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Manual Therapy

The Maitland Concept of manual therapy is a form of physiotherapy carried out by specially trained and highly qualified physiotherapists. It is a therapy with a specific approach involving detailed examination, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions which cause pain and movement problems.

‘Manual therapy’, as the name implies, is a ‘hands-on’ treatment. Back problems, for example, can be precisely identified using the hands and once issues are identified, the joints of the spine can the specifically manipulated and treated. This type of therapy is also very effective in the treatment of problems in other areas of the body. Hip, knee and shoulder problems can, for example, be treated to reduce pain and improve movement and function.

Manual Therapy can be effective in the treatment of:

  • Back pain and disc problems.
  • Neck pain and spinal problems in the neck region.
  • Arthritis pain and stiffness in the hips, shoulder and back areas.
  • Facial pain, headaches and jaw pain.
  • Nerve irritation causing weakness, numbness or tingling in the fingers or sciatica
  • Knee pain caused by ligament and meniscus problems.
  • Hip pain resulting from problems in the lower back.
  • Elbow problems such as Tennis or Golfer’s elbow.
  • Problems in the wrist and hand.  E.g. broken bones, carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains and strains.
  • Foot and ankle problems including ligament and tendon damage or rupture.

Manual Therapy is also helpful following surgery or sports injuries. Many of us spend a lot of time sitting during our working day and this can have an impact on our spinal health.  A Manual Therapist will analyse your gait and general posture and give advice on the appropriate measures that can be taken in order to reduce the risk of strain or injury.  Prevention is always better than cure and early advice and treatment can help reduce the risk of more serious problems later in a patient’s life.

The initial step of manual therapy always begins with a detailed interview about the present problem and how it impacts the patient’s daily life. The description of the problem from the patient’s perspective is very important to the therapist. Next, the therapist will perform a thorough physical examination to identify the cause of the problem. In the case of a shoulder problem, for example, the neck, ribs and thorax may also need to be examined to rule out referred pain and therefore pinpoint the exact nature of the problem. Everyone’s body is unique, which means that each individual will also have their own specific symptoms and problems. Therefore, the examination and tests required are individually tailored to each patient.

The findings from the interview, tests and examinations are the basis for the treatment that follows. The movement problems identified will be treated with the most appropriate and effective treatment methods.

Methods include:

  • Manual joint mobilisation.
  • Techniques to improve the mobility and function of neural tissue.
  • Stretching and/or strengthening of muscle.
  • Explanation of the injury mechanisms and advice ensuring the long-term success of your treatment.
  • Training in posture and everyday movements and preferred sports.
  • Exercises and advice to promote self-Management.

Throughout the therapy the physiotherapist will continually monitor the progress made to make certain that the most effective methods are used to bring about an improvement as quickly as possible. We make every effort to expand on our experience and to integrate new advances in research into our treatment in order to provide you with an individual, effective Treatment.