Hello, my name is Jeremy Wehking. I’m a physical therapist and owner of Advanced Physical Therapy Specialists. I wanted to talk to you today about manual physical therapy. Manual physical therapy is a hands on approach.

Better Results In a Shorter Period of Time

Manual physical therapy involves soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, joint manipulation, and nerve mobilization. It can help with a mechanical problem, say a stiff joint, but also has a neurophysiological component that many patients may require. So the manual therapy that I use is not only about muscles, joints, ligaments, and thrusts. It can have a positive stimulation on the peripheral and central nervous system. I find that it helps patients get better results in a shorter period of time.

For example, let’s say a patient comes in with a painful hip. If all I showed them were some very specific exercises to get their system up and running, or functional, they would probably start feeling better, but at that point in time chances are their hip might still feel pretty tight and restricted. That could be from a tight hip capsule, over active muscles, a tight nerve that isn’t gliding the right way, and poor motor control. But if I mobilize that person’s hip, now I’ve been able to further address that person’s problem and get them feeling better even quicker.

There are many different schools of thought when it comes to manual therapy, and many of them can be useful. The problem I see is that usually a practitioner will only learn about one school of thought, and only treat that way, which can limit their ability to help people. I’ve found it very helpful to learn as much as I can about the different approaches so that I have a larger tool box to use when it comes to helping my patients.
I’ll tell patients and other physical therapists, you want learn as much as you can about as much as you can and put that into your practice, the thought process is key. This allows for a strong foundation but doesn’t limit you to one type of thinking when it comes to treatment, I’m always thinking about what will work best for the person in front of me.

The last thing I want to touch on when it comes to manual physical therapy is the use of appropriate force. Many times I’ve heard patients talk about how light handed a technique will feel when I perform it compared to treatment they have received in the past. This is because if I know what I want to accomplish with a technique, and can be specific with the technique I don’t have to use much force. You don’t want someone to substitute force for lack of skill. You get more bees with honey. You can have a much better result when someone isn’t wailing away on you.

Manual physical therapy is a subject that is very near and dear to me, if you have any questions or would like to talk more about it, great! I’m a big physical therapy nerd. Give me a call at 720-357-4079 for a free phone consultation.

Talk to you soon!