Why We Use Manual Therapy
Manual therapy is a treatment technique that can help to speed up and improve recovery. These are the hands on techniques that people think of when going to a physical therapist or chiropractor. While they are generally included as part of most patients programs, other treatment techniques are usually needed to maintain the effects. Generally, a patients treatment course will incorporate more manual therapy during the first few sessions in order to reduce pain.
Manual therapy is thought to be an effective treatment by “resetting the tissue”. Endorphin release and inputs to joint sensors through these techniques help to decrease guarding and improve motion around an injured area. Once this area is able to move more freely, pain and disability begin to reduce and function returns.
These hands on treatments can help recovery in a few ways:
- Aids in building a therapeutic alliance between the provider and patient
- “Calms down” an overactive nervous system that may be causing trigger points and tightness
- Promotes endorphin release within the body
- Allow for a opportunity of painfree movement when exercising in the clinic
- Stretches tight tissues which may include muscles, the joint capsule, etc
Types of Treatment
- Soft tissue mobilization: Similar to deep tissue massage to reduce guarding, release trigger points, and improve tissue mobility.
- Joint mobilizations: Rhythmic movements to a joint in order to stretch the joint capsule and promote endorphin release.
- Joint manipulation: A movement to create a quick stretch of joint tissues. Also promotes endorphin release within the body.