Manual Therapy is the art of knowing what tissue needs to be moved in which direction combined with the science behind the biomechanics of the body. Manual therapy may include soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilizations, joint manipulations, and teaching self-mobilization exercises. But it also includes the knowledge of WHICH tissues to move to obtain optimum results. Manual therapy, or hands on treatment, is the backbone of Physical Therapy for everyBODY because of the research supporting the long term effects on pain inhibition.
Soft tissue mobilization has been shown to decrease the expression of inflammatory genes and increase the expression of genes involved in healing. In animal models, soft tissue mobilization has been shown to increase oxytocin (happy, happy, joy, joy) in the plasma. Don’t you want to volunteer for those studies?!
Joint mobilization and manipulation has been shown to increase pain thresholds, improve muscle activation, decrease muscle tension, increase pain free motion, and affect the chemicals that float around your brain and make you feel good. Any way you slice it, getting those joints moving right is good, good stuff.
Teaching self-mobilization exercises is important so YOU can continue your treatment at home. 1) You get the benefits on your body as noted above and 2) YOU become empowered to help control your pain.
In all honesty, after 17 years as a Physical Therapist and obtaining my PhD in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy it all comes down to this – empowering YOU to manage your pain through education regarding self-treatment and appropriate exercise leads to the best long term results. If you are interested in finding out more, please feel free to contact Amy at (425)658-4944 or firstname.lastname@example.org.