Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is an integral part of any good physical therapy treatment program and is the cornerstone of the treatments at SPINE PT. There are many different forms or techniques of manual therapy, but they all have the same goals:

  • Rapidly Reducing Pain
  • Increasing the Range of Motion of Restricted Joints.
  • Strengthening, Stretching, and Improving Circulation of  the Soft Tissues.
  • Calming Down the Central Nervous System’s Automatic Protective/Splinting Response After Injuries
  • Decompression of the Spine
  • Releasing Taught, Restricted Fascial Tissue

Will Manual Therapy Hurt?

The forms of manual therapy we use are very gentle and almost universally tolerated by all ages. During treatment, a patient’s response to the treatment is closely monitored to be sure they are comfortable.  If a patient appears uncomfortable, a different manual technique can be used.


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Understanding Your Pain

Could Manual Therapy

Cause Soreness and Pain?

While the philosophy “No Pain, No Gain” may be applicable for professional body builders or after having a total knee replacement, this is not something that equally applies with back and neck pain.   

The goal of manual therapy is to gently restore movement in the joints and soft tissues of the spine.   Some patients may have excessive inflammation in their tissues to make them hypersensitive to even light touch.  These patients may have increased soreness or pain for 24-48 hours even after a gentle treatment.  Should this happen after a session, it is important to let the therapist know the details of what happened so the treatment can be adjusted to avoid this from happening again.   

What most people don’t realize is that there are many different ways or techniques that can accomplish the same goal of bringing pain relief.   If your body doesn’t respond to one technique, there are dozens of others ways it will respond favorably.  It is a team effort between you and your therapist as you find the approaches that work best for your condition.   Physical therapy is as much of an art as it is science.


How Many Manual Therapy Treatments Will I Need?

Manual therapy is used in every visit, which is why patients need fewer visits than at other therapy clinics. 

The number of visits you will need depends on several factors:  

* Overall health/lifestyle


*How long you have had your condition

*How well you follow through with the home exercise program

People with chronic conditions typically take longer to heal than someone recently injured.  While this is a good rule of thumb, We have helped many people with chronic conditions be pain free in as few as 1-2 visits.   It will be hard to know for sure until after the first couple of visits to see how a patient responds.  Most people are seen for 6 visits.  The first 1-3 visits are spent getting the patient out of pain and then a few more visits to strengthen and re-educate the tissues and joints. This helps prevent the symptoms from returning. 

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