For many Physical and Occupational Therapists, it’s all hands on deck. They use manual therapy techniques on soft tissue and joints that are intended to modulate pain, reduce inflammation, increase range of motion and reduce restriction. Hands-on therapy is also intended to decrease edema, enhance health, remediate body functions and structures and to maintain physical performance. But, before performing any type of hands-on treatment, your Physical or Occupational Therapist will perform a full assessment of bone, muscle, blood and nerve supply in the affected area. Depending on that assessment, your therapist may perform some or a combination of the following types of manual therapy. You can feel confident that your Physical or Occupational Therapist will choose the best manual therapy for your condition.
Soft Tissue Mobilizations
Soft Tissue Mobilization is a form of manual physical therapy where your licensed Physical Therapist uses hands-on techniques on your muscles, ligaments, and fascia with the goal of breaking adhesions and optimizing your muscle function. Your Physical or Occupational Therapist is specially trained to use his or her hands to push, pull and knead your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves in specific ways to help bring you pain relief and return you to functionality.
Joint mobilization is the careful use of skilled graded forces to move a joint in a desired direction. Unlike stretching of a muscle, joint mobilization is specific to the capsule of the joint itself. Gliding of the joint is usually used to improve motion and normalize joint function. Joint mobilization also has the added benefit of controlling pain. With joint mobilization, the restricted joints are loosened up through manual therapy by providing amplitude and slow velocity to the affected joint. The joint is moved in a manner that the patient usually cannot do on their own.
The manual pressure provided by a Physical or Occupational Therapist during myofasical release is used to “release” the tension and stress in the fascia and other structures within targeted treatment areas, thus restoring normal movement, relieving pain, and reducing your risk of further tissue damage.
Muscle Energy Techniques
Muscle energy techniques are implemented by a Physical or Occupational Therapist to lengthen shortened muscles and to mobilize restricted joints. A voluntary contraction is utilized against a controlled counterforce applied from the therapist from a specific direction and position. It’s an active procedure and generally well tolerated by patients.
At Life In Motion, we take pride in providing quality manual therapy to our patients through a variety of techniques. We believe that our hands are invaluable tools that assist in both assessment and intervention. If you are in pain, Contact Us Today at Pinellas Park & Seminole, FL Centers to schedule with our Physical or Occupational Therapists. Let us help you return to the things you love!