Are you recovering from a surgical procedure or a recent injury? Are you experiencing pains and aches from a serious condition? If so, manual therapy can help you provide relief.
At Westmeath Injury Clinic, our physical therapists have several tools in their aid kit to relieve your pain while simultaneously improving you through manual therapy. For more information on how our advanced manual therapies can aid you in your recovery process, contact our expert therapists to schedule an appointment.
WHAT IS MANUAL THERAPY?
Manual therapy is a part of physical therapy to relieve pain and restore the movement of muscles and bones. Manual therapy includes manipulating and massaging soft tissue such as muscles—which can relax muscles, reduce scar tissue and increase circulation—eventually helping to reduce pain. Manual therapy can also include joint movement and manipulation, where our physical therapist uses measured movements at various forces and speeds to move joints and bones.
This exercise helps loosens tight tissue around joints and helps with movement, flexibility, and pain. Manual therapy is typically used in combination with advanced manual therapies to restore movement in the affected area.
IS MANUAL THERAPY SAFE?
The short answer – is yes! Manual therapy is a safe treatment and it does not involve any surgical amendments or harmful drugs. Instead, it involves a variety of techniques aimed at moving your joints tendons, and ligaments, and in ways that help to heal pain relief.
At Westmeath Injury Clinic, our physical therapists are highly-trained medical professionals who understand both the limitations and capabilities of your body. Many of our patients even notice relief after just one manual therapy session. You can always compare us with other therapists by searching for “manual therapy near me”.
HOW DO PHYSICAL THERAPY AND MANUAL THERAPY WORK TOGETHER?
Traditional physical therapy generally focuses on treating the symptom of pain. Manual physical therapy aims at finding the source or root of the pain. Through advanced manual therapies designed to isolate the underlying cause of the problem, our manual physical therapist will develop a program to address all the contributing issues.
Where traditional physical therapy often uses exercise as a form of treatment, manual physical therapy uses exercise and advanced manual therapies to help relieve the pain.
TECHNIQUES USED IN MANUAL THERAPY
- Joint Movement: Often, stretched muscles are muscle contractions formed in response to a damaged joint. The treatment of rest and ice is ineffective for this condition because it does not get to the source of the problem. Joint movement is needed to free up the joint and improve its range of movement by painlessly and slowly moving the joint in ways that the patient is unable to move.
- Myofascial Release (MYR)/Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM): While stretched muscle is usually reduced when joint movement improves, muscle contraction will often remain. Soft tissue movement addresses muscles by reducing tension, moving tissue fluids, and breaking up fibrous or inelastic tissue such as scar tissue (also known as “myofascial adhesions”), through repetitive pressure and stretching. Our physical therapist will use manual therapy to reduce pain associated with muscle contraction, such as the Graston Technique. Myofascial release is similar to STM but it involves a larger affected area.
- Strain-Counterstrain: With manual therapy, the physical therapist will place the joint and muscles in a position where they are experiencing the least pain for a couple of minutes while applying less stretching. The patient is slowly brought out of the position, allowing the body to restore the muscles to their normal positions. This therapy is suitable for those patients who are suffering from severe pain because the patient will be placed in the most comfortable position.
- Muscle Energy Techniques (METs): Muscle energy techniques are used to lengthen muscle tissues and move restricted joints. Unlike other manual therapy techniques, METs are active manual therapy techniques, meaning the patient himself is involved. The patient contracts their muscles for several seconds against a counterforce precisely applied by our expert therapist. This is repeated as the joint’s range of motion increases but does not stress the joint causing it to pain.
- High Velocity, Low Amplitude Thrusting: This procedure allows joints to close and open properly. It involves taking the joint almost to the end of its range of gestures and thrusting to the end of the joint’s range of gestures. It is more aggressive than joint movement and METs, but it does not move the joint beyond its limit and so does not damage the joint or increase pain.
MANUAL PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR DIFFERENT PAINS
Many patients arrive at their first appointment expecting to receive an ultrasound, hot packs, and instructions on how to complete a series of exercises and techniques. These exercises are acceptable in many instances and most physical therapists would agree that exercise is needed to help restore muscle pain. However, many therapists including ours now approach the restoration of muscle from a different perspective.
Our therapists are interested in why a muscle is not functioning properly and how different exercises are the mode of recovery but as a complement to manual therapy. They may, for instance, look to restore proper lumbar joint function or sacroiliac to treat piriformis syndrome rather than directly manipulating the piriformis muscle through exercise.
In general, manual physical therapy can be used to treat the following pains:
Massage therapy is an alternative medicine (CAM) that involves the management of the body’s soft tissues through specialized hands-on exercises. The main purpose of massage for back pain is to make some cellular changes in the soft tissues that heal faster and enhance overall wellness.
Manual therapy for back pain affects the skeletal and muscular systems at the shallow and deep layers to quickly heal and reduce pain. In a study that included 100+ patients with lower back pain, over 45% of the patients experienced long-term improvements in their disability and back pain after a series of Chiropractic treatments for back pain.
Chiropractic is a healthcare profession dedicated to the non-surgical treatment of displacements of the musculoskeletal system or nervous system. Generally, chiropractors maintain a unique focus on spinal movement and treatment of surrounding structures.
A lot of physical therapists do chiropractic treatments for back pain as well as part of manual therapy treatment. Many studies have concluded that manual therapies commonly used by therapists are generally effective for the relief of lower back pain, as well as for the treatment of lumbar herniated discs for neck pain and radiculopathy, among other severe conditions.
When patients with lower back pain are treated by manual therapy, the long-term outcome is enhanced by maintaining spinal movement after the initial intensive manual therapy for back pain.
The shoulder is made up of a socket and ball joint that includes the shoulder blade, upper arm bone, and collar bone. The head of the upper arm bone fits into the socket of the shoulder blade to form the joint, which is surrounded by strong tissue known as the shoulder capsule.
A frozen shoulder occurs when the shoulder tissues become stiff, thickens, tight, and inflamed. Thick bands of tissue develop, leaving less space for the ball of the shoulder joint to rotate in the position and contributing to pain and stiffness. This decreases the shoulder fluid that lubricates the shoulder joint and affects the shoulder’s ease of motion.
Manual therapy for a frozen shoulder can help you restore movement and regain range of motion to decrease pain, and complete daily activities. Physical therapy is the best way of treatment for a frozen shoulder as it is an effective method to increase shoulder movement and speed up the natural healing process.
Physical therapy treatment includes:
• Manual therapy for frozen shoulders to improve range of motion and reduce pain
• Heat and ice help to relieve pain and relax muscles
• Stretching techniques for greater flexibility and movement
• Strengthening exercises that target the core muscles and shoulders
• Home exercise program that includes gentle stretching exercises
Regular fitness helps keep the body’s joints supple and lubricated. Under the supervision of our physical therapist, you can safely engage in aerobic exercise and gentle stretching exercises. As you improve and regain motion and flexibility in the shoulder joint, our manual therapy for frozen shoulder will progress you to loosen the stretched muscles. Before engaging in strengthening exercises and stretching, it is important to warm up the shoulder with heat, such as a moist heating pad or a hot shower. When engaging in exercise, stretch to the point of muscle tension but not pain.
How do you know if you have a cervicogenic headache? An assessment from our physical therapist would be a great step to figure out what type of headache you have, how to improve it, and what is causing it. Book an appointment with Westmeath Injury Clinic today to get manual therapy for cervicogenic headaches.
A very common symptom of this type of headache includes symptoms with the movement of your neck. The headache will often be around the back, to the side, or only on one side of your head. You may also experience stiffness with these certain muscle movements.
You should not experience vomiting or nausea with this condition. If you do, tell our physical therapist immediately.
If you are spinning along or experiencing dizziness with headaches, then you might have another condition that our physical therapists call BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). Be sure to notify our therapist if you have this symptom and get manual therapy for cervicogenic headaches.
Dizziness certainly does occur with BPPV or cervicogenic headaches, but some other conditions exist with dizziness and headaches that require immediate medical attention. Be sure you seek immediate care from us if you experience severe headaches.
After a thorough analysis, our physical therapist will determine if you are appropriate for manual therapy. You will learn ways to reduce the chance of symptoms developing again and manage symptoms.
Every patient is different and requires a specific approach to treatment. Common treatments may involve manual therapy for cervicogenic headache, including soft tissue process to joint movements, tight muscles, and stiff joints. Our physical therapist will also educate you on which massages will help you, and which activities to modify and avoid while you recover.
Indeed, manual therapy will perfectly help you with pain relief, and with our advanced manual therapies we can help you recover quickly without any severe pain – our manual therapy can help you get back to living a full and joyful life. If you are searching for manual therapy near me, you are at the right place. We also offer Chiropractic treatments for back pain.
Manual therapy is commonly practiced with exercise therapy, conservative method, or other cognitive behavioral therapy. Combining methods of treatment allows for better observation and more successful long-term results for the affected area.
Manual therapy is a painless treatment that has produced countless positive patients. If you are interested in learning more about manual therapy, how it will benefit you, and to get an appointment, contact Westmeath Injury Clinic today!