Manual therapy is a safe, effective and non-invasive treatment method used by physical therapists, massage therapists, and athletic trainers. Typically, patients visit a manual therapist when they are experiencing musculoskeletal pain. During treatment, your physical therapist may work to relieve pain with joint manipulation, manipulation of the muscles, joint mobilization and kneading.

Through manual therapy, our highly-trained and experienced manual therapist is able to implement a hands-on approach to healing. It is designed to help manage chronic pain, increase your range of motion, reduce inflammation, treat joint structures, and promote faster healing. If you or a loved one is experiencing musculoskeletal pain, feel free to contact our highly trained physical therapists at Catalyst PT to learn more about the benefits of manual therapy.

Types of Manual Therapy

1. Joint Mobilization

One of the most common reasons for a physical therapy visit includes pulled muscles. Although many people rely on lots of rest to temporarily relieve the pain associated with a pulled muscle, pain will likely return without the help of targeted manual therapy. This is because the actual injury is most often caused by a restricted joint. Through joint mobilization, our physical therapists work to loosen restricted joints with increased amplitude and the application of slow velocity. This safe, effective, and painless manual therapy treatment applies movement to the barrier of the joint, increasing range of motion.

2. Soft Tissue Mobilization

Manual therapists use this manual therapy technique to break up fibrous muscle tissue. Utilizing deep pressure movements and targeted rhythmic stretching, our experienced manual therapist localizes areas with the greatest tissue restriction. They then mobilize the area using specific techniques, including the Graston technique.

3. High Velocity, Low Amplitude Manual Therapy

High velocity, low amplitude is generally considered to be a more aggressive approach to manual therapy. Designed to relieve chronic pain and restore range of motion, a manual therapist brings a joint to the restrictive barrier and thrusting it. High velocity, low amplitude thrusting is ideal for restoring joint motion without pushing the joint beyond its normal anatomical limit. While considered to be a more aggressive form of physical therapy, this technique is still completely safe and pain-free.

4. Strain-Counterstrain Manual Therapy

This is designed to address any abnormal neuromuscular reflexes that may result in both postural and structural issues. During this manual therapy treatment, physical therapists locate the area of discomfort and hold that position for around 90 seconds. While in the hold position, our physical therapists introduce an asymptomatic strain with stretching. As you are brought of the hold position, your muscles are then able to reset and begin the healing process. This gentle technique is safe for patients of all ages but is most often applied to relieve back pain issues.

5. Muscle Energy Techniques (METs)

This popular treatment method helps lengthen any muscles that are shortened and mobilize any restricted joints that cause pain. During treatment, the muscles are safely contracted using a controlled counterforce that our physical therapists apply from a specific direction. Once contracted, the joint is taken to its new barrier, resulting in almost instant pain relief. This pain-free, active procedure requires patient participation to get the best results.

How is Manual Therapy an Effective Part of Physical Therapy?

Before manual therapy treatment, our therapists complete full blood supply assessment and perform a comprehensive muscle and bone assessment. From there, we implement the best type of treatment to fit your individual needs in the hopes of achieving fast pain relief. Manual therapy is ideal to help increase blood flow, reduce chronic pain, restore full range of motion and achieve an optimal level of overall wellness. This integral part of physical therapy treatment is safe, non-invasive and ideal for treating patients of all ages.

Be sure to give us a call today at our Clearwater, FL and Palm Harbor, FL centers to learn more about how manual therapy can help relieve your chronic pain symptoms and begin your journey on the road to recovery!