What is manual therapy?
The cornerstone of our approach to physical therapy here at Carter Physiotherapy is hands-on “manual therapy.”
Manual Therapy is defined as “application of an accurately determined and specifically directed manual force to the body, in order to improve mobility in areas that are restricted; in joints, in connective tissues or in skeletal muscles.”
Skilled manual therapy techniques can make immediate improvements in pain and mobility … creating an opportunity for greater movement, strength gains, and healing response.
All therapists at Carter Physiotherapy have had extensive post-doctoral training and certifications in manual therapy, and it is this hands-on approach that is responsible for much of the success and results of our patient care.
How much manual therapy will my condition require?
The amount of hands-on manual therapy needed will usually be related to the amount of time you have had an injury/pain, as well as several other factors. The more acute/recent the problem, the quicker we tend to see positive changes. Acute injuries can often be resolved in just a few visits though more serious or chronic injuries will usually take longer. Other factors such as age, overall health, and lifestyle will also have an affect on how much treatment is needed to get you completely better.
With that said, we do occasionally see major changes quite quickly even if a problem has persisted for many years. It really depends on many things and these are factors we can more clearly determine and identify in our initial evaluation or in a free “Discovery Session.”
Take home point: For most people, the sooner you decide to pursue treatment, the fewer treatment sessions you will likely need.
Why shouldn’t I just go to a massage therapist to get “manual therapy” and treat my condition?
While we are big proponents of massage therapy and often send our patients to get regular massage, physical therapists are uniquely trained to assess and evaluate the musculoskeletal system and injury. Hands-on techniques are often not very effective (and can even be damaging) if they are not guided by skilled evaluation and diagnosis that massage therapists are not trained to complete, and in fact, legally unable to perform.
From our in-depth evaluation and constant re-assessments at every visit, our manual therapy techniques are not simply aimed at working on an area that hurts, but also directed at resolving the true sources of your pain and injury. Additionally, most injuries and pain need some form of exercise-based treatment, which again, massage therapists are not trained or legally allowed to prescribe.
Again, we love massage therapy and are regular clients of great massage therapists here in town, but when we’re injured, we stick with professionals who can fully evaluate and treat the entirety of the injury.
Will I be sore following manual therapy?
It is not uncommon to have some soreness following treatment, and this is nothing to worry about if it happens. This usually subsides within 24-48 hours. If it persists beyond 48 hours, please let us know so we can adjust our future treatments to match your body’s receptivity to hands-on treatment.
What our patients have to say…
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