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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Physical Therapy

What is Manual Therapy?

Updated: Sep 5, 2018

You may be experiencing pain and have seen your doctor who referred you with Physical Therapy. Your Dr suggests Manual Therapy as a treatment technique, but what's that?

In this Blog post we will explain.

Types of Manual Therapy

Soft Tissue Mobilization-

There are many different reasons for the use of Soft Tissue Mobilization or better known as STM.

1) To break up adhesion's or scar tissue

2) Help move fluid around or out of a specific Area. 

3) To help promote relaxation of musculature

Joint Mobilizations

Joint Mobilizations are commonly used when a particular joint shows limited mobility/motion. Applying pressure to a joint and moving the bones at a slow rate are typically painless and help to loosen up the joint. Joint Mobilizations can be performed on numerous different joints throughout the body.

Passive Range of Motion

Passive Range of Motion or PROM is a technique used to allow a therapist to move a body part through an arc of motion without the patient contracting their muscles which allows for a less painful experience. Typically improved motion is observed passively due to lack of muscle contraction. Depending on diagnosis and symptoms passive range of motion is combined with stretching at end range of motion to help regain full arc of movement. 

Contract/Relax Technique

A contract/relax technique is used when there is a certain muscle group with muscle tension and decreased flexibility. Due to lack of muscle flexibility the patient is asked to perform a contraction of that muscle group against the manual resistance of a therapist for a brief period of time. After the 3-5 second contraction patient is to relax, and which at that time therapist places that muscle group into a stretching or elongated position. This is typically repeated as needed until therapist is comfortable with flexibility improvements. 

In Conclusion,  most Physical Therapy clinics are transitioning to Manual Therapy based approach and good results have been seen with this approach. Above are just a few of the most common techniques but there are numerous others as well. If you feel you need some PT, or have further questions about Manual Therapy always reach out to your local Physical Therapist to get the most up to date information/techniques. 

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