Manual therapy is a hands-on treatment by clinicians to treat muscle aches, joint pain, and limited range of motion. It encompasses a variety of techniques including soft tissue mobilization of muscles, specific joint mobilization, and joint manipulation.
The three most notable forms of manual therapy are:
- Manipulation is the application of a rapid force into a joint(s). Manipulation is often associated with an audible popping sound called cavitation.
- Mobilization is a slower, more controlled process of articular and soft-tissue stretching intended to improve joint mobility.
- Massage is typically the repetitive rubbing, stripping or kneading of muscle and fascia tissues to facilitate healing.
What's the difference between manual therapy and physical therapy?
Most people don't realize there is a difference because the terms manual therapy and physical therapy are used interchangeably. Physical therapy is a superset term used to describe a wide range of treatments, including manual therapy. Some physical therapy treatment techniques are hands-on, others are not. Manual therapy (also known as manipulative therapy) is a subset term under the physical therapy umbrella that involves the hands-on treatment you may be receiving now or are about to receive.
Manual therapy has been proven to be an important part of an overall conservative treatment plan for a variety of conditions including:
- Adhesive Capsulitis
- Shoulder Impingement
- Shoulder Stiffness/Limited Range of Motion
- Tennis Elbow
- Golfers Elbow
- Pinched Nerves
- Limited Joint Range of Motion
- Capsule Tightness
- Postsurgical Stiffness
- Much More.
Manual therapy is typically part of a complete treatment plan that is customized for your specific needs. Give us a call to learn how we can incorporate manual therapy into your rehabilitation program.