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Experience Fast Relief with Manual Therapy

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What is manual therapy?

Manual therapy is a very general way to say we are using our hands to provide a treatment.  In a traditional sense, manual therapy means joint mobilizations and manipulations (see below) but in reality in means just about any form of hands-on soft tissue manipulation.  There are SO MANY manual therapy techniques, too many to name.  This article will hopefully provide you with a general idea of what it is.

Joint mobilization and joint manipulations

Basically, we are using are hands to move your joints in a specific way.  Think of a joint mobilization as “wiggling” your joint around in a particular direction, speed and amplitude.  A joint manipulation is a small, high velocity (very fast) movement of the joint, at the very end of the joints available movement.  Joint manipulations usually creates a audible popping sound!

We use mobilizations and manipulations to restore movement and reduce pain and to ultimately get you back to your daily activities.  When combined with therapeutic exercise, joint mobilizations / manipulations have a much better effect.

Joint mobilizations / manipulations can:

  • Relieve pain produced by both the joint and the surrounding soft tissues
  • Improve mobility of the joint
Muscle Release Techniques

Muscle release techniques (MRT) is another broad category of techniques we use to reduce muscle tone and relieve pain.  We use different combinations of these techniques all of the time! Here are a couple of examples:

  • Active and passive muscle release techniques:  We’re holding down your muscle and releasing it through stretch and movement combined.
  • Muscle energy techniques:  We get you to contract and relax your muscles while we manipulate them in various ways.  One example is getting you to push against us, and then relax while we move you into the opposite direction.  With this method, every time you relax after pushing against us, we’re able to bring you a little bit farther.
Why would I want manual therapy?

Manual therapy is a very fast way to relieve pain and improve mobility with the end goal of getting you back to your daily activities.  We also use manual therapy as a diagnostic tool to help us understand your problem and provide you with the best possible therapeutic exercises.

Who can perform manual therapy?

All of our clinicians technically perform manual therapy.  Our massage therapists, acupuncturist and physiotherapists all perform various techniques.

All of our providers perform various techniques

Vivian Overton Physiotherapist Photo

Vivian Overton

Physiotherapist

Vivian graduated with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from Queen’s University in 2010. She moved to Calgary and has worked with PT Health since January of 2011. Vivian has a large focus on assessing and treating the body as a whole. She has advanced training in Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), therapeutic taping, fire-glass cupping,…

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January Muhlbeier Physiotherapist

January Muhlbeier

Physiotherapist

January graduated from University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Physical Education. After a year working as a kinesiologist, she completed her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from McMaster University in 2013. Having realized that being able to see and experience the mountains were an integral part of her well-being, she returned to Alberta….

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Jessica Claflin Physiotherapist Photo

Jessica Claflin

Physiotherapist

Jessica came to physiotherapy by way of veterinary sciences. As a veterinary nurse (animal health technician), she was inspired by the remarkable outcomes she was seeing in her four-legged patients whom received physiotherapy. Her desire to learn more motivated her to return to University of Calgary where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology…

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Matt Wylie Physiotherapist

Matt Wylie

Physiotherapist

Matt graduated with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Alberta after completing an undergraduate degree in kinesiology at the University of Calgary. Originally from the Okanagan, Matt was drawn to the mountains in Alberta to pursue competitive cross-country skiing, staying in Alberta to pursue his education. Matt grew up playing…

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Jen Richard RMT

Jen Richard

Registered Massage Therapist

Jen has been working as an RMT since 2007. In 2012, Jen became part of the team at Maximum Potential and believes that co-treating with different specialty’s such as physiotherapy can greatly decrease recovery time from accident and injury. She completed her 2200 hour massage program here in Calgary. She enjoys camping, hiking, 4x4ing, cooking,…

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Selena Nemeth Massage Therapist Photo

Selena Nemeth

Registered Massage Therapist

Selena is trained in myofascial deep tissue, prenatal, relaxation, orthopedic assessment and treatment of over 20 conditions including a focus on TMJ extra/intra oral massage. She is experienced in Swedish and non Swedish techniques, hydrotherapy, manual lymphatic drainage, joint play and remedial exercise. She will further develop and specialize through continuing education programs and other…

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Ted Lemanski Massage Therapist

Ted Lemanski

Registered Massage Therapist

Ted Lemanski has 2200 hours of training as an RMT with over twelve years of hands-on experience. He is knowledgeable and professional health care provider with competitive athlete background, especially in swimming and downhill skiing. He enjoys working with all variety of cases, although his specialization falls in sport injury, prevention, biomechanics, and functional training….

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Brook Riad Acupuncturist

Brooke Riad

Acupuncturist

Brooke Riad graduated with honours from the Canadian Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Calgary, AB, and is registered member in good standing of the CAAA. She is passionate about acupuncture and the role it can play in creating and maintaining healthy bodies and minds. Using traditional acupuncture points and other modalities, such as fire…

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Are there any risks to manual therapy?

The risks are very low and all of our therapists are highly trained to make sure they're as safe as possible when performing a treatment. If you have any specific questions, please contact us or make sure to ask your therapist.

Is manual therapy painful?

Every technique and situation is different. Manual therapy can be both painful and pain free and when pain is involved, it is usually a "good pain" as described by many patients. Communication between you and the therapist is vital for the best possible treatment. Your therapist will gauge pressure and their technique by the status of your injury and your feedback. There is sort of a "sweet zone" for manual therapy techniques. We don't want it to be too painful but sometimes a little bit of the "good pain" is okay.

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