3 Manual Therapy Treatments That Can Benefit You

Posted on: 19 November 2019

Physical therapy can be very helpful for people who have lost strength or mobility due to injury or surgery. Exercise and stretches are two components of physical therapy that can have great benefits. However, manual therapy services can also be of use. Manual therapy services describe the portions of your physical therapy when your practitioner assists you in a more hands-on fashion. Here are three manual therapy treatments that might be able to benefit you:

1. Massage

Unlike the massages you may receive at a day spa, manual therapy massages do not have relaxation as a goal. The purpose of massage in physical therapy is to relieve tension in your muscles, which can reduce your overall level of pain. If you're experiencing joint issues, your physical therapist may gently manipulate your joint with their fingers. For instance, people with knee pain may find some relief through gentle massage administered behind the kneecap. However, this type of massage should only be performed by a trained and licensed professional.

2. Passive Range of Motion Exercises

One of the goals of physical therapy is often helping patients regain their full range of motion. Pain and injury can gradually decrease your range of motion until you aren't able to use your body as fully as you used to. In the initial stages of therapy, your muscles may be too weak to do certain range-of-motion exercises on your own. Your physical therapist may, therefore, prescribe passive range-of-motion exercises. During these exercises, your therapist will manually move your body through the necessary movements. All you need to do is relax. These passive range-of-motion exercises can help retrain your body to perform these full movements.

3. Cervical Traction

If you have neck or back pain, spinal compression may be to blame. If your spine becomes compressed, it can put pressure on your nerves, leading to pain. Stretching can help, but cervical traction can provide more immediate relief. To provide cervical traction, your physical therapist will first have you lie down. Then, they will gently grip your head and pull it upward, away from your spine. This can help your spine decompress, providing pain relief and a remedy to stiffness.

Your physical therapist will tailor your physical therapy plan to suit your needs. They will integrate manual therapy treatments into your therapy routine as needed to create a schedule that will promote healing. To learn more about manual therapy treatments, contact a physical therapist in your area.