Spring cleaning and gardening causing you pain?? With the change in seasons, comes changes in activity. Many people tend to experience pain in their back and knees after a long day of prepping their garden, shoulder pain after giving their house a good wipe down, and even foot pain from re-starting their out-door walks after the weather has finally taken a turn. Many of these conditions can be addressed in Physical Therapy, especially with a therapist who specializes in Manual Therapy. Manual Therapy can consist of a number of things, such as:

 – Dry Needling – Dry needling reduces muscle pain and tension, and normalizes impaired motor end plates (areas that send nerve impulses to muscles). This helps patients return to active lifestyle sooner and speeds up the path to recovery. Conditions treated with dry needling can include:  headaches, neck and back pain, muscle spasms, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, and jaw problems.

 – Myofascial Decompression / Cupping – Decompression can be useful in the treatment of chronic overuse injuries such as bursitis, tendonitis, and other myofascial pain syndromes. Most manual therapy techniques used in PT are compressive in nature. Myofascial decompression works in the decompression of adhesions; improving the flow of fluids and nutrient exchange.

 – Manipulations / Adjustments – Manipulation is performed to restore proper postural balance of muscles, joints, and the body’s neural -musculoskeletal systems.  It describes a treatment used to address orthopedic issues, such as joint restrictions, to restore normal, pain-free movement. Manipulation can be used to describe a technique to restore motion of joints, muscles and fascia located within the spine, but also can be used to joints in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle.

 – Mobilizations / Soft Tissue Mobilization – Joint mobilization is an example of a hands-on treatment and is a form of passive movement technique for musculoskeletal conditions. Mobilizations are usually done at a slow speed, with or without oscillations or a stretch.

 – Gua sha / Scraping – Gua sha is the practice of using a tool to apply pressure and scrape the skin to relieve pain and tension. This action causes light bruising, which often appears as purple or red spots. Gua sha may help to break down scar tissue and connective tissue, improving movement in the joints.

So, whatever pain may creep us this Spring, keep in mind, there are many helping hands to aid in your recovery!!!

Sammantha Schneider PT, DPT, CMPT