Manual therapy is when therapists use a hands-on approach to loosen tight muscles, joints, and other soft tissues. A successful physical therapy treatment will use a variety of hands-on techniques with an end goal of decreasing pain while increasing mobility. Hands on therapy is generally used in combination with other therapy, such as Aquatics or therapeutic exercise.
Joint Mobilizations: Skilled therapeutic method where the therapist passively moves a joint in a certain direction to decrease pain and/or increase joint mobility. For example, these can be very helpful to increase movement of a stiff arm or to decrease pain in the low back.
Soft Tissue Mobilization: A hands-on technique to break up scar tissue and adhesions. Using this technique we can reduce pain and decrease the risk of re-injury to the same area.
Muscle Energy Technique: Used to correct skeletal alignment and muscle imbalances by contracting specific muscles against therapist resistance. This gentle technique is especially useful to correct lumbopelvic asymmetries.
Trigger Point Release: Trigger points are areas within a muscle that are tender to the touch. A trigger point in one muscle can cause pain in another area of the body. Sustained pressure on the trigger point can release the tension, increase circulation, and improve range of motion of a certain area of the body.