What is manual therapy and what conditions is it used for?

You may assume that when you visit a physical therapist, you will be put through your paces on various strength training machines and sent home with a sheet of exercises to perform on your own. And it’s true, that can be a large part of some physical therapy treatment plans.

However, in addition to proper strength training and range of motion activities, your clinician will also provide manual therapy. Manual therapy refers to the use of the clinician’s hands to increase blood flow, increase tissue extensibility, and increase active range of motion.

Depending on your injury, manual therapy can include treatments like taping and myofascial release. It is used for a variety of purposes, such as increasing range of motion, relaxing muscles, improving joint mobility, reducing soft tissue swelling, and helping tissues begin to heal.

Manual therapy may be used to help patients with a number of conditions, including:

  • Neck pain
  • Low back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Hip problems
  • Knee injuries
  • Shoulder pain
  • Ankle and foot problems
  • Hand and wrist issues

We use several manual therapy techniques at Synergy Physical Therapy, such as:

Joint mobilizations.

This entails carefully moving a patient’s joint to improve motion, reduce pain and muscle spasms, and help the joint function properly.

Various Taping Techniques.

Using various taping techniques allows the therapist to align the muscles and help you recover from injury.

Myofascial release.

This technique uses pressure and stretching to relieve pain in myofascial tissues, which are the tissues that connect your muscles.

Soft tissue mobilization.

This therapy is used to treat soft tissue injuries—things like sprains and strains as well as tendonitis and similar issues. It can help reduce scar tissue and relax muscles.

At Synergy Physical Therapy, we believe in using the right combination of techniques to help you return to health. In addition to manual therapy, we offer services like dry needling, which involves inserting thin stainless steel needles into trigger points to help provide relief from spasms and muscle pain and help improve range of motion.

Once the tissue and joints are loose and moving more freely, or once the muscle tissue is ready for work, strengthening and reconditioning is mandatory.

We believe in empowering you to take control of your recovery and well-being, and we provide all the tools you need to make that happen. To help you learn more about what course of therapy may be right for you, and to learn more about Synergy Physical Therapy, we also offer free consultations.

Synergy Physical Therapy is a Scottsdale-based, highly specialized rehabilitation clinic committed to helping patients meet their performance, health, and life goals. If you need help healing, whether from a sports injury, accident, or surgery, please feel free to contact us at 480.767.0794 or email us at info@synergyptph.com.

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.