Manual therapy is when the Physical Therapist performs PT services by solely using their hands, in order to improve the patients movement and/or resolve pain. When is Manual Therapy necessary? The answer will generally vary greatly depending which Physical Therapist you talk to. Some PT’s, although very few, perform manual physical therapy techniques on all patients.
Many PT’s in fast-paced clinics use minimal or no manual contact. At Brunswick Physical Therapy each patient is evaluated for the best possible treatment approach.
For example, a 62 year old man with severe stiffness and decreased range of motion most likely will require at least stretching and/or joint manipulation followed by exercise. Secondly, a 47 year old man who strained his back and presents with muscle spasm may likely benefit from myofascial release.
Lastly, a 24 year old woman with chronic pain and excessive joint mobility with good range of motion and no soft tissue restriction will most likely do best with conservative exercises and manual therapy would be performed only as needed.
Questions? Comments? Let me hear from you!
~ Peter St.Germain, PT