Exploring Different Types of Manual Therapy Techniques for Healing

Exploring Different Types of Manual Therapy Techniques for Healing

manual therapy techniques

These manual therapy techniques can help manage pain and improve mobility!

Do you struggle with persistent or lingering pain? Do you find it challenging to move around your home due to joint immobility? You’ve probably heard that physical therapy can help, but you might not know how it can help. The team at Omni Physical Therapy & Wellness has several tools at its disposal, including different manual therapy techniques.

Manual therapy is one of the foundations of physical therapy. It’s an umbrella term for several techniques that share one commonality: the power of human touch.

These techniques focus on hands-on (“manual”) approaches to both examination and treatment. Our therapists incorporate them with other foundational physical therapy techniques, such as therapeutic exercise and patient education, to improve your movement and overall functionality.

Curious to learn more about the different manual therapy techniques and how they might benefit you? Call us to schedule an appointment at our Garden City clinic today!

Manual Therapy Techniques: What They Do and What They Can Treat

We use manual therapy to address several common musculoskeletal conditions and employ it at all stages of the physical therapy process, from the initial assessment through the end of your program. Here are just a few of the conditions manual therapy can benefit:

  • Soft tissue injuries (such as muscle strains)
  • Repetitive-use injuries
  • Joint pain (back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, etc)
  • Arthritis
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation

But what exactly are the benefits of manual therapy? We typically use these techniques at Omni Physical Therapy & Wellness to prepare your body for more intense treatments, such as therapeutic exercise. Manual therapy is particularly useful for drug-free pain management, but it offers additional benefits, too:

  • Improve mobility: Feeling stiff? Manual therapy will help gradually increase the range of motion in your affected joint so you can move more easily (and with less pain).
  • Promote blood circulation: Blood circulation plays a big role in helping your body heal, so we frequently use manual therapy to facilitate the healing process.
  • Offer comfort: Studies show that human touch has a calming effect. Manual therapy harnesses that power, helping you to relax even as you struggle with pain and impairment.

A Selection of Manual Therapy Techniques

Manual therapy techniques vary, and there are many different ones our physical therapists can choose from. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Joint Mobilizations: This technique helps address pain and stiffness in your joints. During a joint mobilization, we’ll gently guide your joint through its current range of motion, providing you with the benefits of movement without the strain of standard exercise.
  • Joint Manipulation: Sometimes, you may need a more intense treatment to address joint pain or immobility. Rather than a slow, steady mobilization, joint manipulation involves sharply thrusting the joint through its range of motion, often providing more immediate benefits.
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization: We can also address impairments in your body’s soft tissue (muscles, fascia, tendons, and ligaments) through soft tissue mobilization, a technique similar to massage. Soft tissue mobilization promotes blood circulation and can help break up scar tissue.
  • Trigger Point Therapy: Trigger points are small, tender knots that can form in your muscles and fascia and cause pain throughout your body. During trigger point therapy, our therapists will work out those knots, alleviating pain and immobility.
  • Myofascial Release: Your myofascia is a tough, protective tissue that wraps around your muscles. Impairments in the myofascia can cause stiffness and pain, so in those cases, our therapists will target your myofascia with massage-like techniques to release it, providing you with relief.

What To Expect During Your Physical Therapy Appointments

At Omni Physical Therapy & Wellness, we customize our treatment plans to meet the exact needs of our patients. For that reason, your first appointment will consist of a comprehensive–and hands-on–evaluation to help us determine the nature of your condition. We’ll take a complete health history, review your symptoms, and use manual therapy examination techniques to help us understand the impairments that might be at the root of your pain.

From there, we’ll develop your personalized treatment plan. Although the exact details of your physical therapy program will vary based on your underlying condition, pain levels, and more, they’ll generally follow this basic template:

  • Manual therapy: We’ll use whichever techniques are appropriate to help you ease into physical therapy. Joint mobilizations can help improve your range of motion to move more easily. Soft tissue techniques can help alleviate pain and get your blood circulating.
  • Exercise: Once you improve, we’ll incorporate tailored exercises to help strengthen and stretch the affected area. We’ll also continue manual therapy treatments as needed, and you may receive exercise “homework” to complete on your own.
  • Education: Finally, we’ll give you the tools you need to live a healthy, pain-free life! We can show you how to avoid another injury or continue your strengthening and exercise programs. We can also provide return-to-activity schedules and movement modifications as needed.

Make an Appointment to Experience the Benefits of Manual Therapy for Yourself!

Manual therapy’s many benefits are better experienced than explained! If you live in Garden City and struggle with pain or musculoskeletal impairments, schedule an appointment at Omni Physical Therapy & Wellness. We’ll help you find the relief you need.


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