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Maintain mobility and reduce pain with manual therapy
What is manual therapy?
Manual therapy is a physical and individualized treatment approach that is used by physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors. It is widely used in sports physiotherapy and with private clients, and consists of manual techniques along with a training program of specific therapeutic exercises that help maintain achievements from one session to the next.
What are the effects?
It should be noted that this technique does not cause any side effects when indicated. The effects of manual therapy may include increased local blood circulation, relaxation of muscles, decreased adhesions of scar tissue, increased range of motion, and decreased muscle spasms. The gains achieved through manual therapy persist over time if it is well employed and accompanied by home exercises, good posture, and self-management.
When can manual therapy be used?
Manual therapy is used for many purposes, whether for treating acute or chronic pain conditions. It is thus included in the management of various neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, such as osteoarthritis, low back pain, herniated discs, cervical pain and cervicobrachialgia, cervical headache, tendinopathies, capsulitis, sciatica, post-sprain, post-immobilization, post-fracture, poor posture, joint blockage, etc. It can even be used, for example, on a patient with an alteration of the chest movement impacting his breathing.
Mobilizations and joint manipulations
There are two types of mobilizations: physiological and accessory mobilizations. Accessory movements are small, involuntary, specific movements that, when combined, allow physiological movement. Accessory motion occurs at the surfaces of a joint and is determined by the shape of the joints.
The intensity of the accessory mobilizations depends on the objectives of the treatment and the irritability of the condition. It is graded according to ranks, which are determined by the range of motion and the speed of mobilization. The highest rank corresponds to a manipulation, which is a small amplitude mobilization carried out in a short and rapid manner. The mobilizations are carried out in order to increase or maintain the mobility as well as to relieve the pain by the Gate Control theory.
In short, manual therapy is a treatment and evaluation approach that incorporates many techniques and can be indicated for a wide variety of conditions. Your physiotherapist will be able to determine which of the techniques described above are right for you.