What is manual therapy?
Manual therapy refers to the use of hands to assess and diagnosis musculoskeletal injuries.
1) Joint mobilization
A form of manual therapy targeted at treating joints. Physiotherapist apply either a sustain pressure or a gentle rhythmic oscillation to the joint in order to improve joint range or motion and relieve pain.
Physiotherapist use their hands to apply pressure on the muscle or joint to release tension in order to relieve pain and improve joint range of motion. There are 3 types of manual therapy treatments:
2) Joint manipulation
Joint manipulation involves a high velocity low amplitude force to a specific joint. This creates space/ gapping of the joint and an audible cavitation is often heard as gas is released from the joint space. Research has shown that when joint manipulation is performed with exercise the combination can be very effective when treating musculoskeletal injuries.
3) Massage (trigger point release, deep tissue massage, active release technique)
Massage techniques can be applied on muscles, tendons, and ligament to improve the elasticity of these tissue. This can lead to improve mobility of these structures and reduced pain. Massage techniques can be used to break down scar tissue which will improve circulation to injured tissues to promote healing. Massage can also treat trigger points which are stubborn knots of tissue. Applying deep pressure to the trigger points will soften and release these tight knots to relieve pain.
What conditions can be treated with manual therapy?
Most musculoskeletal injuries are caused by structural imbalances where by certain muscles and joints are tight while others are weak. Your physiotherapist will use manual therapy to restore mobility, improve function, and decrease pain. In Toronto, whether your injury is caused from the office or at the gym, manual therapy treatments will be right for you. Some of these conditions include:
Neck pain (muscle spasm, disc herniation)
Lower back pain (disc herniation, facet joint restriction, spinal stenosis)
Thoracic spine pain (disc herniation, rib restriction)
Temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
Shoulder pain (impingement syndrome, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff injury)
Hip pain (hip bursitis, post-surgical hip replacement, myofascial hip pain, hip impingement)
Knee pain (iliotibial band syndrome, patellofemoral dysfunction, post-surgical knee replacement)
Ankle pain (ankle sprains/strains, arthritis)