When it comes to taking care of our health and wellbeing, it can be overwhelming having to schedule time for seemingly endless appointments – who has the time? However, setting that time aside to take care of yourself with regular manual therapy appointments can have a big impact on your overall wellness.
What is Considered Manual Therapy?
Manual therapy involves muscle manipulation, joint mobilization, and joint manipulation to treat musculoskeletal pain and dysfunctions. Manual therapy includes the work of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths and athletic therapists.
Benefits of Manual Therapy
So, what are the benefits of maintaining regular manual therapy appointments? Can they really make that big of a difference in your overall health and wellbeing?
Regular manual therapy treatments by a physiotherapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor (maybe all three!) can help you improve and maintain mobility. This is especially important for older or aging adults, but mobility is a concern for those of all ages.
Your manual practitioner is skilled in relieving muscle tension, mobilizing joints, and treating any areas of pain or dysfunction. These treatments allow you to keep up or improve your mobility, ensuring that you’re able to be independent, exercise, and perform your everyday tasks without pain and injury.
In addition to manual therapy treatments, the guidance of a good physiotherapist or chiropractor on exercises and lifestyle changes that may better improve or maintain your mobility can be an important puzzle piece when it comes to maintaining your independence as you age.
Better Pain Management
If you suffer from chronic pain, have an injury or chronic illness; managing pain can be a major source of stress and can consume a lot of your day. While pain meds are necessary for certain situations, manual therapy has been proven to help manage pain both acute and chronic.
Whether you use manual therapy in conjunction with medication or as an alternative, maintaining regular manual therapy appointments can improve pain both through manual therapy interventions such as massage or chiropractic adjustments but also through education. Manual therapy practitioners are skilled at what they do when it comes to treatments but they are also eager to help you better understand your pain better and incorporate lifestyle changes to better manage your pain yourself (ex. exercises).
Lower Stress & Improved Mood
Manual therapies such as massage can lower your stress levels and improve your overall mood. Massage has been proven to lower stress and improve mood through the release of endorphins, relaxation of muscle tension and lowering blood pressure.
If you struggle with chronic pain, maintaining regular manual therapy appointments or working with an integrative health clinic like BodyWorx Vitality can help you better understand and manage your pain. Pain is perhaps one of our biggest stressors, so understanding and having a pain management plan in place can greatly improve your overall sense of wellbeing including your mood and stress levels.
Additionally, we all know that regular physical activity is great for our mental health and your regular manual therapies can help you achieve or maintain your physical activity goals. For example, regular manual therapy appointments for athletes can improve overall performance, prevent injury and aid in recovery meaning they’re always in tip-top shape for rigorous training or competitions. Mobility issues? No problem. Regular physiotherapy can aid you in moving through regular exercises, design programs that you can easily do from home and help keep your joints and muscles moving!
Prevention of Injury
Another great benefit of regular manual therapy appointments is the prevention of injury. While manual therapy can’t keep all injuries from happening, it can keep your body in working order and train you to move better allowing you to prevent certain types of injuries. This is especially important for athletes.
If you find yourself repeatedly injuring yourself in a similar way or notice pain in certain areas after performing a certain task or movement, consult with your manual practitioner. They will not only be able to treat the area but also provide actionable advice for avoiding similar issues in the future. This could include incorporating bracing or taping or giving you personalized exercises to strengthen and target the areas giving you the most dysfunction. These suggestions can help prevent further injuries from occurring.
While it can be a nuisance to incorporate regular manual therapy appointments into your already busy schedule – not to mention setting aside time for any exercises or suggestions they may have, the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience. In particular, if you suffer from chronic pain, have issues with mobility or are an athlete, regular maintenance appointments with your manual therapist or integrative health clinic can be invaluable to your quality of life and performance.