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Manual Therapy

What is Orthopedic Manual Therapy?

Orthopedic Manual therapy, or OMT, is a term that is used to describe a wide range of treatment techniques where the clinician uses his/her hands to physically massage, mobilize and in some cases manipulate your body’s tissues ALWAYS in a gentle, comfortable, and kind manner. Terms that are often used to describe Orthopedic Manual Therapy include therapeutic massage and soft tissue mobilization, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization/manipulation. At Central Mass PT and Wellness, our therapists pride ourselves on knowing and being able to deliver the most effective and evidence-based forms of Orthopedic Manual Therapy.

What is the CMPT philosophy regarding Orthopedic Manual Therapy?

At CMPT, we believe that every patient or client is an individual person with unique goals. We have also identified that a “hands on” approach which often includes manual therapy will help a patient eliminate their symptoms and reach their goals as quickly as possible. Our therapists work one on one with their patients which allows them to take the time that is needed to deliver the manual therapy that will be most effective.

How will I know if I can benefit from Orthopedic Manual Therapy?

At CMPT, each patient is evaluated by one of our expert physical therapists to determine your individualized Plan of Care based on your condition or injury, its impairments and functional limitations and your goals. During your evaluation, your physical therapist will determine if manual therapy might help alleviate your symptoms and help assist in your recovery. During your evaluation, your physical therapist will explain to you how manual therapy might be beneficial and answer any questions that you might have.

How does Manual Therapy work?

Traditionally, manual therapy has been thought to “break up scar tissue” and/or “loosen tight tissues and knots” that may develop because of an injury or painful condition. Modern day research has shown that this is not true. Manual therapy when applied in a skillful manner, causes a reflex relaxation to occur within your nervous system. When comfortable stimulation is applied to your tissues, your brain and body will respond with decreased pain and improved movement. The better you feel, the more you will want and be able to move and do the activities that you enjoy. As your physical therapist or physical therapist assistant manipulates your tissues, he/she will establish a trusting relationship between patient and caregiver.

What are the benefits of Manual Therapy?

Research has shown the following benefits when manual therapy is applied:

  • Decreased pain and discomfort
  • Immediate improvements in range of motion
  • Improvements in motor control
  • Improved movement efficiency and joint mobility
  • Reflexive relaxation

Are there different forms of Orthopedic Manual Therapy?

The physical therapists and physical therapist assistants at CMPT are skilled in most forms of manual therapy. Most of our clinicians have completed hours of post-graduate education, some with certifications in the following:

  • Therapeutic Massage and Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Joint Mobilization and Manipulation
  • Myofascial Massage
  • Graston Technique® and Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Cupping
  • Needling Therapy
  • Craniosacral Therapy

Does Manual Therapy hurt?

Pain alters motor control and movement efficiency. At CMPT, our therapists believe that manual therapy should be delivered in a comfortable manner. Occasionally, there might be post treatment discomfort or mild swelling, but this is not typical. If this does occur, your therapist will work with you to explain and minimize its impact in future sessions.

What are the types of patients that benefit from Manual Therapy?

Manual therapy techniques can help a number of neuromusculoskeletal injuries and conditions including:

  • Neck pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Tendinosis
  • Post-surgical soft tissue and joint pain/stiffness
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Myofascial pain and myalgias
  • Tension headaches
  • Temporomandibular pain/TMJ pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Pelvic pain
  • Ligament injuries and sprains
  • Muscular injuries and strains
  • Trigger finger