Manual therapy, or manipulative therapy, is a specialized physical treatment used for musculoskeletal pain and disability. Treatment includes kneading and manipulation of muscles and joint manipulation. These soft tissue techniques include massage, manual lymph drainage, soft tissue mobilization, functional mobilization, scar mobilization, myofascial release, strain counter-strain and craniosacral therapy. Manual therapy is beneficial to moderate pain, increase joint mobility, increase range of motion, reduce soft tissue inflammation, reduce muscle tension, and facilitate movement.
Dry needling is a treatment performed by a trained physical therapist, certified in the procedure. A thin monofilament needle penetrates the skin and treats underlying muscular trigger points for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairment. A trigger point is a tight band in a muscle fiber that can disrupt function, restrict range of motion and cause pain. When dry needling is applied to a trigger point, it will decrease tightness, increase blood flow, and reduce local and referred pain. Dry needling is not acupuncture. Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine, while dry needling is rooted in Western medicine with evaluation of pain patterns, posture, movement impairments and orthopedic tests.
The Graston Technique is a form of manual therapy known as soft-tissue instrument-assisted mobilization. It is one of a number of manual therapy approaches that uses instruments with a specialized form of massage/scraping the skin gently. The therapy is designed to help the practitioner identify areas of restriction and attempt to break up scar tissue. The Graston Technique is often practiced by chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and some licensed massage therapists and athletic trainers. The general goals of the Graston Technique are to reduce the patient's pain and increase function through a combination of breaking down the scar tissue and fascia restrictions that are usually associated with some form of trauma to the soft tissue, reduce restrictions by stretching connective tissue in an attempt to rearrange the structure of the soft tissue and provide a better healing environment for the injured soft tissue.
Athletic Performance Rehabilitation
The elite athlete requires specific training and rehabilitation to maintain a superior level of performance. Developing these programs requires a veteran physical therapist with expertise in sports medicine as well as treatment experience of a wide range of athletes competing in a wide range of sports. At Richardson Spine & Sports Therapy, the goal for our elite athletes is to maintain the integrity and longevity of their competitive athletic performance.
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