What is manual therapy?
Manual therapy is the cornerstone of musculoskeletal physiotherapy.
It is concerned with the comprehensive assessment of the patient, diagnosing areas of dysfunction and developing a clinically reasoned management program for the patient’s pain and function.
We assess how your joints, muscles, nerves may be contributing to your pain or injury. We also assess how other factors may be sensitising your pain system.
What does manual therapy involve?
If a joint is identified as being stiff or hypomobile, techniques are directed upon it to mobilise the joint and get it moving. These techniques can involve low grade mobilisations, high grade manipulations or mobilisation with movement.
If a joint is too mobile or hypermobile, then it is important that the reasons for this are identified. This is usually related to the area of motor control. Motor control means how effective and efficient your muscles are at controlling movement at your joints. Motor control deficits have consistently been identified in the area of low back pain.
If muscles are identified as being overactive or tight, then soft tissue massage can be used to decrease pain produced from the muscle. If muscles are identified as being weak or underactive then strengthening these muscle groups will be a large component of your treatment.
Who provides Manual Therapy?
Chartered Physiotherapists in Musculoskeletal Therapy (CPMT) is a Clinical Interest Group of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) and is recognised as the specialist musculoskeletal therapy group by the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manual Therapists (IFOMT). All CPMT members are obliged under ISCP guidelines to maintain their knowledge and practical skills by regularly attending courses and conferences particular to their area. Michelle and Orla are members of the CPMT and Michelle holds a Certificate in Spinal Manual Therapy and a Certificate in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy from Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia.
Does Manual Therapy work?
Manual therapy is a highly researched area of physiotherapy with numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals such as Manual Therapy and Journal of Manipulative and Manual therapy providing scientific evidence for manual therapy in the treatment of numerous musculoskeletal problems.
It has been developed as part of the management of your pain and injury and not a stand-alone treatment. It is essential that gains within or after a manual therapy treatment session are maintained by you performing exercises for long lasting effects.