Manual physiotherapy treatments
Manual Therapy encompasses a wide range of techniques that have in common their method of application: The hands of the physiotherapist. This term tries to differentiate it from those other techniques that use other physical means whose application requires some type of equipment, such as Electrotherapy, for example.
What advantages does Manual Therapy offer?
These techniques involve a great interactivity between patient and therapist. The dexterity and the ability of a therapist’s hands to feel makes a great difference when it comes to adjusting to the needs of the tissue at any given moment and responds to a communication format that cannot be reproduced by any equipment, instrumentation or machinery.
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Nerves pass through tunnels between muscles, bones, fascia, skin, etc. to reach the tissues they innervate. The passage through these tunnels can be affected by the pathology of the surrounding tissues which reduces the caliber of these mechanical interfaces, leading to neural dysfunction. Improving the dynamic relationship of the affected neural tissue with respect to its “mechanical envelopes” is one of the objectives of neurodynamics. For this, we use techniques that relax the muscles, tendons fasciae, etc. that form the tunnels, and techniques that improve nerve gliding in order to increase blood flow and avoid abnormal signals, helping to reduce pain. There are also self-treatment exercises based on this principle, which the patient can do at home.
This technique will help us in the management of neck pain, neck related arm pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic pain, lumbago, sciatica, protrusions, hernias, sprains, painful shoulder and many other injuries.
Fascia is the tissue that “wraps up” all muscle, bone, joint, viscera, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, ligaments and tendons, binding, separating and protecting them. For this reason, any tension that takes place in one part of the body can have repercussions at a distant spot.
Myofascial therapy is a treatment technique in which the physiotherapist applies pressure a specific stretching in certain positions and parts of the body, to relax the fascia, improve mobility and relieve pain.
Conditions of the locomotor system, such as: sprains, fractures, tendonitis, tennis elbow, cervical pain, back pain, whiplash, scoliosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, painful shoulder, headache, low back pain, fibromyalgia, can be successfully treated using this type of therapeutical technique.
This revolutionary bandaging method helps in the self-healing process of our body. It is an elastic bandage that helps muscle function without limiting movement, maintaining adequate blood and lymphatic circulation as well as the arrival of proprioceptive information from the injured structure. All of which will play in favor of a normal recovery process.
The duration of the healing properties of this bandage is 3 to 5 days, after which time the bandage should be removed and a new one applied if necessary. It is made of cotton and the adhesive component does not contain latex, so it is hypoallergenic, behaves like a second skin and can get wet.
The main applications of this neuromuscular taping are:
Las principales funciones del vendaje neuromuscular son:
- Pain relief.
- Muscle strengthening. Increasing the tone in the weakened muscle and decreasing the tone in the hypertonic or contracted muscle.
- Joint support. Helps correct joint position and postural impairment.
- Improves drainage of body fluids.
- Joint stability, through the proprioceptive stimuli it produces in the joints.
Neuromuscular taping is indicated for the treatment of muscle, joint, neurological and ligament injuries as well as the reduction of swelling and lymphoedema.
Massage is one of the oldest known therapeutic techniques. It is a well-integrated technique within physiotherapy. Technically, it is a method of assessment (by palpation) and manual treatment, applied to the human body and transmitted by the mechanical pressure of the hands to the different organs. Depending on the indication and the proposed treatment objectives, effects can be achieved as to generate direct of reflex action in the body.
The main therapeutic effects are listed below:
- Blood circulation activation
- Decrease in swelling or oedema
- Reduction of tissue adhesions
Through massage therapy we can treat various injuries, including: muscle contractures, tendonitis, fiber rupture, psycho-somatic alterations, consequence from fractures, luxation, sprains, lymphoedema, radiculopathies, scar-tissue problems…
There are different massage modalities, depending on different factors such as: effect we want to obtain, the tissue on which we want to act and the type of patient we are dealing with.
These modalities are:
- Deep transverse massage
- Lymphatic massage
- Decontracting massage
- Sports massage
- Neuro-muscular technique
- Circulatory massage
Manual lymphatic drainage
This technique works on the uptake and reabsorption of liquids. With a gentle and slow massage, the lymph is mobilized, channeling it towards the lymph nodes, and thus achieving the evacuation of unnecessary substances.
When or in which cases can I benefit from this treatment?
We are talking about a technique that requires of extensive knowledge, both of the lymphatic and the venous systems. It is mainly indicated for the treatment of primary and secondary lymphoedema. It also helps reduce post-traumatic oedemas, such as sprain contusion or post-surgical oedemas either resulting from trauma o plastic surgery. It relieves pain or heaviness, as well as mild venous insufficiency, and it work in favor of scarring and tissue regeneration.
The insights in stretching have changed, which does not mean it is no longer useful, but that it needs to be approached from a different perspective. Our physiotherapists will help you improve your mobility from an active functional stretching proposal. In other words, learn how to improve your range of movement using exercises which will stimulate daily life activity actions or specific sport practice gestures, not only from a passive perspective, but accompanied by the relevant muscle activation.