Is Manual Therapy Effective for Low Back Pain?

Most people are familiar with low back pain due to poor posture, aging, injuries, or car accidents. The discomfort can be debilitating. A physical therapist can help you get relief from your pain. Patients expect ultrasounds, hot packs, and exercise instructions in their first physical therapy. 

 

However, therapists nowadays have a different approach to treating various problems. Your therapist can recommend treatment through manual therapy. Physical therapists have the training to prescribe the ideal method to ease tension and pain. As a result, most patients resume their daily activities after the therapies.

 

 

What Is Manual Therapy?

 

 

Manual therapy uses hands-on and unique techniques without machines or devices. Medical professionals started considering manual therapy and its implications in the 19th century.
 

With the growth of the approach, it became essential for treating musculoskeletal and spinal problems. Various professionals in the medical community hold different views in opposition or favor of the technique. Once manual therapy was utilized and explored effectively, it became widely accepted and spread rapidly. Many physical therapists today seek specialized training in manual therapy.

 

 

Benefits of Manual Therapy

 

 

  • Induces relaxation.
  • Improves tissue repair.
  • Modulates pain.
  • Facilitates exercise and movement therapy.
  • Increases range of motion.
  • Reduces inflammation of the soft tissue.

 

 

What to Expect

 

 

Your physical therapist will assess your nerve supply, muscles, bones, and blood before the therapy. They will then choose the technique to use based on the examination results.

 

 

Manual Therapy Techniques

 

 

Below are the manual therapy techniques they can use:

 

  • Soft Tissue Mobilization – Relaxes muscle tension and breaks up fibrous muscle tissue. For example, your specialist can perform this technique around a buildup of scar tissue resulting from a back injury. Soft tissue mobilization consists of repetitive pressure and stretching around your target musculature.
  • Joint Mobilization – Increases the range of motion and loosens restricted joints. The technique is painless. It applies varying amplitudes and intensities to a joint. It gives long-lasting relief to muscle pain that icing and rest can only relieve temporarily because the primary cause of the problem is the joint.
  • Strain-counterstrain – Corrects postural and structural problems that stem from abnormal neuromuscular reflexes. The technique is gentle and suitable for treating delicate or acute back problems.
  • Muscle Energy Techniques (METs) – Utilizes voluntary muscle contraction against a counterforce to elongate shortened muscles and mobilize joints. After three to five contractions, your operator will take your joint to a new barrier so you can perform another muscle contraction. The process can happen repetitively up to three times. Patients tolerate this technique well as it does not stress their joints.

 

 

Manual Therapy for Low Back Pain

 

 

Manual therapy can help relieve acute and chronic low back pain. You may struggle to complete your daily tasks due to musculoskeletal conditions. Joint manipulation and mobilization address chronic low back pain originating from joint problems. Soft tissue works remedy acute low back pain caused by soft tissue injuries.

 

For more about manual therapy, visit Ellis Chiropractic at our office in Marlow, Oklahoma. Call (580) 217-3300 to book an appointment today.

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