Manual therapy is second nature to chiropractors, who use their hands to administer a wide variety of treatments. In fact, the word chiropractic comes from a combination of the English word for hand (chiro) with the Greek word for practical (praktikos). These treatments include chiropractic manipulation and soft tissue manual therapy.
Chiropractic manipulation is a form of manual therapy. Manipulation involves twisting the back or neck to the end of its normal range then administering a sudden thrust to correct structural misalignments.
Soft Tissue Manual Therapy
Pain and dysfunction may be the result of problems with the soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system. Soft tissues include:
- Ligaments, which are the tissues lining the ends of bones to prevent bones from grinding against one another
- Tendons that connect muscles to bones
- Joint capsules, which are tissues that seal the joints between bones and provide stability to those joints
Muscle tension, rigid muscle tissue, scar tissue, and trapped fluids can cause a variety of soft tissue problems, such as back or neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, ankle sprains, shoulder impingement, and knee and hip pain.
Soft tissue manual therapies include:
- Strain-Counterstrain – Used to alleviate muscle, tissue, and joint tightness. This involves holding a specific position for a specified amount of time to relax the soft tissue, thereby reducing pain and melting stiffness.
- Manual traction – Involves applying pressure for a few seconds in ways that stretch the spine and relieve pressure on the ruby discs that cushion the bones of the spine. It is used to treat sciatica or bulging/herniated discs.
- Trigger Point Therapy/Myofascial Release – Treats chronic muscle pain and immobility. This technique eases tension and tightness in soft tissues.
For more information about manual therapy, consult with our chiropractor here at Coast Family Chiropractic by calling (949) 722-7572.