Manual therapy is a specialized treatment of physical therapy for the management of orthopedic conditions. It is based on recognition of patho-morphological movement impairments and uses highly specific treatment approaches including manual (hands-on) techniques and therapeutic exercises. Joint mobilization and manipulations are essential elements of manual therapy. The utilization of manual therapy techniques revitalizes joint movement and restores proper muscle activation.
All Physical Therapist at C. Foster Physical Therapy are fellowship trained in Manual therapy and are Fellows in The American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy or currently pursing fellowship status in Manual Therapy.
Who benefits from Manual Therapy?
Any patient with an orthopaedic condition can benefit from manual therapy. Current research and evidence-based models validate that manual therapy combined with functional therapeutic exercises provides superior results in pain relief and improved function compared to therapeutic exercises alone. Patients with any of the following conditions are generally appropriate for manual therapy interventions including:
- Low-back pain
- Neck pain
- Muscle-tension or mechanical headaches
- Shoulder pain
- Elbow pain
- Hand pain including carpel tunnel, trigger finger, and osteoarthritis
- Hip impairments including osteoarthritis
- Knee impairments including osteoarthritis
- Ankle pain including plantar fasciopathy
What makes Manual Therapy so effective?
A comprehensive approach utilizing 3 key elements provides an effective way Manual Therapy works. These key elements are: mechanical, neurophysiological, and biochemical.
Mechanical: Joint mobilizations restore motions in joints that are restricted by tight capsules, ligaments or soft tissue adhesions.
Neurophysiologic: Research confirms that the mechanical force produced during joint manipulation promotes a cascade of neurophysiological responses from the nervous system. This response induces proper muscular functional and decreased complaints of pain.
Biochemical: As a mechanical force is placed on a joint, the endogenous opiate system is considered to be activated by the movement allowing the central and peripheral nervous system to control pain.
For more information or if you would like to know if Manual Therapy would be a good treatment option for you, please schedule an appointment or contact us.