Specialists in Physical Therapy & Treatment of Pain & Dysfunction

Manual Therapy – Skilled, Hands-On Therapy

Manual therapy, including joint mobilizations and manipulations, is an integral part of physical therapy practice. Manual therapy is the hands-on treatment of joints and soft tissue performed by skilled physical therapy professionals, as opposed to a device or machine. 

Despite the technological developments medicine has enjoyed, the human hand is still the most precise instrument at our disposal. In fact, several studies have concluded that manipulation is a safe, effective, and recommended intervention in the management of spinal pain and pain of the extremities, as well as the neck and upper back region.

The objective of manual therapy at Bethesda Physiocare® is to reduce pain, increase range of motion, and help patients return to their jobs and recreational activities, and restore optimal and pain-free postures and movements. For more information about manual therapy, please do not hesitate to contact us.

How Manual Therapy Helps

Manual therapy is intended to provide any combination of the following benefits: 

  • Modulate pain
  • Improve joint range of motion
  • Reduce soft tissue inflammation/swelling
  • Increase blood flow

While manual therapy has been seen as having mechanical benefits, it has been shown to have psychological, biochemical, and neurophysiological advantages as well. Basically, manual therapy helps patients heal in several ways, making it an invaluable choice for our patients and physical therapists alike. Studies have shown that combining manual therapy with focused pain science education leads to the best results.

As leaders in manual therapy, we notice that experience makes all the difference in successful treatment. Our PTs rely on decades of education, experience, and training to treat our patients, providing pain relief and peace-of-mind through our work. 

Our Manual Therapy Techniques Include:

  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Active/Passive Range of Motion
  • Traction Therapy
  • Stretches
  • Joint Manipulation/Mobilization
  • Massage Therapy

Is Manual Therapy Right For You? 

Manual therapy often has a stigma of only being for people with serious injuries, but most people can benefit from manual therapy in some way. From providing simple discomfort to managing complex conditions like and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, manual therapy can be an excellent option.

Manual therapy can also act as a preventative measure, especially for active individuals who want to keep injury from derailing their lifestyle. For complex conditions, manual therapy is used in tandem with other services to create a personalized treatment plan.

The History and Philosophy of Manual Therapy

Manual therapy has a long history. Already in the days of Hippocrates, there is evidence that clinicians used manipulation techniques. Manual therapy techniques are used by a number of health care providers, including physical therapists, as well as chiropractic, osteopathic, naturopathic, and some allopathic physicians. The underlying philosophy and clinical guidelines may differ between the various professions. 

Further, the 1994 Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) Guidelines, the 2017 Chenot’s et al. German Disease Management Guideline, and the JOSPT Low back pain clinical practice guideline (2012) all determined that there is a high level of evidence for spinal manipulation, for example in the care of persons with acute low back pain (LBP), as well as subacute and chronic pain syndrome.

What To Expect From Our Physical Therapists

For all of our new patients, we spend time trying to understand the specifics of your pain history and experience. Then we conduct an examination and assessment of your pain to document the extent of your pain experience. We assess your problems and consider several important factors:

  • Balance
  • Mobility 
  • Strength
  • Coordination
  • Muscle Function

Once we understand the extent of your pain, we use gentle manual therapy techniques to change your pain patterns and help you get back to moving without pain. We will then craft a personalized pain management plan to lessen or eliminate the pain being addressed. 

Experienced Manual Therapy In Bethesda

Bethesda Physiocare® uses manual therapy in tandem with other physical therapy treatment methods to provide the best results for our patients. 

Schedule an appointment with us today to start your journey to a pain-free life.