Manual Therapy & The Personal Trainer

If you’re a coach or personal trainer, you’ve heard this time and time again…pain is out of your scope of practice, so…refer out! That is the status quo when it comes to trainers dealing with pain and lets be clear, it’s the correct move.

Your client has pain, refer them to someone else who specializes in pain and dysfunction, and has the ability to diagnose and manually treat. While it is important to have a network of health professionals such as physical therapists and chiropractors to refer to, why not expand your horizons as well as your practice as a coach? What am I talking about?

Enter the new hybrid coach, who is not only licensed and certified in strength and conditioning, but also manual therapy. Manual therapy skills are used to optimize movement and health, and then coupled with training and coaching to enhance fitness and performance. Let’s analyze a growing niche of professionals of coaches and trainers that also hold a license or certification as massage therapists, or dare I say a “physical” therapists.

The Power of Movement Specialists

Alone, both the training and massage professions perform a great service for the populations in which they serve.  The role of strength coaches and trainers is primarily to get people moving, get them stronger, as well as healthier. This role is largely limited to the education and training they’ve received. In many cases, their clientele’s goals are to lose weight, gain muscle, prepare for a sport, or move without pain. Thus, that should largely be the focus. They may even play a role in preventative exercises, provided they have a rationale behind the exercises they are programming.


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