Mechanotherapy

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Mechanotherapy is used as term for exercise prescription to promote healing and rehabilitation. This usage is consistent with the way 'electotherapy' refers to healing using electrical modalities such as ultrasound and 'pharmacotherapy' refers to treatment with pharmaceuticals. A reference/citation for this use of the term 'mechanotherapy' is http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/43/4/247.abstract. Mechanotherapy is a useful term for exercise which is prescribed for rehabilitation (e.g. heel-drop exercises for Achilles tendon injury) because tissue repair is driven by the physiological and well-recognized process of 'mechanotransduction'.


Another, related use of the term Mechanotherapy also sometimes called Massotherapy, is the original term for therapeutic massage. It was developed as an independent branch of manual medicine in Sweden in the early 20th century. It quickly became popular in the U.S. and many chiropractic colleges in the U.S. in the first half of the 20th century also offered separate degree programs in mechanotherapy. Mechanotherapists received a Doctor of Mechanotherapy (DM) degree and were licensed to practice in many states and practiced in many more states without a license.

Today mechanotherapy (as massage) is experiencing a revival in the U.S. Although there are not any mechanotherapy professional schools in the U.S., massage therapists can obtain a Doctor of Mechanotherapy (DM) degree from any one of a number of falsely accredited, online diploma mills that sell fraudulent degrees based on the validity of the buyer's credit card, e.g. Corllins University, or Belford University.

A DM degree is a graduate professional degree that indicates proficiency in mechano or massage therapy. Mechanotherapists do not claim to be physicians or to diagnose or treat diseases.

Scope of practice[edit]

A practitioner of mechanotherapy shall examine patients only by verbal inquiry, examination of the musculoskeletal system by hand, and visual inspection and observation. A practitioner of mechanotherapy shall specifically not employ any techniques which involve extraction or analysis of body tissue or fluids. A practitioner of mechanotherapy shall not diagnose a patient’s condition except as to whether or not there is a disorder of the musculoskeletal system present. A practitioner of mechanotherapy, in the treatment of patients, may apply only those techniques listed below, but he may apply such techniques only to those disorders of the musculoskeletal system which are amenable to treatment by the listed techniques and which are identifiable by examination and diagnosis as described in this rule: (1) advised or supervised exercise; (2) massage or manipulation; or (3) employment of air, water, heat, cold, sound or infrared rays.