If you’ve been injured and in pain, your doctor may have recommended physical therapy to restore range of motion or relieve discomfort. Hands-on therapy techniques involve joint mobilization in the spine or joints. ‘Manual’ therapy is a highly specialized area of exercise therapy. Therapists use their hands to apply pressure on muscle tissue or manipulate joints to relieve pain caused by joint spasms, tension, and dysfunction. Unlike other forms of physical therapy that rely on devices and machines, hands-on physical therapy does not use any of these tools. So, why is a hands-on approach best?
Many patients expect to come to their physical therapy appointments to work with ice, hot packs, ultrasound, or light weights. This is certainly helpful, but many therapists are now approaching physical therapy with a more personal approach to getting a complete picture of what is happening with their patients’ joints and soft tissues. Through hands-on physical therapy, therapists seek to restore function rather than simply suggesting exercise. Through this passive movement of the joints, manual therapy allows the muscles, joints and ligaments to be stretched. Practical therapy can also help break up adhesions and even out scar tissue that can interfere with your body’s full range of motion.
Hands-on physiotherapy targets all 4 fronts at once:
Therapists who practise manual therapy know that it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, active joint activity is not suitable for those recovering from fractures, or if they have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis. In most cases, the physical therapist will modify the treatment to best treat their unique physical condition.
In hands-on therapy, there are many techniques that physical therapists use to relieve pain, and restore mobility. These techniques include:
Hands-on therapy is a great option for many patients who have had an accident or traumatic experience. These can be damaged nerves or tendons, burns, scars, or other common conditions such as arthritis, tennis elbow, post-surgery rehabilitation, joint position, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even certain neurological conditions.
See a highly-trained physiotherapist today at Cairnhill Physiotherapy.