Manual physical therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy delivered with the hands or specialized instruments. In manual therapy, practitioners use their hands or tools to manipulate body tissue in an attempt to decrease pain caused by muscle spasm, muscle tension and joint dysfunction.
In general, manual physical therapy employs the following:
Soft Tissue Mobilization utilizes various techniques to mobilize the fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves of the body. These techniques help relax muscles, increase circulation, break up scar tissue, and ease pain in the soft tissues. Among the techniques practiced by our therapists are myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, neural mobilization, visceral mobilization, active release technique, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, and strain/counter strain.
Joint Mobilization/Manipulation, uses measured movements of varying speed (slow to fast), force (gentle to forceful), and distances (called ‘amplitude’) to twist, pull, or push bones and joints into position. This can help loosen tight tissues around a joint, reduce pain in a joint and surrounding tissue, and help with flexibility and alignment.
Dry Needling is the use of a thin, solid filiform needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial dysfunction and increase local blood flow to reduce pain, regulate inflammation, improve tissue flexibility, and promote healing and recovery. Most people will receive benefit in only a few sessions of dry needling, which will help get you back to doing what you love as quick as possible. Among the various uses of dry needling are deactivation of trigger points, management of neuromuscular pain/movement impairments and fast tracking rehab following athletic injuries.
Deactivation of Trigger Points: A trigger point is a tight band of muscle fibers (or knot) within a muscle that is characterized by decreased blood flow and increased muscle tension. These points can be painful to the touch and sometimes painful at rest, and they impair typical muscle function and movement patterns required for normal function. Dry needling can ‘deactivate’ these points and help to reduce pain, improve function, and speed recovery.
Management of Neuromusculoskeletal Pain and Movement Impairments: The body moves in series of complex firing patterns of muscle groups to create coordination and balance for typical, pain-free movement. For various reasons, such as after injury or repetitive overuse, these patterns of movement can be altered and muscle imbalances or pain may be a result. Dry needling can help to reverse these muscle imbalances and restore normal movement patterns to reduce pain and improve function.
Sports Management and Athletic Rehabilitation: Athletes require a high-demand for specific coordinated movement patterns and balance between muscle strength and flexibility for each respective sport or activity. Occasionally, athletes will develop overuse syndromes or painful spasms from over exertion due to the repetitive nature of performing a particular sport. Dry needling can be helpful in restoring normal function to these injuries and get the athlete back to their desired level of play as quick as possible.