Medical studies show that patients get better, faster when manual therapy techniques are part of their treatment plan. Manual therapy, or the hands-on treatment of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints, involves sophisticated mobilization or manipulation of soft and connective tissue. The technique is used to treat a variety of ailments ranging from neck and back pain to limited ankle and knee mobility. Tidewater Physical Therapy’s certified Orthopedic Manual Therapists (CIMT) are experts in the musculoskeletal system. They are specially trained in medical screening, anatomy, physiology, and joint and soft tissue mechanics.
What is Manual Orthopedic Physical Therapy?
Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy is a specialized area of therapy that is used to treat musculoskeletal conditions brought on by injury, illness or age. Manual therapy techniques can involve massage of the affected area, manipulation or mobilization of tight joint structures and soft tissues or guided movement to increase the range of motion in a certain area.
Treatment using manual therapy typically involves multiple sessions over the course of several weeks. Therapy is usually paired with specifically tailored exercises that promote strength and mobility in the impacted area.
How does Manual Therapy work?
The goal of manual therapy is to provide immediate pain relief and promote healing. That could come as a result of several different types of techniques, depending on the location of the discomfort. For someone suffering from neck pain as a result of a pinched nerve, treatment may include manual cervical traction to relieve pressure in that area. A therapist may also perform gentle massage on the cervical spine and shoulders to help the muscles relax, improve circulation and encourage healing.
Joint manipulation, another technique of manual therapy, offers treatment for stiff, sore joints that are limiting mobility in areas such as the knees, shoulders or lower back. Passive movements performed on the joint by a physical therapist can help break up adhesions or realign scar tissue and stretch surrounding muscles to improve the range of motion. Specific exercises, for patients to do at home, can reinforce healing.
For many suffering from chronic muscle or joint pain, manual therapy offers an alternative to prescription pain medication or invasive surgery. And it can help patients be active in their recovery and more confident in their movements.
The physical therapists at Tidewater Physical Therapy Inc. hold Direct Access Certification through the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy allowing them to evaluate and treat patients without a prescription. As part of your healthcare team, a physical therapist will make an assessment of your condition and create a plan to start you on the road to wellness. Our team will communicate with your physician of record and obtain a referral, if necessary, for your continued treatment. We will also work with your insurance carrier to make sure services are covered by your plan. To make your own appointment, find a clinic near you.