At GOfit manual therapy is physical therapy. For us the two are mutually inclusive and cannot be separated. In the physical therapy community, manual therapy is considered a specialty area. The term “manual therapy” represents the use of the physical therapists hands in a skilled and specific manner to create an effect on a patient’s joints, muscles, or skin.
Manual therapy is not massage. Yes, treating a patient’s muscles to reduce trigger points, eliminate restrictions, and improve muscle balance is a part of manual therapy. However, don’t expect scented candles, body oil, and dimly lit rooms. The “massage” that we perform is specific to the condition that is being treated and it may involve your active movement along with the therapist’s hands to improve your muscle function. If you want a massage, see a masseuse. If you want to eliminate pain and improve movement patterns so your pain does not return, see us.
Along with improving muscle function, manual therapy is used to improve joint mobility throughout the entire body. Highly specific mobilizations and manipulations are used at various joints to improve joint range of motion.
Of course all the improvements in muscle and joint function will be for nothing if the brain is not retrained appropriately. That is why specific exercise is so vital to the rehabilitation process. It is the use of specific exercise that reshapes the brain and body’s movement patterns.
It is not just the use of hands on techniques that make manual therapy a specialty area. It is the clinical reasoning that makes manual therapy so special. The best hands in the world will never be able to replace the best brain in the world. It takes a strong understanding of human movement to identify the real cause of pain.
Think back pain can only be caused from problems in the back. Think again. Back pain can be caused by problems in the hip, knee, ankle, and foot for starters. It is this understanding of human movement that makes manual therapy so special.
If you want the best possible outcome schedule an appointment with a manual therapist (like us!).