Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy techniques are skilled hand movements and skilled passive movements of joints and soft tissue and are intended to improve tissue extensibility. The technique used by therapists to improve tissue extensibility, increase range of motion, induce relaxation, mobilize or manipulate soft tissue and joints, modulate pain, reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation, or restriction. Techniques may include manual traction, soft tissue manipulation, mobilization/manipulation, and passive range of motion.

 

A physiotherapist will select, prescribe, and implement manual therapy techniques based on individual needs to minimize pain, restore function, enhance health and wellness, enhance or maintain physical performance, increase the ability to move, or prevent or remediate impairment in body functions and structures, activity limitations, or participation restrictions to improve physical function.

 

Different Techniques can be used to implement manual therapy that is not limited to:

 

  • Myofascial Release; targets the muscle and fascial systems, promotes flexibility and mobility of the body's connective tissues. Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon which is a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly and will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate. Each Myofascial Release Treatment session is performed directly on skin without oils, creams, or machinery. This enables the therapist to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate the release of the fascia.
  • Soft tissue Manipulation may be used as part of treatment, this may reduce inflammation. Soft Tissue Technique is firm, direct pressure to relax hypertonic muscles and stretch tight fascial structures.
  • Friction massage is said to increase mobilization of adhesions between fascial layers, muscles, compartments, and other soft tissues.
  • There are several trigger point techniques. Some techniques focus directly on the trigger point and taut band, while others are fascial release techniques, which affect a larger area of the muscle and its fascia.
  • Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage. Stretching is a common intervention performed during rehabilitation. Stretching is prescribed to increase muscle length and ROM or to align collagen fibers during healing muscle.
  • Joint manipulation is one of the most popular methods of providing a greater range of motion (ROM) and pain relief to patients. Also sometimes referred to as ‘manual therapy’. Joint manipulation uses a variety of techniques to provide benefits to patients.

 

What are the Benefits of Joint Manipulation?

 

Joint manipulation is a technique utilized by healthcare and Physiotherapist to reduce pain and increase range of motion while working in conjunction with other treatment techniques to improve a patient’s overall quality of life.

 

Causes of Joint Dysfunction

 

Joint dysfunction can be caused by several issues including:

 

  • Underuse – people who have been confined to a wheelchair or bed may experience serious pain and damage in their joints as a result of underuse.
  • Overuse – either over a short period of high exertion or through a lifetime of continual use.
  • Natural joint dysfunction – joints naturally deteriorate over time, but this fact does not make the process any less painful, inconvenient, or damaging. Natural joint dysfunction can be mitigated through joint manipulation.
  • Trauma – through injury, accident, or over a long period.
  • Post-operative – issues arising after an operation for both related and unrelated issues.

 

Effects of joint manipulation:

 

  • Relief of musculoskeletal pain
  • Faster recovery time from acute back sprains
  • Increase in range of motion
  • Positive physiological effects on the central nervous system
  • Unlocking joints

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