving J, Haines T, Goldsmith C, Kay T, Aker P, Bronfort G. A Cochrane Review of Manipulation and Mobilization for Mechanical Neck Disorders. Spine 2004; 29: 1541-488.
  8. Bisset L, Beller E, Jull G, Brooks P, Darness R, Vicenzino B. Mobilisation with Movement and Exercise, Corticosteroid Injection, or Wait and See for Tennis Elbow: Randomised Trial. BMJ. 2006; 333: 939-944