Manual Therapy

Physical Therapist performing manual therapy.

Are you struggling with a recent injury that seems slow to heal — or an old injury that never healed properly? Do you feel as if some part of your body is “stuck” or otherwise unable to function as it should? Do you suffer from chronic pain and other uncomfortable musculoskeletal or neuromuscular issues? If you answered in the affirmative to any of these questions, then you may discover the answers to your distress in a form of care known as manual therapy. Manual therapy makes a natural complement to rehabilitative exercises and other physical therapy techniques, so contact our physical therapist today to find out how it might enhance your health and quality of life!

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What Is Manual Therapy

The term “manual therapy” (or “manipulative therapy,” as it is sometimes called) applies to a broad range of modalities and techniques. Essentially, however, it refers to the mobilization or manipulation of body parts to help them heal properly, relieve/manage pain and other symptoms, or improve range of motion and other functionality. Manual therapy techniques commonly recommended by our physical therapist include:

  • Joint manipulation – Manipulation of ailing or injured joints can correct small but significant alignment errors between different joint structures. These corrections can help joints move more normally, with less pain, while also improving your overall posture and weight distribution. We can refer you to an osteopath or chiropractor if you need this kind of treatment.
  • Joint mobilization – Some joints benefit from mobilization rather than manipulation. Getting these structures moving can help build up their strength and support, increase comfortable range of motion, and boost the flow of blood and healing nutrients to painful or damaged joints.
  • Soft tissue mobilization – That painful “stuck” feeling you’re experiencing may be due to internal scar tissue accumulations called adhesions. Adhesions sometimes form over injured tissues, limiting their motion and causing chronic pain. Muscles and connective tissue can also suffer from chronic tension and spasms, often referring pain to other parts of the body as trigger points. Our physical therapist can help you combat these issues through soft tissue mobilization techniques. Examples include trigger point therapy, deep tissue massage, and an instrument-assisted method called Graston Technique.

How Manual Therapy and Physical Therapy Work Together

Why might our physical therapist prescribe both physical therapy exercises and manual therapy for your condition? As powerful as each of these disciplines is in improving function and easing discomfort, they appear to offer special benefits when used in combination. For instance, a study of ankle sprain sufferers found that the ones who received a combination of manual therapy and physical therapy exercises had fewer functional problems and discomfort (both at 4 weeks and at 6 months) than those who only performed the physical therapy exercises.

Our physical therapist will perform a careful examination to see whether your particular health challenge will likely respond to certain kinds of manual therapy. If you’re showing signs of swelling, muscle spasms, chronic/acute pain, or restricted mobility, we will probably recommend at least one manual therapy technique to go along with your physical therapy exercises and other treatments. Our goal is always to help you move better, feel better, and maintain a higher overall standard of health and wellness.

Could your physical condition use a helping hand? Look no further than manual therapy at our physical therapy center. For more information request a consult from one of our many locations today!