Manual Therapy within Sports Massage

Guest Blog by Donna Tofield BSc

What is Manual Therapy?
Manual therapy is a physical treatment used by practitioners from many disciplines and backgrounds, including massage therapists, physiotherapists, sports practitioners, osteopaths and chiropractors. It offers a hands-on approach for the treatment of various injuries and conditions. Used on its own or combined with other modalities, it can be an effective treatment option and is an umbrella term for modalities which encourage the movement and manipulation of muscles, connective tissues and joints.

Benefits of manual therapy include:

  • Increased blood flow,
  • Release of muscular tension,
  • Lengthening of myofascia and
  • Improved joint mobility.

These benefits can lead to a reduction in pain, improved postural issues, increased joint function and reduced the risk of injury.
Many patients notice immediate results from treatment and, when combined with a practical rehabilitation plan, these positive effects can be long lasting.

Combines well within Sports Massage and Sports Therapy:
Manual therapy and joint mobilisations are often used in combination within a wider treatment. For instance a Sports Therapist will often start the treatment with manual massage therapy in order to reduce initial muscle tension and to assess the range of movement available at the associated joints.
After warming up the area, manual therapy techniques and joint mobilisations may them be used to help to reset the joint and to aid overall movement available. Often this will then be followed up with re-assessment and stretching out of the associated muscle.
Practitioners will have a strong underlying knowledge of anatomy and movement of the body as this is essential to providing effective treatment.

In summary:
Practitioners from various disciplines use manual therapy as a treatment option. Manual therapy can be used on its own or combined with other modalities. Positive effects of manual therapy include:

  • Reduced pain
  • Release of muscular tension
  • Correction of postural issues
  • Improved function of joints and soft tissue
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Treatments are tailored to individual requirements.
  • Different grades of treatment can be used.
  • Many people notice immediate benefits from treatment.
  • Practitioners should have a strong understanding of human anatomy and function.
  • Training is essential to provide safe and effective treatments.

By Donna Tofield BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy – Proprietor and Sports Therapist at Activology

At Core Elements we provide accredited courses in Manual Therapy and Joint Mobilisations. To find out more about our Swindon, Wiltshire based training courses please Click Here.