Is Manual Therapy Right For You?
As a physical therapist who specializes in manual therapy, I know firsthand the incredible benefits of what manual therapy can provide for individuals dealing with back, neck, shoulder, and knee, or ankle pain. Manual therapy is a hands-on approach to healing that involves the skilled manipulation of soft tissues and joints to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and enhance overall function. If you are looking for a safe and effective way to manage your pain and improve your quality of life, manual therapy may be the solution you have been seeking.
While the knowledgeable team at Move Empower will help you decide if manual therapy is right for you, there are a number of things that can help you understand this form of therapy better!
The Benefits of Manual Therapy
Here are just a few of the many benefits that manual therapy can provide:
- Pain Relief: Manual therapy techniques can help to reduce pain and inflammation, allowing you to move more freely and with less discomfort. A 2015 systematic review of research found that manual therapy was effective in reducing pain and improving function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Another study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy found that manual therapy was effective in reducing pain and improving function in patients with neck pain.
- Increased Joint Mobility: By manipulating soft tissues and joints, manual therapy can help to restore your range of motion and flexibility. Manual therapy is often used in conjunction with exercise to help improve joint mobility and improved activation of the muscles surrounding the affected joint. A great example of this is with an ankle sprain. After an ankle sprain the ankle joint will often times become very stiff resulting in the surrounding muscles to tighten and perform less optimally. By restoring proper joint mobility to the ankle and improving the muscle flexibility the ankle will move and tolerate loads much better. That means going up and down steps and running won’t be painful any longer.
- Relaxation of tight muscles: joint mobilization and manipulation are two types of manual therapy that are very effective at decreasing muscular tightness and pain.
- Improved Flexibility: manual therapy techniques such as PNF and muscle energy techniques are great ways to improve flexiblity of tight muscles relieving pressure and stress on surrounding muscles and joints. Once a muscle’s flexibility has been restored to a more normal length it can produce much greater power and strength.
Manual therapy can also be a very effective treatment modality for a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries:
- back pain
- neck pain,
- shoulder pain,
- knee pain,
- TMJ dysfunction
- Ankle sprains
- Muscle strains
- Ligament sprains
Manual therapy can be customized to meet the needs of each patient. Our skilled manual therapist team will assess your unique condition(s) and create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Techniques could include deep tissue massage, joint mobilization/manipulation, stretching, and more.
Factors to consider when choosing manual therapy
It can be intense: A primary consideration for manual therapy is the level of pain or discomfort you’re experiencing. While manual therapy can be very helpful in reducing pain and improving function, the treatment process can also be uncomfortable or painful. It’s important to communicate with the therapy team about your pain levels and any discomfort you may be experiencing during treatment.
It takes some time: Another factor to consider is the time commitment involved in manual therapy. While it can be very effective, it may also require multiple sessions to see significant improvement. If you have a busy schedule or limited resources, our concierge team can typically accommodate – however, too many restrictions in your schedule could make manual therapy a less viable option for you.
How to decide if manual therapy is right for you
The decision to pursue manual therapy should be based on a number of factors that the team at Move Empower is well equipped to help you review. When you’re dealing with pain and considering manual therapy it’s important to work with a skilled therapy team that can help guide you through the process and ensure that you’re getting the care you need.
When selecting a manual therapist, look for someone who is licensed and trained in the techniques they’re using. They should be willing to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and modify any treatment plan to ensure your safety and comfort.
Manual therapy can be a very effective approach to treating pain and musculoskeletal issues, and we often leverage it here at Move Empower for patients with specific therapy needs. If you’re considering manual therapy, scheduling a free consult with our founder is the best way to ensure we understand your needs and see if we’re the right fit for each other.