Combining manual and strengthening therapies for complete healing
Patients of mine often ask me about why I use manual therapies in conjunction with strengthening exercises. Well, the short answer is that these two therapy protocols used together can create the most effective healing. But let me explain a little more.
Manual therapies — which include joint/soft tissue mobilizations and passive movement (where the physical therapist conducts the movement of a limb or joint)—can increase the blood flow to an injured area and speed healing. The specific hands-on nature of manual therapy can also greatly assist with treating muscle spasms, in the back, for instance. And in joint and tissue mobilization and passive movement, in a knee, for instance, manual therapy can do much more to stretch and expand mobility. All of this is so important in recovery from a painful injury.
The counterpoint of manual therapy, where the physical therapist (me!) does the work, is the strengthening therapy, where the patient (you!) do the work. For instance, core body strength exercises can be particularly beneficial to the back. For a knee injury, a good example would be knee extension or flexion exercises. Read more about specific strengthening exercises here.
Now that you understand a little more about what manual therapy combined with strengthening are, you can see how the two would work together, in a sort of yin and yang fashion to speed recovery holistically. Even though there is often comparison between manual and strengthening exercises, in my opinion, a manual and strengthening protocol together always wins out over just strengthening. For more information about the benefits of combining the two, read here.