Services > Manual Therapy & Massage
Physiotherapists have a vast medical and anatomical knowledge of massage and other manual techniques and these can be used to restore muscle length, reduce friction between structures and relieve pain and muscle spasm. All of this allows normal function to be restored in the maximum time.
There are various techniques which can be used. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF, or stretch-relax techniques) are used to reduce muscle spasm, so normal muscle length can be achieved. Such a technique may be used in conjunction with ‘Trigger Pointing’. This is localised treatment to trigger points (areas of exquisite tenderness, decreased blood supply and localised areas of muscle spasm), which can also be used with acupuncture.
Deep friction massage can be used on scar tissue to break down adhesions, which can hinder the healing process, thus allowing restoration of normal movement and function. Often soft tissue techniques are used to improve blood flow, which will directly enhance the healing process.
Joints can become stiff for a number of reasons:
- Post fracture especially after immobilisation from a cast/splint
- Post-operative stiffness
- From Osteo-arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis
- Post trauma (direct or indirect)
- From poor posture
- Following a sporting injury or overuse injury
- As a result from muscle imbalance or biomechanical dysfunction i.e. chronic overuse symptoms
- From spinal dysfunction such as lower back or neck pain
Joint stiffness contributes to pain, reduced movement and dysfunction. Reduced movement at specific intricate parts of the skeletal system leads to overuse and overstrain of other components, which in turn results in pain and irritation. Mobilisations can be performed in many directions with differing force depending upon the degree of dysfunction present.
By using specific Joint mobilisation techniques, normal movement can be restored and normal function regained. There are varying degrees of mobilisations, with the manipulation technique being the most forceful and not often indicated.
At Emma James Physio, we practise a number of proven mobilisation techniques, including those of Geoff Maitland and Brian Mulligan (teo Physiotherapy pioneers).