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Manual Therapy: Hands-on Healing

For physical therapists, practicing physical therapy is not a spectator sport. If you find your physical therapist observing your exercises from a distance with the occasional thumb’s up, you’re not in the right place. Manual therapy is the language of hands-on recovery. For personalized treatment, it’s vital for your physical therapist to demonstrate not just what to move, but how to move.

What is manual therapy?
Manual therapy is exactly what it sounds like. During your assessment, your physical therapist isolates the muscle or joint that is not functioning correctly. Then that part is mobilized or manipulated to restore its proper function.

Joint mobilization and manipulation
There are plenty of methods used to address joints. The technique used totally depends on your situation. In the caring hands of your physical therapist, treatment may include joint mobilization, joint manipulation, or soft tissue work including myofascial release. Your physical therapist will be able to determine what you need based upon your unique presentation.

Candidates for manual therapy
A physical therapist thoroughly assesses their patients before deciding on a treatment plan. Whether you have pain from arthritis, an unstable joint, or have gone through surgery or other trauma, manual therapy can have a place in your treatment.

At i’move we offer one-on-one personal attention, with the patient and physical therapist working as a team, to maximize your recovery.

Making it stick
When you make progress with your muscles and joints, it’s critical for your body to integrate this new movement. Any time we gain ground, we don’t want to give it back. That’s where applied functional science comes in, to provide you with the right exercises that reinforce proper movement. This neuromuscular re-education helps reinforce that pain-free movement, meaning your body never loses ground.

Together, these two schools of thought unite to lay the groundwork for your recovery at i’move. For more questions on manual therapy, feel free to talk with our own physical therapists, Mary Lomonaco-Harig and Jen McCann-Bauer, who made this article possible. Physical therapy at i’move uses both AFS and manual therapy to create the right treatment for you. Learn how to start your journey with i’move.

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