Any manual therapists in the physical therapy / physiotherapy world should know the influence of Dr. James Cyriax.  Essentially, he can be the reason that our profession has the ability to perform manual therapy, especially manipulation.  He has been quoted to say, “physiotherapists were the most apt professionals to learn manipulative techniques”.  Some may say that he was light years ahead in current thinking in regards to care for musculoskeletal conditions, especially in regards to clinical reasoning biomechanics, anatomy and physiology.

I recently read one of Cyriax’s column, entitled Manipulation by Physiotherapists in The Australian Journal of Physiotherapy in 1970.  Yes, 1970…45 years ago last Sunday!  You may find the cropped sentence below interesting.



I’ll highlight the sentence worth mentioning, …“the successful candidates were placed on an official register of manipulating physiotherapists to which doctors refer when seeking such treatment”

The summary of the column is exactly what is in the title: Manipulation by Physiotherapists.  Cyriax makes the argument that we can the best advocate of this intervention and if we do not perform it, then patients would seek out other practitioners (in this article, bone setters, hence its age) to have manipulation.

The bottom line is, why not have specialized physiotherapists who have been successfully trained and have the foundation knowledge in the sciences, as well as connection with the medical field?  If appropriate, these specialists can be referred to specifically by medical physicians or sought out personally by consumers?  Cyriax had this dream 45 years ago, now is it a reality?

If you want the following article, email me and I’ll send you a copy. 

Cyriax J (1970): Manipulation by physiotherapists. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy 16: 32-36.


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