Manual Physical Therapy: Working with Joints

Health and medicine are wide-ranging fields that uses many different types of remedies to repair damage and restore a body from disease and injury. Exactly what medical professionals use to treat problems can vary from situation to situation to best match your needs. Physical therapy is a growing treatment field within medicine that can be used to manage and heal problems all throughout the body. One branch called manual therapy is especially helpful for decreasing pain and increasing flexibility in joints.

A Quick Definition

Manual physical therapy

Manual therapy is just one type of physical therapy. Expert therapists use their hands to massage and move limbs and joints around the body to relieve pain and encourage healing. Typically this involves some level of “manipulation and mobilization” as well as massage. Manipulation is done in joints to restore their optimal motion and function, as well as to relieve pain. It uses pressure and twisting within your natural joint limits to achieve this. Mobilization is very similar, but uses a slightly different technique. Massages relax tightened tissues, reducing pain and allowing for greater flexibility. Together Altogether, this therapy can help alleviate discomfort and improve your joint and limb function.

What It’s Good For

Manual therapy can help you a lot of ways. It’s best used around the spine and to help realign the body so muscles and limbs function better. It’s often used for lower back and neck pain. Shoulder pain and sciatica problems—nerve pain that radiates from the back through to the legs—often benefit from this as well. However, just about any joint can be treated with manual therapy manipulations. Even headaches caused by chronic muscle tension in the back and neck can be relieved with the right manual treatments.

What to Expect from Manual Therapy

Exactly how your manual therapy will go and what you will need will entirely depend on your body and what’s being treated. First, you’ll need an examination with one of our experts. Dr. Jennifer Molner will evaluate your body and determine what isn’t functioning correctly that is causing your pain. From there our team can work with you to help manipulate and mobilize your joints, alleviating your discomfort.

Manual therapy may be combined with general exercises that you do at home. These different types of physical therapy are designed to work together. They work the muscles to help them function better and retain their range of motion and flexibility. The key is to follow through with all of your exercises and manual therapy appointments for the prescribed amount of time, so your body has a chance to heal and function correctly.

Physical therapy is a growing field with a lot of promise for not only relieving pain, but also for improving limb functions and healing your body over all. You don’t have to simply learn to live with your pain. If you’re struggling with discomfort and nothing is helping, or it’s getting worse, see what manual therapy could do for you. Contact our specialists at Castle Pines Physical Therapy and Cherry Creek Physical Therapy for more information or an appointment today. You can reach our Castle Pines and Denver, CO, offices through our online contact forms. You can also call us directly at (303) 805-5156.