Manual Therapy May Be the Answer for Sorting Out Your Pain Issues

The word physical therapy is often associated with hot packs, ultrasound and exercise instructions. Most therapists believe exercising would speed up the process of restoring muscle imbalance. Some therapists approach the recovery process from a different perspective. Such therapists don’t view exercise as a driving force for a successful recovery and instead use it in conjunction with physical therapy. They focus on why a particular muscle isn’t functioning properly.

Manual physical therapy basics:

For instance, piriformis syndrome is treated by restoring the lumbar joint function rather than directly manipulating piriformis muscles through exercise. Manual physical therapy is a category of physical therapy performed using hands rather than machines. Practitioners manually help to relieve pain by applying pressure on muscle tissue and manipulating joints so as to alleviate back pain caused by muscle tension, muscle spasm and joint dysfunction.

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The 2 types of manual therapy employed are:

  • Manipulation: It involves hands-on work on joints and the back. Different techniques are used to reduce pressure in a particular area and to help with bone realignment.
  • Soft tissue work: Soft tissues are massaged to relax muscles and stimulate healing. Practitioners use their hands and at times machines during the process.

Benefits of manual therapy:

Patients usually seek manual therapy to help them with pain or discomfort. Manual therapy improves functions of joints and soft tissues throughout the body. The areas that are often treated are back, shoulders, spine, wrists, hips, knees, ankles and feet. Some of the benefits are:

  • Decrease in pain: Pain experienced will be lowered and gradually eliminated after subsequent treatment and or exercise plan.
  • Increased performance: Athletes who receive manual therapy in conjunction with exercise and training are seen to perform better.
  • Better movement: People experiencing limited mobility due to joint pain find it beneficial to restore mobility.

Making manual therapy an integral part of training and recovery for athletes is proved to be effective. The manipulation provides enhances their ability and performance. Those who have had knee replacement may ask their physician to provide them manual therapy.

Using hands for performing treatment has many benefits aside from relieving pain including improving sleep patterns, boosting immune system and soothing a hypersensitive nervous system.

Manual therapy for acute and chronic back pain:

When people are affected by musculo-skeletal conditions, treating the joints using manual therapy would well. The condition leaves a person with discomfort, pain, changes in posture, function and movement.  The therapy works by reducing muscle tension and thereby restores mobility.

It is important to discuss with your physician before working out manual therapy treatment plans. Some medical conditions cause deterioration of tissues and joints. Hence, it is important to submit your medical records to your medical practitioner so that he/she can prescribe if manual therapy would work in favor of you.