Are you wondering about the difference between Manual Physical Therapy and Traditional Physical Therapy? You are not alone! Many people who are entering our world (or thinking about it!) are curious about what makes us different.
The quick answer is that we are Physical Therapists who are trained in and implement manual therapy.
So, What is this Manual Therapy?
Manual therapy is the use of hands on techniques that helps the tissues in the body to move freely. When the tissues are able to move freely then they are able to heal properly. Once the tissues are healed the focus shifts to strengthening your body to restore functional movement patterns. Restoring these movement patterns is required so this pain or injury does not return.
You see, your body thinks that the movement patterns it has been using are “normal”. But these patterns are the same movements that have allowed for the pain or dysfunction to occur. If your body is allowed to continue with these bad habits then the pain or dysfunction will return. Therefore, healthy movement patterns need to be restored to keep the initial pain or injury from returning.
Every tissue in your body is designed to heal itself with the proper movement patterns. Dysfunction, abnormal movement, and pain occur when the tissues can’t move normally. Because if you aren’t moving, you aren’t healing.
Side note – if you aren’t sleeping properly then you also aren’t healing. Manual therapy can help you sleep better which also improves your healing.
What we do here at Physical Therapy for everyBODY is figure out what muscles, ligaments, discs, fascia, joints, bones, or cartilage are not moving correctly and why. We then use our hands – literally, hands on techniques – to help those tissues move correctly. When they are able to move the way they are intended then they are able to heal.
Now, this plan looks different for each person. I can guarantee you that your tissues are different than those of your family members or your friends. Your pain pattern is unique much like your fingerprints are. That’s why it’s so critical to address YOUR specific needs. So, we can give YOUR body what it needs to heal completely so this problem doesn’t come back again.
Here at Physical Therapy for everyBODY we focus FIRST on getting the muscles, joints, and ligaments moving correctly. Once they are moving correctly we can strengthen them to keep them moving in the functional pattern! This allows for a long term solution to your specific problem.
Is this Chiropractic?
No. Although we do MOBILIZE the joints to help them move correctly we do not do high velocity manipulation techniques (think the typical “cracking” in a chiropractic office). Our techniques are very gentle stretches of the joint to allow it to move freely. This allows for the body to heal.
When your joints are not moving correctly they get tight, rigid, and cranky. Joint mobilization allows for your joints to move with more ease which decreases the tension. And, decreasing the tension allows the joints to be less rigid and cranky.
Is this Massage?
No. Although we do use many of the same techniques as a massage therapist to get the muscle relaxed. We are firm believers that decreasing the tension in muscles helps to decrease your pain. However, our techniques are very specific and targeted to the area that is a problem.
Is this Personal Training?
No. Personal training is focused on general strengthening for your entire body. Manual Physical Therapy is focused on restoring normal movement patterns to ensure complete healing of the pain or dysfunction. And, to strengthen the muscles needed to keep you from having this pain and dysfunction again. Our exercise treatment is targeted and specific to your issue and your goals.
We realize that everyone has different goals for what success looks like in your life. And, we discuss this at our Free Discovery Visit. We aren’t working towards OUR goals, we are working towards YOUR goals. Your goals may include wanting to run a marathon but maybe you would like to get out of bed pain free. If it is important to you then it is important to us.
When you are here at Physical Therapy for everyBODY you will be treated by a manual therapist who will use hands on techniques to help your body heal. You will have our complete attention for the entire time you are in our clinic. Because manual therapy requires time and focus we never double book patients. You won’t have to share your therapist with someone else.
How is Manual Physical Therapy Different From Traditional Physical Therapy?
Traditional Physical Therapy has become very focused on exercise and strengthening without addressing how the muscles, joints, and ligaments are moving in the first place. However, Manual Physical Therapy has steps that come before exercise, because we have to have the tissues moving correctly before we exercise. And our exercises are targeted to allow your body to achieve normal movement patterns to eliminate your problem – for good!
At Physical Therapy for everyBODY, we have implemented a 5 step process to help you achieve your goals. If you would like to read more in depth about what your journey would look like here at Physical Therapy for everyBODY, please click here.
- 1Discover – we sit down with you one-on-one for a Free Discovery Visit to hear your story and ensure proper fit of your needs and what we offer
- 2Dig – we then perform a customized assessment or evaluation to ensure a holistic view of your body and what you need to heal
- 3Mobilize – it’s time to get your joints, muscles, discs, ligaments, tendons, and fascia moving normally so that they are able to heal
- 4Heal – this step goes hand in hand with Mobilize. As your tissues are able to move correctly, your body is able to go through the healing process
- 5Strengthen – now that the tissues are moving correctly, you need to restore your functional movement patterns so this problem does not return
Does this sound like what you have been looking for? Then we encourage you to sign up for one of our Free Discovery Visits so we can hear more about your story. This Free Discovery Visit is perfect for people who have been let down by Traditional Physical Therapy in the past. We want to hear your story and answer all of your questions. One of our core values is to be curious and adventurous. Which means we welcome your questions and are happy to “dig deep” into the answers.
Or, feel free to give us a call at (425) 658-4944. We look forward to hearing from you!