Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is any hands-on treatment your physical therapist uses to help you regain motion, improve muscle performance, or simply reduce pain. You may hear the term Manual Therapy. This is when our Skilled Physical Therapist will use their hands-on techniques, ie soft tissue mobilization; joint mobilization, manipulation, stretching, or passive range of motion—and all of these may be a part of your treatment plan. 

Manual therapy improves functional outcomes and helps you get back to 100%—our River Parish physical therapists are skilled in hands-on techniques that will get you back to what you love, faster. 

Here are some examples of manual therapy that you may encounter as a patient: 

  • You’ve had a total knee replacement. You head into your physical therapy appointment at River Parish where your physical therapist stretches your knee to bend and straighten so that you regain full range of motion. 
  • Your back has been bothering you—every time you bend over to pick something up or you twist in your chair, you get a sharp pain in the muscles of your low back. Your physical therapist at River Parish uses a combination of massage and mobilization to the spine to help your muscles relax and reduce your pain before or after exercise. 
  • You woke up with a stiff neck, which is making turning your head to check your blind spot very difficult. Our physical therapist at River Parish uses hands-on techniques including soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization to your cervical spine (neck) or your Thoracic spine (upper back), to relieve pressure, tightness, and pain to get you back feeling better. 

Manual therapy is frequently used in combination with exercise and other activities to treat a variety of conditions including: 

  • Back pain 
  • Sciatica
  • Neck pain 
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee pain
  • Post-surgical tightness 

Manual therapy is particularly beneficial for the following: 

  • Calming high pain levels
  • Improving range of motion in stiff or arthritic joints
  • Reducing feelings of tightness
  • Improving muscle performance or activation

Physical therapists who use manual techniques will make sure you are comfortable with any technique they choose to use. They may ask that you wear clothing that exposes the skin of the affected area, and they will set expectations about what the technique will feel like. Some techniques, such as massage or mobilization, may feel uncomfortable while they are being performed, but improve with repetition or feel better afterwards. Don’t be afraid to provide your therapist with feedback! 

Stiff and painful joints? Recovering from a back strain? Whatever the injury may be, our skilled manual therapists will provide you with the perfect balance of hands-on treatment and exercise to get you moving and back to life. Schedule an appointment today! 

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We are committed to helping you recover and restore health. For more information about our physical therapy services please contact us at 225-647-3709.

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