Orthopedic Manual Therapy encompasses a wide variety of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions involving the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Patients who have injuries to these structures will benefit the most from going to an orthopedic trained therapist who can better address their goals.
Manual therapy is defined as a clinical approach where a therapist utilizes skilled and specific hands-on techniques. Some of the specific techniques include:
- Soft Tissue Mobilization/Massage
- Cross Friction Massage
- Myofascial Release
- Mobilization of Joints
- Joint Manipulation
- Mobilization of Neural Tissue
- Contract-Release Technique
- Mobilization with Movement
- MET: Muscle Energy Technique
- Manual Lymph Drainage
- Manual Traction
These techniques are used to diagnose, assess and treat soft tissue and joint structures. The goal of manual therapy is to decrease pain, improve range of motion, reduce inflammation, relaxation, improve flexibility or stability, facilitate increased movement and improve overall function. In the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, the research supports that manual therapy is more effective than exercise alone in the treatment of most orthopedic conditions (Bang, MD, Deyle, GD).
While manual therapy is an excellent treatment for most orthopedic conditions, it is not used alone. An exercise program is always established for every patient that will complement and reinforce the manual therapy treatment received in the clinic.