Richard Ferguson

NTS, BCST, RCST

Manual Therapies - Bridging the gap

Before beginning any manual therapy approach, I complete a thorough assessment to identify the root cause of your discomfort. Depending on the results of your assessment, particular needs, and identified problems the following therapy models are used:


Muscle Balancing

This technique is used to treat protective muscle spasms that cause structural and postural problems, resulting in painful ‘tenderpoints’. The therapist finds the client’s position of comfort by asking the client at what point the tenderness diminishes. The client is held in this position of comfort for about 90 seconds, during which time asymptomatic strain is induced through mild stretching, and then slowly brought out of this position, allowing the body to reset its muscles to a normal level of tension. This normal tension in the muscles sets the stage for healing. This technique is gentle enough to be useful for back problems that are too acute or too delicate to treat with other procedures. Muscle Balancing is especially effective in the acute stage, because it positions the client opposite of the restricted barrier and towards the position of greatest comfort.

Joint Mobilization

Clients often get diagnosed with a pulled muscle in their back and are instructed to treat it with rest, ice and stretching. While these techniques feel good, the pain often returns because the muscle spasm occurs in response to a restricted joint. Joint mobilization involves loosening up the restricted joint and increasing its range of motion by providing slow and increasing distance of movement directly into the barrier of a joint, moving the actual bone surfaces on each other in ways clients cannot move the joint themselves. These mobilizations are pain free and facilitate the release of the ligaments connecting the bones to the joints. Joint mobilization is effective for the following:

Sports Injuries

Arthritis

Dental/Jaw/TMJ

Sprains/Strains

Joint Balancing

Joint Balancing techniques are designed to mobilize restricted joints and lengthen shortened muscles. Joint balancing is a manual therapy technique in which the practitioner positions the clients effected joint at it’s restrictive barrier. A gentle isometric contraction is used to relax and lengthen the muscle and/or fascial tension and normalize the joint. Joint Balancing is very effective in the reduction of pain and swelling. It can be used in the treatment of:

Back pain

Sciatica

Neck pain

Arm and leg pain

Joint Balancing is a gentle approach appropriate for people of all ages from infancy to elderly; it is helpful for the impact of auto accidents and general orthopedic conditions.

Maintaining Relief Long-Term

To continue the healing process and prevent recurring pain, clients are encouraged to engage in activities that support treatment efforts. Ongoing exercise programs are recommended, especially ones that clients can do on their own. Exercise identified as helpful usually includes stretching and strengthening exercises, as well as low-impact aerobic conditioning. The ultimate goal is to maintain the right type and level of activity to prevent the pain from re-occurring and to maintain recuperative treatment effects of these manual therapeutic approaches.

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