Manual Therapy is the application of “hands on” techniques delivered by the physiotherapist to the client. It involves gentle motions that encourage mobility at the joint and soft tissue levels. Physiotherapists are trained in postgraduate courses to further improve their manual therapy skills. At Physio in the Valley, our physiotherapists have an extensive amount of training in manual therapy and we continue to foster this life long learning. Your sessions are one-on-one with your physiotherapist only; this ensures that you are getting the best care possible.
Manual Therapy – The Facts
Manual therapy is a hands-on form of physiotherapy that is a great option for people recovering from injury or seeking relief from chronic pain. Manual therapists manipulate joints and apply pressure to muscles to relieve pain and promote recovery. This form of physiotherapy differs from other popular forms in that the therapeutic techniques are administered by hand, rather than with machines or other devices. This is BEST CARE PRACTICE!
What is Manual Therapy?
Manual Therapy is intended to treat soft tissue, joint inflammation and pain, as well as increase range of motion, facilitate movement and improve function. Those practicing manual therapy rely on their hands to “feel out” different tissue consistencies, as well as employ a comprehensive understanding of human anatomy to make diagnoses and administer treatment.
Soft tissue refers to muscles and connective tissues such tendons and ligaments. A manual therapist may use massage as a manual therapy technique to help relieve symptoms and treat conditions. Soft tissue mobilization is a more specific manual therapy technique. Practitioners apply different directions of pressure to release tension within fascia – thin tissue that encloses muscles and organs – and thereby increase range of motion.
Joints – the connective link between bones in the body – are also treated with the hands-on expertise of a manual therapist. A therapist uses movements of varying speed, forcefulness, and distance to correct the positioning of joints. Practitioners employ muscle energy techniques to guide you through specific muscle movements while providing resistance with their hands or body. This technique is performed repeatedly to encourage the lengthening of shortened or spastic muscles, or mobilize a restricted joint.
Choosing a Manual Therapist
When choosing a physiotherapist to assist you with your recovery needs, it is important to take into consideration the skill level and training that the physiotherapist or massage therapist has. Reputable practitioners of manual therapy have completed post-graduate education in hands-on therapy!
Is Manual Therapy Right for You?
If you suffer from any of the following conditions, manual therapy can be an effective treatment to improve flexibility and relieve tension:
- Neck pain
- TMJ pain
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Ankle pain
- Hip pain
- Knee pain