Manual Therapy – At Synergy Sports and Rehab, we pride ourselves on the utilization of a hands-on technique known as manual physical therapy. These techniques are performed by highly trained therapists that have completed post graduate training to diagnose and treat soft tissue and joint structures. This skilled approach is proven to increase range of motion, joint mobility, flexibility, and stability while decreasing inflammation and pain.
If you are experiencing increased pain and stiffening in any of your joints and muscles, manual therapy is often helpful. Patients seek out this type of physical therapy for a variety of mobility issues.
For example, it may be difficult to get up from a sitting or lying position, as well as bending over to pick something up, without back pain and stiffness. You may also find your neck or shoulders get “stuck” and cause pain when you engage in everyday actions such as reaching for items, or driving. In fact, debilitating pain and stiffness in muscles and joints can happen virtually anywhere on your body.
What kinds of manual therapy exist?
Soft Tissue Massage – Soft tissue mobilization, or massage, focuses on muscles, ligaments and tendons. Often, if a patient hasn’t had a chance to use a set of muscles due to illness, or has been injured in that area, the tissues can become scarred and robbed of the fluids that promote flexibility. Soft tissue massage focuses on limbering up these damaged areas, while promoting overall wellness.
Joint Mobilization – A “restricted or stuck joint” issue often occurs after an injury, such as falling and twisting your back, or over extending your shoulder. The injury to the joint leads to muscle spasms and restricted movement. This restriction can lead to joint or tissue inflammation, which leads to pain. A skilled physical therapist practices joint mobilization movements, such as a “glide and slide” of opposing bones, in order to get the joints working properly again.
Neuromuscular Techniques – At times, muscles work themselves into abnormal states, in which the muscle’s stretch reflex has difficulty relaxing itself. To treat this, physical therapists use a technique known as “strain/counter strain” that guides the problematic muscle into positions that are “opposite” the ones at which pain and tenderness starts. Staying in this position of slight tension helps relieve the spasms by gently pulling the muscles into the opposite direction of the reflex spasms.