What is manual therapy?
Manual therapy is the art and science of applying a force to another person’s body with your hands or with another part of your body, like your elbow or forearm. The force effects a change in the behavior or movement of a particular tissue.
For example, manual therapy could include a joint manipulation. Most people think of that as a crack or a pop or snap in a spine or a joint like an ankle, for example. It could also mean something as simple as a muscle stretch. The facilitation of a muscle for a contractile or neurological reeducation effect is also manual therapy.
Essentially, manual therapy is any force that we apply to your body using our hands to alter the behavior of a specific tissue or group of tissues. The tool and force are chosen very carefully after a diligent complete evaluation and review of a patient’s medical history.
What is a manual therapist?
Manual therapists are essentially carpenters, but we don’t work with many tools other than our hands.
We spend an hour with all of our patients doing a very thorough evaluation and review of medical history. Once we completely understand the scope of a particular patient’s impairments, we consider our options. We decide which manual therapy tool in our toolbox we would like to apply to that patient’s body. We want to elicit a particular change in a specific tissue that will maximize their movement efficiency and probably help to decrease their pain levels.
In summary, that is a very simplistic explanation of manual therapy.
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