Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy Q & A

What is manual therapy?

Manual therapy is defined as skilled hand movements and massage intended to produce any or all of the following effects:

  • Improve tissue extensibility
  • Increase range of motion of the joint complex
  • Mobilize or manipulate soft tissues and joints
  • Induce relaxation
  • Change muscle function
  • Manage pain
  • Reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation, or movement restrictions

Treatment may include moving joints in specific directions and at different speeds in order to regain movement (joint mobilization and manipulation), muscle stretching, passive movements of the affected body part, or having the patient move the body part against the therapist’s resistance to improve muscle activation and timing. Selected specific soft tissue techniques may also be used to improve the mobility and function of tissue and muscles.

What manual therapy techniques are used?

The specific techniques used will vary from patient to patient depending on your needs. A Town Center Orthopaedic Associates specialist may pursue any number of treatment options with you, depending on your needs.

Manual therapy techniques:

  • Manual traction to specific joints, cervical/lumbar spine
  • Soft tissue mobilization/massage
  • Trigger point release
  • Active release techniques.
  • Graston/instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization
  • Active-assisted range of motion
  • Passive range of motion
  • Stretching (musculature, neural tissue, joints, fascia)
  • Joint mobilization
  • Joint manipulation
  • Dry needling
Who is a candidate for manual therapy?

Anyone experiencing pain or discomfort while moving is a candidate for manual physical therapy. Manual therapy covers a wide range of conditions, and treatment approaches are different for each individual. To determine yours, a physical or occupational therapist will perform an evaluation of your condition. This includes a thorough examination of the musculoskeletal system.

Once the therapist determines the best course of treatment, they will discuss this with you to assist with a better understanding of your limitations, the treatment recommended, and their reasoning for why it is needed.

To schedule your manual physical therapy evaluation, call Town Center Orthopaedic Associates any time at (703) 435-6604, or book online today.

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