Manual Therapy or Exercise?

Manual Therapy is the skillful, hands-on application of force to the body to improve mobility, to decrease pain, to improve strength and motor control and to reduce soft tissue inflammation.  Manual techniques include soft tissue mobilization, massage, joint manipulation, joint manipulation, neural mobilization, dry needling and more.

Physical therapy nearly always involves some exercise that is specifically designed to decrease pain, improve mobility, improve strength, improve coordination and balance, improve endurance or to improve function.  Exercises are also designed to prevent injury or prevent recurrence of an injury.

Since the goals of manual therapy and exercise often overlap, it is hard to say that one is better than the other.  Most research in the medical field has focused on the use of exercise alone versus the use of manual therapy and exercise together.  In almost every case, the use of manual therapy in conjunction with exercise has proven more effective in treating pain, stiffness, weakness and loss of function than exercise alone.  Pain and loss of function are relieved quicker and recurrence occurs less often.

Back In Action’s unique one-on-one hour-long treatment sessions allow our clinicians to give our patients the best of both these worlds.  We give our clinicians the time to deliver appropriate manual techniques and our patients the time to stretch, strength and practice the things they are having difficulty performing. Performance is not just reserved for athletes so from active grandparents to top-level athletes, both tools are usually required to get you pain free, moving well, so you can move often!