Manual Therapy

What is Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy?

Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT) is any “hands-on” treatment provided by the physical therapist.  Treatment may include moving joints in specific directions and at different speeds to regain movement (joint mobilization and manipulation), muscle stretching, passive movements of the affected body part, or having the patient move the body part against the therapist’s resistance to improve muscle activation and timing.  Specific soft tissue techniques may also be used to improve the mobility and function of tissue and muscles.

Manual Therapy is any “hands-on” treatment provided by a physical therapist

Manual Therapy is any “hands-on” treatment provided by a physical therapist

What Conditions Can Be Treated with Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy?

Orthopaedic manual physical therapists treat acute and chronic conditions in body regions including the head, neck, back, arms and legs. When someone suffers from a neuro-musculoskeletal disorder, an exercise and movement re-education program may be all that is needed to restore full pain free movement, function, and return to full activity.  However, in some cases, soft-tissue and joint restrictions are present, which might result in these same exercises or movements being painful or even making the condition worse. In these instances, an OMPT therapist can provide hands-on techniques to improve mobility, reduce pain, and restore normal function of the soft tissues and joints.  Following these interventions, the OMPT therapist can prescribe and implement the most effective individualized exercise and movement re-education program to maintain and improve health.

How is Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy different from other forms of bodywork?

At a glance there may be a lot of similarity between OMPT and other types of bodywork such as massage, chiropractic, or osteopathic therapies.  The key differences are in the assessment process behind the treatment and the integration of OMPT and a patient’s personalized exercise program.  All OMPT is based upon a careful examination of the patient’s movement patterns, which can include not only restrictions of mobility but also abnormal compensatory movements that are preventing a condition from improving.  There is a continuous cycle of assessment, treatment, re-assessment, and further treatment based on the patient’s response to the therapy provided.  And a person’s response to OMPT in many cases provides guidance to both patient and physical therapist about how the condition can be better cared for independently by the patient.

Do I need Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy?

The services of an orthopaedic manual physical therapist are recommended if you have muscle, joint, or soft tissue conditions that affect movement, strength, posture, or cause pain.  This not only includes common disorders associated with trauma, post-operative recovery, poor posture, overuse, athletic injuries, obesity, arthritis, or congenital conditions, but also disability associated with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, diabetes, cancer, heart disease or balance disorders. Patients suffering from chronic conditions can benefit from skilled OMPT intervention with the goals of attaining optimal health, returning to optimal activity, and minimizing disability associated with disease progression.

Does CoreBalance Therapy Offer Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy?

Skilled human touch is an essential component of our treatment philosophy at CoreBalance Therapy here in Flagstaff, alongside specific exercise and education of our patients.  We structure our schedule to allow patients the time necessary with their therapist to make a real impact in their condition, with appointments generally lasting 45-60 minutes.  Studies have consistently demonstrated that this combination of skillful manual therapy, exercise, and education is the optimal approach to conservative (non-surgical) and post-operative care of movement disorders.

If you would like to schedule a manual therapy appointment with a CoreBalance Therapist, email or call today (928) 556-9935

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