Although our hands are small compared to the rest of our bodies, they do a great deal of work every day. Your hands play an active role in pretty much anything that you do, which makes joint and wrist pain incredibly discomforting.
If you are experiencing pain, physical therapy can provide you the relief you need to stay healthy and return to an active and healthy lifestyle. With such a wide variety of treatment options, it can be confusing to differentiate between them and understand the purpose of each technique.
What Is Hand on Physical Therapy?
The healing hand's physical therapy and wellness center have licensed therapists that use hands-on physical therapy along with other effective interventions to examine and treat patients who are facing difficulties in moving a part of the body or the entire body.
Musculoskeletal accidents or biochemical restrictions are potential underlying causes of limited movement. It is a specialized form of treatment technique that needs expert practitioners to use their hands and insight of body movement to assist patients in regaining their mobility.
How Can Hands-On Physical Therapy Benefit Me?
As every individual has distinctive requirements, the description of hands-on physical therapy might vary from person to person. That being said, physical therapy commonly includes joint mobilization and soft tissue mobilization.
With continuous hands-on physical therapy of the injured part, the patient starts to regain movement, which elevates the circulation and function and minimizes pain and inflammation.
Hands-on physical therapy is commonly used to treat patients who have experienced an accident, injury, or some other type of traumatic incident that leaves them with bruises that might include scars, fractures, injured nerves and tendons, and in some cases, amputations.
Some other conditions that might also be effectively treated with hands-on physical therapy include chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, neurological disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and post-operative rehabilitation.
Types of Hands-On Physical Therapies
Occupational and physical therapy uses several different kinds of hands-on therapy techniques, some of which are discussed below.
Soft Tissue Techniques
Soft tissue refers to the connective tissues, fascia, and muscles in the body. Limited movement of these structures can lead to pain and/or restricted activity. Soft tissue technique involves the therapist applying direct pressure on these soft tissues to release the tight or tense fascia, assist in stretching, and completely relax the muscles.
These techniques can effectively elevate the range of movement, mobilize soft tissues and joints, minimize inflammation, decrease swelling, and reduce pain. Soft tissue therapy also benefits patients by eliminating the soft tissue tension and improving circulation.
Joint mobilization is a physical therapy technique that is used to enhance the range of movement, lower muscle tension, and pain. Such treatment is provided to the patients in the form of subtle prolonged oscillation or stretch in a pain-free range.
Joint mobilization improves joint extensibility, elevates joint lubrication, increases joint nutrition, and reduces articular joint pain. With a combination of therapeutic exercises and hands-on physical therapy, a therapist can assist the patient in stabilizing and strengthening their joints.
Joint manipulation is an advanced technique that has different definitions. A manipulation, essentially, is a low-amplitude, high-velocity thrust that is applied to a particular joint. These manipulations are typically used to treat spinal conditions but can also be used as an effective treatment for extremities.
Fascia is essentially a band of connective tissue that is present in the form of a network throughout the body, supporting all the organs, bones, tendons, and muscles and enabling body movement. The objective of myofascial release therapy is to enhance the flexibility of the connective fascia tissues to improve movement. It can also effectively reduce scarring.
Myofascial release involves applying subtle but sustained pressure on the myofascial connective tissue to stimulate the fascia release. The focus of this therapy is to release muscle tightness and shortness. It is effective for patients with lost flexibility or function due to an injury.
What Are the Benefits of Hands-On Physical Therapy?
Much like any other holistic treatment, hands-on physical therapy offers the patient an effective alternative to substantially invasive treatment options such as surgery. Not only is hands-on therapy safe and effective, but it also addresses the underlying cause of pain without using any prescription medication. Some of the prominent benefits of hands-on physical therapy include:
- Pain management for chronic and acute pain
- A non-invasive, preventative, and conservative treatment technique
- Home exercise programs that are customized to elevate the range of movement, increase strength, and improve dexterity
- Conditioning before the patient returns to sports or work
- Faster recovery from trauma or injury
- Recovery from paralysis or stroke
- Management of age-related medical issues
Sports therapists can assist athletes to enhance their performance by strengthening particular regions of their body and moving muscles in different ways. A physical therapist can guide people about the benefits specific to their individual medical history and their need for treatment.
One of the greatest benefits of hands-on physical therapy for patients is the feeling of having restored function. Physical injuries can often take a toll on the patient’s emotional wellbeing over time, which can have a negative impact on their ability to do routine tasks such as get out of bed, eat meals, or enjoy hobbies.
Targeted physical therapy not only restores the normal function of the body but also gives patients a new sense of confidence.
Are you struggling with pain and discomfort that is keeping you from living a normal, healthy life? If you do, hands-on physical therapy can certainly help. A licensed physical therapist will evaluate your pain and get to the bottom of the underlying cause.
Every person and every medical condition/injury are different, which is why there is no single one-size-fits-all physical therapy technique. To assess and monitor whether your physical therapy regime is working, your physical therapist will consistently examine you during the treatment and modify the therapies if required for optimal results.
If you have some queries regarding the specific workings of physical therapy or if you want to find out if hands-on therapy is an effective approach for your medical condition, get in touch with your local practitioner or healthcare provider for detailed information.