Human Movement Science

Improving Patient Outcomes Using A ‘Hands-on’ Approach

Professor Krauss advances the science of orthopedic manual physical therapy through his international research

John Krauss teaching students

icon of a calendarDecember 21, 2020

icon of a pencilBy Nina Googasian

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From an early age, John Krauss, Ph.D., SHS ’90 and ‘95, knew he wanted to provide a service to the community. “I come from a long line of health care professionals,” says Krauss. “My grandmother was a doctor and my mom is a nurse, so choosing a career where I could make a difference in the lives of others was definitely important to me.”

When his future wife was treated with physical therapy for a hip injury, Krauss was drawn to the field. He found his calling in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT), “a technique that uses a skilled, hands-on approach to the joints of the body and related soft tissues to improve range-of-motion and reduce soft tissue restrictions,” Krauss explains. “Patient outcomes from these manual interventions include a reduction in pain, and improved flexibility and function.”

The three-time OU alumnus is a professor of physical therapy, director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, and coordinator of the OMPT Graduate Certificate program in OU’s School of Health Sciences. Krauss is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist through the American Physical Therapy Association, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. A highly prolific researcher in his field, Krauss’ primary research focuses on the efficacy of manual therapy and orthopedic intervention in the management of spinal and extremity disorders across the lifespan.

Krauss is also a member of the Kaltenborn-Evjenth Orthopedic Manual Therapy (KEOMT) International executive board, a worldwide network of orthopedic manual therapy educators in the Kaltenborn-Evjenth (K-E) Concept whose purpose is to promote excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of arthro-neuro-muscular systems through the establishment of clinical practice standards, the advancement of educational and research programs, and collegial exchange.

OU’s OMPT program and faculty have educated hundreds of advanced OMPT clinicians and over one thousand physical therapists in the (K-E) Concept.

In 2019, Krauss brought the 3rd Biennial KEOMT Global Conference to OU’s campus. “The four-day conference, hosted by our OMPT program, was attended by more than 100 national and international experts who shared emerging advances in theory and practice,” recalls Krauss.

It is through his affiliation with KEOMT International that Krauss met César Hidalgo-Garcia and José Miguel Tricas Moreno. For the past several years , Krauss has been collaborating with the pair of researchers from the PT Research Institute at the University of Zaragoza, one of Spain’s oldest universities. Together, they’ve recently published in the international journals, Musculoskeletal Science and Practice and Clinical Biomechanics, and have several other publications under review or in preparation.

Their research focuses on whether physical therapists can determine if ligament damage has occurred in the upper neck through clinical examination. This is particularly important for the proper care of patients that have had injuries to their head and neck from motor vehicle accidents, falls, or impacts relating to sports. Using upper neck specimens and specialized motion analysis systems, the team simulates injuries to an essential upper neck ligament and examines the resulting amount of motion changes.

The team is also collaborating with anatomists and engineers from several other labs and universities. “This interdisciplinary research with a diverse group of scholars is truly exciting,” says Krauss. “More importantly, it is vital to the advancement of manual therapy techniques and interventions throughout the world.”

For more information on the Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT) Graduate Certificate program, visit

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