What is Manual Therapy?
Manual therapy is an advanced specialised hands-on approach used by physiotherapists for the diagnosis and treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal (NMS), spinal and peripheral joint disorders. Manual therapy aims to restore range of motion and facilitate healing by promoting blood flow and soft tissue remodelling. Manual therapy has evolved over the years and there are different treatment approaches all around the world. Our therapists have done numerous courses to further expand our skills in manual therapy. The techniques that we use the most are:
The McKenzie Method
The McKenzie Method is an approach to the assessment and treatment of back and neck pain as well as extremity problems. This approach is also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) and is used worldwide by practitioners and patients. It’s a well-known technique and has a lot of research to back it up. The McKenzie Method uses repeated direction-specific exercises to restore movement and decrease pain. More information on the McKenzie Method can be found at www.mckenziemdt.org.
The Mulligan Concept
The Mulligan Concept uses accessory joint mobilisation glides with active movements to restore the positional faults in joints. This technique has proven to be effective with back and neck pain as well as other joint problems like wrist, elbow, shoulder, ankle, knee, and hip pain. The Mulligan Concept encourages pain free movements that makes this technique extremely safe to do at home! Your physiotherapist will decide what type of technique to use and will often give a similar home treatment exercise to ensure ongoing treatment at home.
The Maitland Concept
The Maitland Concept is a great tool that physiotherapists use to assess and treat the spine and other joints. The Maitland Concept focuses on passive and accessory mobilisation movements of the joints to treat stiffness and pain. The type of mobilisation movement depends on the severity, irritability, and nature of the injury.
Joint manipulation forms part of the Maitland Concept and should be performed by a physiotherapist that has undergone further training to ensure safety for the patient. Manipulation is a high-velocity low amplitude therapeutic movement within or at end of range that is done to the patient’s spine. Patients will often hear a popping or cracking sound when there is a quickly controlled force applied to the joint. This type of treatment will only be done when absolutely necessary and will not be done on a routine basis.