The PTs at Alpine get together each month to share skills and knowledge. In February and March our focus is on manual therapy skills. Here are some thoughts from our PTs about the many aspects of hands-on care and why we think it’s worth practicing these skills.
Dennis McCrae, PT notes, hands-on care can be calming to the person as well as pain relieving. Teaching someone to do self-techniques is a great way to reduce the fear of touching the area. Some of the benefits Dennis teaches his patients about are improving blood flow, reducing edema, muscle relaxation and improving scar mobility. He states, “Combined with exercise and movement, there is no better way to go.”
Brace Hayden, DPT shares some sentiments with Dennis. “I’ve found, after working in this profession for over two decades, that utilizing an assortment of manual therapies in conjunction with the gamut of other typical treatments has been highly beneficial for my patient’s healing process.” He continues, “I try to use manual therapy in some form with every patient, as the PT treatment benefits seem to have a multiplier effect” Brace additionally explains that during hands-on treatment he often discusses goals, answers questions, educates on specifics related to the individual’s injury experience and guides client participation in the treatment by focusing and communicating about what they feel.
“This is a great example of what I call sensory agility training,” replies Angela Listug-Vap, DPT. “Our bodies and brains should be able to experience multiple sensations. During recovery from injury or chronic conditions we can get stuck in a ‘pain loop’ where we are only experiencing painful sensations from a certain area. The good news is we can train sensory agility. Manual therapy can be a fantastic opportunity to engage in this training.”
Jess Kehoe, DPT comments, “I think hands-on therapy continues to be of value in PT, in part because of the caring touch it provides. A caring touch can go a long way in building trust, which is valuable in successful PT outcomes.” Brace seconds this thought, “I have also found that using manual treatment techniques builds a trusting
alliance or connection between therapist and patient - you're truly in good hands.”
At Alpine we think our hands on techniques are valuable and improve the quality of our care for you. If you want to learn more about what manual techniques might be able to do for your pain, find more information on our website, www.alpinptmissoula.com.