Manual therapy is hands-on treatment provided by a physical therapist for a patient with a musculo-skeletal or neurological problem. Manual therapy is the skilled passive movement of a joint or soft tissue structure to restore function to that structure. It includes joint mobilization, manipulation, soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release techniques, strain-counterstrain techniques, muscle energy techniques, stretching and many other techniques used in combination to treat neuromuscular and orthopedic dysfunctions.
Types of Manual Therapy
Joint mobilization/manipulation: the movement of the joints or bones in a controlled manner. This technique is to help loosen joints and re-establish functional movement patterns.
Soft tissue mobilization/myofascial release (MFR): the restoration of muscle play, breaking fascial restrictions between muscles, and decreasing excessive tone that is associated with muscle tightness
Strain counterstrain: a passive procedure that places the body in a position of greatest comfort thereby relieving pain and dysfunction by reducing the inappropriate feedback between the brain and the effected body part. This technique applies a mild overstretch in the direction opposite to that which causes the discomfort. The communication with the brain is “reset” to allow for proper feedback.
Muscle Energy Technique (MET): Muscle Energy Technique focuses on joint range-of-motion limitation, and uses light to moderate force muscular contractions precisely controlled to affect a specific joint and restore normal joint motion. The physical therapist will position the patient in a manner such that the specific joint will be affected. The patient is asked to initiate a muscle contraction to assist in the procedure. At Ried Physical Therapy manual therapy is used in conjunction with other forms of therapy, such as therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular re-education, and modalities to achieve optimal results for our patients.