Manual therapy involves passive joint mobilization, which is utilized to assess and treat spinal dysfunction. This includes intervertebral glides and distraction techniques, performed by a skilled manual therapist with advanced palpation skills. Mobilization restores normal segmental motion and releases joint stiffness. Passive movement of a joint eliminates the use of muscle contraction and hence joint compression.
Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT) utilizes skilled, specific hands on techniques including myofascial and trigger point release, joint mobilization, fascilitated positional release as well as neuromuscular re-education to diagnose and treat soft tissue and joint structures. The purpose of OMPT is to modulate pain, increase range of motion, eliminate soft tissue inflammation, induce relaxation, facilitate movement and improve function.
Compressive forces at the spine interfere with nerve tissue vascularity and result in tethering and adhesion of neurological tissue. Neural mobilization techniques are used for regaining healthy, normal neurological mobility and function. This results in the nerve tissue being freed from adhesion at an interface and retrained to achieve its full length and motion. There are also a series of neural mobilization exercises that the patients are taught to do on their own.
Soft tissue mobilization
To have normal functional spinal movement, a healthy neuromuscular system is required. Several manual therapy techniques may be utilized for releasing skin restriction, myofascial tightness, muscle spasm, and adaptive muscle shortening. These include neuromuscular massage, trigger point release, muscle energy, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation techniques, among others.
Postural correction and education
Muscle imbalances, weakness, and adaptive shortening are among the most common causes of postural disorders of the spine. After addressing these neuromuscular problems with manual therapy, a functional rehabilitation program will be introduced, including whole body dynamic neuromuscular stabilization exercises.