What is Manual Physical Therapy for Pain Relief

Did you know that almost 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain lasting for three months or more with daily or frequent occurrence? According to the US Pain Foundation, out of these Americans, 20 million face so much pain that performing simple daily tasks becomes a challenge. In fact, chronic pain is said to be more common in American adults than diabetes and depression! With medicines being a common solution for temporary solace, not many people are aware that manual physical therapy stands out as the best treatment for long-term pain relief. 

In this blog, we will delve into the world of manual therapy and find out what is manual physical therapy, focus on the conditions it effectively treats, understand its techniques, and the benefits it offers. So, let’s say bye to pain and embark on a journey towards comfort.

What Is Manual Therapy?

Manual physical therapy is a hands-on approach where specially trained therapists use their hands to manipulate your muscles and joints. It helps reduce pain by improving mobility and also increases body flexibility. 

If you’re wondering about manual therapy vs massage therapy, then it’s worth mentioning that massage therapy only focuses on soft tissues with the aim of relaxing muscles and improving blood circulation. The difference between both is that manual therapy is used to fix joint and muscle problems, while massage therapy has the goal of providing relaxation and does not provide joint pain relief. 

Benefits of Manual Therapy for Pain Relief

Manual physical therapy has numerous benefits besides providing pain relief. This holistic approach recognizes the interconnectedness of physical health and mental well-being, promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels, ultimately facilitating smoother movement in the body.

  • No Dependency on Medicine: You won’t have to take any medicines during this therapy. This is quite beneficial as it helps in avoiding drug-induced relief. 
  • Targeted Treatment: Therapists focus on diagnosing the specific area of pain during manual therapy, which allows quick and cost-effective treatment.
  • Posture Improvement: Manual therapy reduces strain on the musculoskeletal system, which helps in improving your posture and corrects any imbalance problem. 
  • Enhancing Sleep: As manual therapy helps the body relax, your sleep quality will improve significantly. 
  • Injury Prevention: Through guided therapy, your body mechanics improve, which will be helpful in avoiding future injuries and pain flare-ups. 

Techniques Used in Manual Physical Therapy

There are many manual physical therapy techniques that are employed to address specific musculoskeletal issues and promote healing. Here are some techniques that therapists commonly use:

Soft Tissue Mobilization

It involves physical therapists using their hands to apply controlled pressure and precise movements to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This targeted approach helps release tension, improve blood circulation, and promote healing in soft tissues.

Joint Mobilization

Joint mobilization restores normal joint function and enhances overall mobility. It’s particularly effective for conditions like arthritis or injuries that limit joint movement. Therapists use gentle, controlled movements to stretch and glide the joint surfaces. This helps increase the range of motion and reduce stiffness.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release, also known as trigger point therapy, aims to release tension in the fascia, a connective tissue that envelops and supports muscles. This process helps improve flexibility and reduce chronic muscular tightness. Therapists search for the trigger points in the fascia and apply pressure until the tension is released. No oil or lotion is used; only skin contact is required for this technique.

Muscle Energy Technique

The muscle energy technique is a collaborative effort between the patient and therapist. It’s a technique where the patient has to actively engage certain muscles against a controlled resistance provided by the therapist. This helps improve muscle strength, flexibility, and stability. It’s like a tailored workout for your muscles, aiming to restore balance and function.

Conditions Treated with Manual Physical Therapy

Manual physical therapy helps with many body problems. Here are a few common issues it can treat: 

1. Muscle Strains and Spasms

The soft tissue mobilization technique is used to alleviate tension and promote healing in strained or spasming muscles, providing relief from discomfort.

2. Back Pain

Joint mobilization and myofascial release techniques are often employed in this condition to address issues in the spine, muscles, and connective tissues, which restores the patient’s mobility. 

3. Neck Pain

Different manual physical therapy techniques are applied to the neck area to reduce neck stiffness and provide pain relief.

4. Sports Injuries

Various techniques, such as joint mobilization along with stretching exercises, are used to offer targeted treatment for sports-related injuries, aiding athletes in recovery and facilitating a safe return to activity.

5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Manual therapy is done to put pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, providing relief from pain and discomfort with this syndrome.

Apart from these conditions, headaches, post-surgery pain, joint pain, thoracic spine, hip injury, and workplace injury can be treated through manual physical therapy. 

What to Expect During a Manual Therapy Session

A manual therapy session might seem stressful, but it is not as daunting as it seems. Here is what to expect when going to a therapist center for a manual therapy session:

First Meeting and Examination

In your initial meeting, your therapists will conduct a comprehensive evaluation. They’ll discuss your medical history and conduct a physical examination to understand your condition better. Your physical session will involve posture observation, range of motion assessment, and test performance to pinpoint the source of discomfort.

Start of Manual Therapy

Once the evaluation is complete, the therapist will commence with manual therapy techniques such as joint mobilization and MET. The techniques will be tailored to your specific needs, and a proper plan will be formulated after the time span and exercises are finalized. Each manual physical therapy session lasts between 30 minutes to one hour, depending on your pain and injury level.

Post-Session Recommendations

Once you are done with the manual therapy, your therapist will guide you on further home exercises, techniques for self-care, further precautions, and lifestyle adjustments.

MOCEAN - Your Relief, Our Commitment

It’s important to choose the perfect rehab center for manual physical therapy in NYC. At MOCEAN, we are committed to providing the best care with our personalized plans and comforting environment. Our dedicated team of manual physical therapy specialists in NYC is ready to take every step with you in your journey for a pain-free life! MOCEAN stands out from other therapy centers with its flexible membership options and convenient virtual consultations. We take pride in claiming that we are one of the few rehabs in NYC that have satisfied each one of our patients. 

So, what’s stopping you from enjoying a vibrant life? Book your appointment today and begin your journey of manual physical therapy with us. Your path to wellness starts here! 

Then we create a health plan tailored to your needs.

Based on the results, we develop a personalized treatment plan for each individual to promote optimal health. With 1-on-1 consultations, cutting-edge technology, and a team of experts who care about getting you better, MOCEAN offers you a comprehensive road map on how to become the healthiest version of yourself.

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