The top 2 types of hands-on physical therapy and how they can benefit you

If you’ve ever searched for physical therapy online, there are several things you may have seen. One is a person doing stretching or strengthening exercises. Another is a physical therapist using their hands to stretch or move someone’s leg, arm or neck. This second visual is an example of hands-on physical therapy or manual therapy. 

2 commonly used types of hands-on physical therapy

Many people aren’t aware that there are many types of manual therapy. Each type is slightly different, but each type also shares similar goals. These goals include helping to break up scar tissue, reduce muscle tension and improve joint mobility. Often, multiple manual therapy techniques are used to address an injury or condition. Two of the top manual therapy techniques your physical therapist may use to help you are: 

  1. Joint mobilization — There are many injuries or conditions that decrease the mobility of a joint. Let’s focus on just one joint: the knee. Knee stiffness is a common symptom of knee osteoarthritis, which occurs in 10% of men and 13% of women over 60. Joint mobilization allows your physical therapist to help ease your stiffness. They’ll do so by using their hands to move your knee through its normal range of motion. This type of manual therapy can also help people with many other joint issues. For instance, it can benefit people with frozen shoulder and ankle sprains. 
  1. Soft tissue mobilization — This technique is used on muscles and other soft tissue in the body. Soft tissue mobilization (STM) is a lot like a massage. Your physical therapist will move their hands over the affected area while applying pressure. This technique can help ease tension in the targeted soft tissue. STM is often used in combination with joint mobilization because STM can target muscles that are restricting a joint’s mobility. It can also be used with therapeutic exercises to treat issues like shoulder pain. 

What benefits can hands-on physical therapy offer you?

Manual therapy techniques can offer a slew of benefits when performed by a certified physical therapist. A few of the benefits you may get from these techniques are: 

  • Reduced pain. 
  • Improved muscle flexibility. 
  • Increased joint mobility. 
  • Boosted blood flow. 
  • Greater ability to do normal daily tasks. 
  • Decreased healing time. 

Discover hands-on physical therapy that can benefit you at Continuum Wellness

Is not knowing where to go for effective hands-on physical therapy holding you back from trying it? Don’t let it. Come experience the manual therapy and other treatment options that our Continuum Wellness team offers. 

We can start you off with a free screening intended to uncover the cause of your pain. Then, our expert physical therapists can build you a treatment plan that’s personalized to your needs and recovery goals.

Contact our team today for more information about all the treatment options we offer or to schedule your initial appointment. 

For more information, Contact Us Today.

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