While a massage may bring to mind a relaxing day at the spa, the health benefits of manual therapy go far beyond that. For instance, manual therapy can also help with a musculoskeletal injury or disorder. Physical therapy uses manual or non-drug methods to relieve pain and restore function. Physical therapists skillfully use their hands or instruments to apply pressure on tense or injured tissues and promote healing.
Manual Massage As Treatment In Physical Therapy
If you get injured, a physical therapist is an important part of your healthcare team. They help patients regain movement and other body functions. To achieve these goals, they may use any of the following interventions:
- Orthopedic manual therapy
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation
- Therapeutic exercise
- Therapeutic modalities such as heat, cold, ultrasound, TENS, and more
- Balance and fall prevention
In manual therapy, physical therapists use hands-on techniques on their patients’ soft tissues and joints. They use different levels of pressure, timing, and stretching when they massage patients. This way, the patients can enjoy a variety of benefits from manual therapy.
Benefits Of Manual Therapy
Manual therapy has a myriad of positive effects on joints, muscles, and nerves. It even improves many physiological functions, like blood circulation, and benefits mental and emotional well-being. Here’s what you can expect from manual or hands-on therapy:
Relieve Pain and Inflammation
There are many ways how massage can relieve pain and inflammation. A popular theory suggests that massage stimulates fast nerve fibers to block slower ones that detect pain. Another explanation posits that massage triggers the body to produce serotonin and endorphins. These hormones are the body’s natural painkillers.
Promote Tissue Repair
Have you had any injuries in your muscles or soft tissues? If so, you know that it takes time for the body to repair itself. Your body can repair itself faster thanks to manual massage. Experts in physical therapy can help you achieve improved circulation, reduced pain, and relaxed muscles.
Restore Range of Motion
Some people who have injuries may be bedridden for a while. When not moved for a long time, joints can get stiff. As part of your healthcare team, physical therapists use manual therapy on bedridden and immobilized patients to maintain the natural stretch of your joints.
Aside from joints, tendons and muscles will also be affected if not moved for a long time. This can cause the range of motion to become limited. Stretching muscles through massage can help improve the body’s flexibility.
Relax Tensed Muscles
Any form of physical activity can cause tension and fatigue in muscles. To help people relax tense muscles, physical therapists use massage. Deep pressure massage can force tense muscles to contract.
Facilitate Blood Circulation
Inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle can slow down your circulation. If you have slow blood circulation, your metabolism and other bodily functions will also slow down. Also, you can develop lymphedema if the lymphatic circulation remains stagnant.
To keep bodily fluids flowing, clinicians of physical therapy use massage. The mechanical pressure of a massage is an effective way to wake up blood vessels and lymphatic drainage systems.
Reduce Heart Rate And Blood Pressure
Our bodies have automatic systems that control most of our body’s processes. Heart rate and blood pressure are some of these autonomic processes. The parasympathetic system, also known as our body’s rest-and-digest response, can be stimulated with a massage.
Physical Therapy in Rochester Hills, MI
Manual physical therapy has lots of benefits for our physical, physiological, neurological, and psychological health. If you want to explore how physical therapy can help you, visit Ahlgren Spine in Rochester Hills. Dr. Bradley Ahlgren works with a qualified team of physical therapists who can help you enjoy the benefits of manual therapy.
Our clinic in Rochester Hills offers high-quality physical therapy care. If you want to consult with Dr. Ahlgren, reach out to the friendly staff at Ahlgren Spine. You may contact us at (248) 215-8080 or fill out our online request form. We look forward to serving you.