Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy: The Safe, Non-Invasive, and Effective Way to Treat Pain

Are you recovering from a recent injury or surgical procedure? Are you experiencing the aches and pains from an underlying condition? If so, manual therapy can provide you with relief.

At US Rehabilitation & Health Services, our physical therapists have several tools in their arsenal to relieve your pain while simultaneously improving your physical function, including manual therapy. For more information on how our manual therapy services can aid you in your recovery process, contact our Michigan physical therapists to schedule a consultation.

Is manual therapy safe?

The short answer – yes! Manual therapy is non-invasive and it doesn’t involve any harmful drugs or surgical correction. Instead, it involves a variety of techniques aimed at moving your tendons, ligaments, and joints in ways that facilitate pain relief and healing.

Our Michigan physical therapists are highly-trained medical professionals who understand both the capabilities and limitations of your body. Many of our patients even notice relief after just one manual therapy session!

What exactly is manual therapy?

Manual therapy is also referred to as “hands-on therapy.” It is a specialized treatment performed by licensed physical therapists. At your initial appointment, one of our Michigan physical therapists may prescribe this treatment to you. The treatment is performed by manipulating joints and soft tissue with nothing more than the hands – no intimidating equipment or machines involved!

Manual therapy is used to reduce swelling, relieve pain, improve range of motion, decrease restriction, and mobilize joints. Our physical therapist may conduct targeted massages and stretches to the affected part(s) of your body, as well as manual therapy techniques, to get the results you seek.

What are the different types of manual therapy?

There are several different types of manual therapy. The most common are:

  • Mobilization/manipulation – If you have recently sustained an injury, you may experience severe pain. This is typically the result of a restricted joint. Fortunately, our Michigan physical therapists are trained in loosening restricted joints by applying pressure at a low velocity. Mobilization and manipulation techniques are safe, effective, and painless. They also allow for the breakdown of the affected joint’s barrier, resulting in an improved range of motion.
  • Massage – Massage treatments performed by a physical therapist are a bit different than those you might receive at a spa. They are meant to be more therapeutic in nature, rather than relaxing. At US Rehabilitation & Health Services, we use therapeutic massage treatments as a way to manipulate the soft tissues. This is done through deep pressure and rhythmic stretching, allowing our physical therapist to find and mobilize areas of your body that are heavily restricted. By doing this, our physical therapist is able to break up any scar tissue or adhesions in the affected body part(s).
  • Manual traction – Manual traction is done by applying gentle pressure to certain areas of the body, in order to stretch it out. One of the most common areas to receive manual traction is the neck; however, our physical therapist may also recommend it for different areas of your body. When manual traction is performed as a treatment for neck pain, our physical therapist will have you lie down on your back while they gently stretch the spaces between your vertebrae. This is done by taking the base of the skull in one hand and chin in the other while applying slight pressure. Manual traction treatments are generally done for 5-10 seconds at a time.
  • Lymphatic drainage – Lymphedema is a condition that causes swelling in the arms and legs, due to a blockage in the lymphatic system. It is typically a concern for those who have undergone complex surgical procedures. If you are suffering from lymphedema, one of our experienced physical therapists can perform manual lymphatic drainage by applying light pressure (similar to a massage) on the affected arm or leg, in order to encourage the drainage of fluid, or “lymph.” Lymphatic drainage is typically followed by compression, in order to reduce swelling.

Contact US Rehabilitation & Health Services to get started:

Our Michigan physical therapists are some of the most dedicated professionals in the area. They are movement experts, equipped in diagnosing and treating painful conditions. After your physical evaluation, our physical therapist will create an individualized treatment plan based on your specific needs. Some targeted exercises may focus on improving strength and balance, while others may focus more on improving your range of motion. All exercises and treatments will be based around the same goal – improving your overall function.

Manual therapy is a crucial part of a recovery plan, as it helps to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and swelling, and increase your range of motion. If you are interested in learning more about the hands-on approach of manual therapy, contact our physical therapy offices today at Dearborn, Ypsilanti, and Southfield, MI. At US Rehabilitation & Health Services, our mission is to get you back to your active life as quickly as possible!