Unlocking Relief: Benefits of Manual Therapy for Effective Pain Management

Unlocking Relief: Benefits of Manual Therapy for Effective Pain Management

Manual Therapy treatment in Garden City, New York

Are you living with persistent pain? Does it impact your ability to perform day-to-day tasks or enjoy your favorite recreational activities? Do you feel like you’ve tried everything, and none of it has worked? If so, then you should consider manual therapy for pain management.

Manual therapy goes hand-in-hand with physical therapy. These hands-on treatment techniques have a long history within the field, and the physical therapists at Omni Physical Therapy & Wellness regularly incorporate them into our customized treatment plans, especially when patients need help with pain management.

In fact, manual therapy is actually a great frontline defense against acute pain. These techniques promote blood circulation and can often help with relaxation, allowing you to find some relief before you begin more intense treatments, such as exercise. Manual therapy techniques can also help you improve your range of motion to make movement easier overall.

Want to learn more about the benefits of manual therapy for pain management? Keep reading–or schedule an appointment at our Garden City, NY clinic to find out about them for yourself!

Understanding Manual Therapy: Common Techniques

The term “manual therapy” refers to several techniques that all provide similar benefits, such as pain management, improved mobility, and the positive impact of human touch. Their defining characteristic is that your therapist will use their hands to administer them rather than a device or other instrument.

However, the exact techniques can vary in what they do and what they’re used for. Here are some of the more common manual therapy techniques you’re likely to encounter:

  • Soft Tissue Manipulation: Your body’s soft tissue includes muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Soft tissue manipulation works similarly to a massage: our therapist will manipulate affected soft tissues to help reduce your pain and encourage blood flow (which can facilitate healing, helping to resolve your pain long-term).
  • Joint Mobilization: This technique is a less intense version of joint manipulation. Rather than sharply thrusting the joint through its range of motion, our therapist will gently guide it. Over time, your range of motion will increase, allowing you to perform more active mobility exercises.
  • Joint Manipulation: This technique, sometimes called an adjustment, involves sharply thrusting an impaired joint through its natural range of motion, which can help with pain and immobility. Don’t be surprised when you hear a popping sound, however!
  • Myofascial Release: Sometimes, we can trace pain to your fascia–the thick tissue that wraps and protects your muscles, nerves and even bone. When the tissue becomes tight, it can painfully limit your mobility throughout your body. By manipulating the fascia, our therapists can loosen it up, relieving pain and tension.
  • Trigger Point Therapy: Trigger points are another common source of pain. These small, tender knots in your muscles and fascia can refer pain elsewhere in your body, meaning that a trigger point in your shoulder may cause pain in your arm. Trigger point therapy involves releasing these knots through manual manipulation.

Manual Therapy for Pain Management: How It Works

At Omni Physical Therapy & Wellness, we want to help you resolve your pain for good. The best way to do that is to identify and address the underlying cause of that pain, whether it’s an injury or an underlying musculoskeletal condition.

Most of the common causes of musculoskeletal pain respond well to exercise. Your body wants to move, so targeted, tailored therapeutic exercises are a great way to ensure you fully rehabilitate after an injury or to help manage certain conditions that don’t have a cure (such as arthritis).

But what if your pain is too intense for exercise? What if your joints are too stiff for you to move comfortably? Manual therapy can help bridge that gap. While manual therapy won’t heal an injury or cure a disease, it can offer acute pain relief and help you increase your mobility, range of motion, and blood circulation.

That’s why our therapists will frequently utilize manual therapy techniques at the early stages of your program. We use it to prepare your body for exercise to help you resolve your pain entirely.

Curious about which painful conditions can benefit from manual therapy? Here are some of the most common:

  • Muscle or tendon strains
  • Joint sprains
  • Arthritis
  • Herniated discs
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendinitis
  • Muscle tension
  • Muscle guarding due to other painful conditions

Manual therapy is also a crucial component of any post-surgical rehabilitation program, offering drug-free pain management and an early means of mobilizing impacted joints.

What To Expect During Physical Therapy at Omni Physical Therapy & Wellness

When you visit our Garden City, NY clinic, the first thing our therapists will do is work with you to understand what’s causing you pain. We’ll take a detailed health history and discuss any symptoms: What does the pain feel like? Where is it located? Be specific.

We’ll also perform several movement screens to help us pinpoint areas of impairments. Depending on your circumstance, we might measure strength, range of motion, functional mobility, balance, walking patterns, and more. These simple tests will tell us a lot about what’s causing your pain.

All this information allows our therapists to create a customized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and concerns. If you’re dealing with intense pain, you can expect us to incorporate the manual therapy techniques that will be most beneficial for you. However, we’ll also utilize additional treatments, such as exercise, balance or gait training, and education about your condition.

Our therapists will utilize manual therapy as needed during your physical therapy program. We typically use it at the beginning of a session to help prepare you for that day’s exercises, and you can generally expect more manual therapy early on in your program–although we’ll certainly utilize it throughout as needed!

See How Manual Therapy Helps with Pain Management!

The Omni Physical Therapy & Wellness team wants to help you resolve your pain so you can live an active, healthy lifestyle. Manual therapy is one of the first steps in accomplishing that goal. To get started, schedule your initial consultation today!


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