In our previous post, we discussed why manual therapy might not be as specific or effective as you think. If you missed it, take a look here. Now let’s shine a light on the ways manual therapy can positively impact progress in a course of PT rehabilitation.
Manual therapy can’t fix your joints and tissues. At least not in the direct, mechanical ways you might expect. A lot of people who show up to physical therapy think the purpose of manual therapy is to fix something structural: Reposition a joint that’s out of place. Correct asymmetries by moving body parts into optimal alignment. Break up adhesions between layers of soft tissue. Like dropping the car off at the mechanic, there’s a notion that we can drop off our bodies at a manual therapist’s office to get all fixed up.
A very interesting article came out just recently: “Effective treatment options for musculoskeletal pain in primary care: A systematic overview of current evidence.”1 (Check it out if you like. It’s free.) It attempts to give an overview of the effectiveness of all the various current treatments for neck, back, shoulder, knee, and multi-site pain. The conclusions may be surprising to you