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Manual or Manipulative Therapy for Orthopedic Problems - An Alternative Treatment

Written by Dr. Shwetanjali Gandhe.  

Image: Manual or Manipulative Therapy for Orthopedic Problems - An Alternative Treatment

Manipulative therapy is a widely used treatment procedure implemented by physiotherapists and occupational therapists. The treatment protocol uses specific methods aimed to relieve pain and discomfort and at the same time not cause any untoward harm to the patient physically by using the doctor's hand as a tool. The treatment utilizes techniques formulated with extreme precaution and scientific methodology to benefit the patient significantly. Manual therapy can treat acute and chronic disorders as well as enhance muscle function.

The therapy incorporates various glides and muscle pain relief mechanisms. The therapy is most effective for back pain management and spinal disorders. This treatment line can also be used in some intensive congenital disorders such as clubfoot (congenital equinovarus).

Manual therapy in some cases can be used in adjunct to soft tissue mobilization or massage techniques but it is to be carried out only by a professional practitioner. Very few are actually aware of the usage and credibility of this procedure. On the contrary, those who have been treated now only rely on this mode of therapy.

Few disorders that can be effectively treated with manual therapy include:

  • Shoulder - frozen shoulder, shoulder pain, greater trochanteric fracture, humerus fracture, elbow dysfunctions, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow.
  • Hip - hip dysfunction, hip joint pain, patella fracture, knee dysfunctions, lack of knee ROM (range of motion).
  • Ankle - clubfoot.
  • Spine - cervical and lumbar spondylitis, spondylolisthesis, cervical dysfunctions, ankylosing spondylitis, cervical rib pain.
  • Chest - to enhance breathing.
  • Temporomandibular dysfunction - clicking, painful jaw opening.

The above are a few disorders which can be treated by manipulative or manual therapy. There are endless lists of disorders which are now being treated by similar alternative therapies. Manipulative therapy is attracting people due to positive outcomes and good success rates.

Last reviewed at: 27.Dec.2018

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