At Scarborough Physical Therapy Associates we use a comprehensive approach to healing with an emphasis on manual, or hands-on, techniques. These techniques, collectively referred to as Integrative Manual Therapy, address dysfunctions of multiple body systems to best restore structural balance and promote the general healing process. These body systems may include: skeletal components and joints of the spine, pelvic girdle, cranium, and extremities; connective tissue including muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons; the arterial and venous circulation and the vessels of the lymphatic system; tissues of the central and peripheral nervous systems; and the viscera or organs. Dysfunction and the resultant pain or restrictions typically affect all or most of these systems, as these components are interrelated and affect each other functionally. Integrative Manual Therapy is, therefore, a whole body approach to treatment.
Integrative Manual Therapy Techniques
Integrative Manual Therapy Techniques are typically perceived as gentle, yet, are very specific. Hand Placement by the treating therapist may or may not be directly on symptomatic regions. Our therapists have been specifically trained on the interrelationships of different regions and system with the goal being to create an optimal environment for healing to occur. Patients may experience a sensation of release or relaxation as restrictions in the involved tissues are gently and slowly mobilized. This can be accompanied by release of metabolic waste products into surrounding tissues and possible associated soreness for several hours to a day, generally followed by improvement in symptoms. Drinking six to eight glasses of water and getting mild general exercise, such as walking, helps the body eliminate these waste products. Drinking green tea may also help with this process. Please see Healthy Habits for Healing for further information.
Integrative manual therapy treatment results in reduction of symptomatic complaints and restored functional integrity of the tissues, systems, and body as a whole.
Manual Therapy Techniques that we provide:
An effective hands-on technique which provides gentle sustained pressure into muscular and fascial restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.
A mobilization technique that helps restore joint balance and alignment of joint surfaces by generating gentle muscle contractions by the patient against resistance provided by the physical therapist.
A gentle method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of the craniosacral system, made up of connective tissue, and cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. It is especially helpful with headaches, low back pain, lymphatic and immune compromise and other issues.
A technique using positional release to correct abnormal neuromuscular reflexes that can cause structural and postural problems. Treating with strain/counterstrain results in relaxation of muscle tissue and release of painful tender points.
Visceral Fascial Release
A series of techniques designed to release specific restrictions between and within visceral (abdominal and thorax) tissues, releasing biomechanical dysfunction in adjacent regions (such as lower back or ribcage) and improving function.
A method where therapists utilize gentle, specific movements which activate lymph and interstitial fluid circulation as well a stimulate the functioning of the immune system.
Neural Tension Release
A technique that addresses fascial restrictions around and within nervous tissue. It can be used with sciatic, carpal tunnel, and brachial plexus issues.
A technique to treat myofascial pain that uses a solid filiform needle inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle, known as trigger points to promote a healing response. The term dry needle means one without medication.
A unique treatment that uses suction to lift tissue as the cup is moved by the therapist to decompress underlying tissue to decrease myofascial restrictions and promote healing. The cups come in various sizes depending on the treatment area needed.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)
A technique that is performed with ergonomically designed instruments that detect and treat fascial restrictions to promote a healing response in areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis, chronic inflammation, or degeneration.
Soft Tissue Mobilization
Used to help in the recovery of stiff, painful, and over-tired muscles by speeding up the elimination of waste products and temporarily increasing local blood supply. Soft tissue mobilization techniques are a combination of manual techniques designed to relax, release, and stretch soft tissue. Generally soft tissue mobilization is used in physical therapy with other modalities or exercise.
A treatment used to manage musculoskeletal dysfunction where the therapist applies a force to mimic the “gliding” that occurs between bones. It is a passive movement usually completed slowly with oscillations and even with a “hold” or stretch. Mobilizations are used to restore joint play that has been lost due to injury or disease.