Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Manual therapy can be helpful for the treatment of joints that lack adequate mobility and range of motion in certain musculo-skeletal conditions. This limitation of mobility can cause discomfort, pain, and an alteration in function, posture, and movement. Manual physical therapy involves restoring mobility to stiff joints and reducing muscle tension in order to return the patient to a more natural movement without pain. Thus, manual physical therapy may provide pain relief both for patients with chronic joint problems, and acute soft tissue injuries such as a back muscle strain or a pulled ligament.
As a group, manual physical therapy techniques are aimed at relaxing tense muscles and restricted joints in order to decrease pain and increase flexibility. In general, manual physical therapy techniques employ the following types of movement:
Soft tissue work, including massage, which applies pressure to the soft tissues of the body such as the muscles. This pressure can help relax muscles, increase circulation, break up scar tissue, and ease pain in the soft tissues.
Mobilization/manipulation, which uses measured movements of varying speed (slow to fast), force (gentle to forceful), and distances (called 'amplitude') to twist, pull, or push bones and joints into position. This can help loosen tight tissues around a joint, reduce pain in a joint and surrounding tissue, and help with flexibility and alignment.
Manual therapy techniques are skilled hand movements and skilled passive movements of joints and soft tissue and are intended to:
improve tissue extensibility;
increase range of motion;
mobilize or manipulate soft tissue and joints;
reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation, or restriction.
Techniques may include:
passive range of motion.
Memorial Hospital’s Therapy and Sports Rehab Center’s physical therapists, prescribe, and implement manual therapy techniques when examination prognosis indicates that the use of these techniques will aid in improving physical function. Schedule your assessment today by contacting the Rehab Center at 618-826-4588.