Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy

Are you suffering from pain as a result of injury, illness, or surgical procedure? If so, it is likely that you would benefit from physical therapy. If you are apprehensive, let us ease your mind a bit:

We receive many first-time physical therapy patients who think their treatments will be painful, uncomfortable, or even agonizing due to their current pain levels. However, our physical therapists have several tools in their arsenal that are meant to relieve your pain, while simultaneously improving your body’s function. Are you looking to ease some discomfort and heal at the same time? If so, contact Bay State Physical Therapy today to set up a consultation!

How does manual therapy work?

Manual therapy is just one tool in our physical therapists’ kit that allows them to help your pain. This specialized form of treatment helps in reducing swelling, decreasing soft tissue restriction, mobilizing joints, and increasing your range of motion.  

Are there different types of manual therapy?

Physical therapy techniques may include, but are not limited to:

  • Manual traction  – When our physical therapists perform manual traction, they will apply gentle force to a certain area of the body, in order to stretch it out. The most common area that manual traction is performed on is the spine to lightly stretch the spaces between your vertebrae. While the neck and back are the most common areas for manual traction, it can also be performed on other parts of the body, including for the joints of the arms and legs.  
  • Massage – Physical therapy massage treatments are different than those you might experience at a spa. The treatments are more therapeutic in nature, rather than relaxing. Our physical therapists use massage treatments as a way to mobilize soft tissues, scar tissue, and adhesions caused by inflammation or injury. This can be done through various types of pressure and hold techniques.  
  • Mobilization/manipulation – When you experience severe pain after sustaining an injury, it may the result of a restricted joint. Our physical therapists are trained in loosening restricted joints by applying pressure at varying velocities. Mobilization and manipulation techniques are safe and effective for increasing your range of motion.  
  • Lymphatic drainage – A major concern for those who undergo surgical procedures is the possibility of lymphedema. Lymphedema is a condition that causes swelling in the arms and legs, due to a blockage in the lymphatic system. Our physical therapists can perform manual lymphatic drainage by applying light pressure (similar to a massage) on the affected arm or leg, in order to encourage the drainage of fluid, also known as lymph. Lymphatic drainage is typically followed by compression, in order to reduce swelling.

How safe is manual therapy?

Manual therapy is very safe! Our physical therapists are highly trained medical professionals who understand the limitations of your body, as well as its capabilities.  One of the greatest aspects of manual therapy is that it is non-invasive and does not require any harmful medications. Instead, our physical therapists use a variety of techniques that help move your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints in ways that relieve pain and promote healing. Manual therapy also helps to reduce scar tissue and minimize swelling.

How will manual therapy fit into my treatment plan?

Our physical therapists are highly trained in diagnosing and treating movement disorders. These disorders often occur following surgery, especially if a patient has undergone total joint replacement. However, many physicians will also prescribe physical therapy treatments for injuries, accidents, or illnesses – essentially, anything that makes you feel unable to function at your normal physical levels.

Your physical therapy treatment plan will likely include several different therapies, all aimed at helping a specific function of your body. Manual therapy is a crucial part of a treatment plan, as it helps to reduce pain and swelling, minimize inflammation, and increase range of motion. The plan will also include exercises that may focus on improving other aspects of your functioning such as your balance and strength. If you are interested in gaining the many benefits of manual therapy, contact Bay State Physical Therapy today! Our dedicated physical therapists will be happy to meet with you get you moving once again.

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