What is Manual Therapy

By Andy Kerk, PT, OCS, CFMT, ATC Originally posted on August 9, 2010 9:46 PM

Manual therapy refers to skilled use of the physical therapist‘s hands to mobilize and free restricted connective tissues as well as training more optimal movement patterns. There are knots and hardened areas that develop between muscles, tendons, and joints that limit one’s mobility and cause pain and altered movement. Injury, overuse, posture dysfunction, and repeated traumas result in layers of dysfunction that build up over time. You can help some of these issues with healthy forms of exercise and stretching, but help from a skilled manual therapist will often accomplish what you can’t fix on your own.

There are lots of different methods that we employ at Body Mechanics including, but not limited to, the following: soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, deep tissue release, lymphatic massage, craniosacral therapy, joint mobilization, joint manipulation, muscle energy techniques, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), functional mobilization, and neuromuscular reeducation. We use these methods to free specific tissue restrictions that you are not likely able to do on your own with exercise or self treatment methods. Some of these methods also train better movement patterns and posture, and strengthen and stabilize the affected areas.

A typical bout of physical therapy may consist of 6-10 one hour sessions with more manual mobilization in the beginning (getting things moving that you can’t get moving yourself), then blending in thoughtful, specific exercises to continue mobilizing yourself and moving toward stabilization and strengthening activities. It is essential that you learn and be consistent with exercises that can continue your progress and maintain the gains that you make.

Our formula designed for your success includes providing you with the same physical therapist each visit, evaluating your whole body relationships that may be contributing to your pain or limitations, and allowing one-to-one time of 30-60 minutes each visit. Our physical therapists are actively involved in continuing education both in furthering our own training as well as teaching others.

Our methods are typically covered by health insurance as long as they are medically necessary for a given condition or functional limitation. We develop a treatment plan with you based on an evaluation of your particual issues. In cases where insurance does not cover we offer a “prompt pay discount” or time of service cash rate. If you are unsure about your insurance coverage or what your treatment plan may involve, please call or email and we would be happy to discuss and answer questions.

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bodymechanics locations

731 N. Jackson  | Suite 800
Milwaukee, WI 53202  (map)

1177 Quail Court | Suite 200
Pewaukee, WI 53072  (map)