Non-Medicinal Method of Treatment
Manual therapy is one of the most effective non-medicinal methods of treatment. It is the system of procedures that allow to influence a backbone and joints by hands. It can also be applied in case of disorders in the system of muscles and sheaves, neurologic problems, and diseases of internals. Manual therapy allows eliminating pain, redeeming the normal position of vertebras and joints and their natural mobility, and improve the work of muscles, internals, and systems (Meakins, 2014; Lafond, 2008).
The procedures of manual therapy resemble massage; however, they are different the limited localization of the area of application and the dosed efficacy. The characteristic feature of this method includes the possibility to address many health issues efficiently, which other, even pharmacological means, cannot easily cure.
The given essay will give a short overview of what manual therapy is, its techniques, and the education, scope of practice and treatment claims of its practitioners, as well as provide a detailed case study report on successful treatment of a patient by means of manual therapy (Lafond, 2008).
The humanity uses manual therapy for more than 7000 years. The greatest scientists-physicians of the ancient time like Hippocrates and Galen (the 5th century B.C.), actively applied the rachiotehrapy methods in their practice (Meakins, 2014). At the very beginning of its development, manual therapy consisted of a complex of separate methods of pressure, blows, and tractions. However, during the emergence of the infectious theory of the vertebrogenic pains, manual therapy was forbidden among the practicing doctors and existed only as one of the methods of the traditional medicine for a long period.
Since its emergence, manual therapy was divided into two branches: chiropractic and osteopathic. The eastern medicine played an important role in the development of the manual therapy. The Chinese manual therapy experts believed that it was possible to have an essential impact on the struck bodies and tissues by means of a physical impact on certain points of a sick site of a human body. The effect of pain relief and healing was achieved by means of the change of power balance of the disease center. The methods of modern manual impact on the human body are absolutely safe. This fact is confirmed by the numerous researches. Moreover, manual therapy is recognized as the official treatment method by the World Health Organization (Camarinos & Marinko, 2009).
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However, it should not be considered as the panacea for all diseases and unclear chronic pains, but it should be applied both separately and in a complex with the therapy aimed at ensuring relief of a patient’s condition and acceleration of his or her recovery. Modern manual therapy includes a vast number of techniques of high efficiency. It should be also noted that the opinion of the passive participation of a patient in the process of treatment is wrong since some of them, on the contrary, demand a patient to take an active part in the process. The impulse and soft manual techniques are widely spread in manual therapy.
According to the research by Young, et al. (2009), the impulse technique consists of short pulse movements of the doctor, carried out for the purpose of the instant restoration of mobility in a joint. It is most often applied in the area of sacrum and backbone. This technique presupposes the application of some force to the patient’s body (Young et al., 2009). There can also be a click in a joint. From the other side, soft manual techniques can be defined as the general name for the group of methods represented by a complex of soft manual and kinesitherapeautical methods of various functional levels (Young, Mickener, Cheland, Aguilera, & Snyder, 2009). They include such progressive directions as craniosacral therapy, myofascioesthetics, a corporal psychotherapy, etc. Soft manual techniques are characterized by a number of features. According to Camarinos & Marinko (2009), the most significant of them are:
- Minimization of force and duration of an indirect influence. Their combination with the respiratory methods allows a patient to relax;
- A direct influence on the pathological symptoms – tension, hyper tone and pain are completely excluded;
- The methods are carried out only in the direction of drawing of the functional frustration. They do not cause unpleasant or painful feelings and are not forced;
- A special part is assigned to the development of the partner relationship with a doctor and the control of personal and emotional reactions of a patient (Camarinos & Marinko, 2009).
Thus, the healing effect of soft manual techniques consists in the fact that the affected muscles or sheaves do not stretch like in the classical manual therapy. The application of this method leads to the fast pain relief and removal of tension in the muscles and blocked joints (Camarinos & Marinko, 2009). Such a result is caused by the compliance with the natural neurophysiological principles.
A Professional Manual Therapy Practitioner
Only a qualified manual therapy practitioner can effectively implement the manual therapy techniques in practice. A manual therapist is, first of all, a qualified neuropathologist or orthopedist, as well as a master of manual treatment. The manual therapy practitioner thoroughly examines a sick human organ before the initiation of treatment. The consultation of the manual therapist begins with the survey of a patient, inquiry about the complaints and additional research, for example, X-ray. Only having received this test, a doctor can begin the therapy (Meakins, 2014).
A professional manual therapist is always connected to the medical institution. Several manual therapy sessions are necessary for the attainment of good results. In the course of treatment, the doctor observes a patient’s state of health. The profession assumes the existence of very sensitive and strong hands, as well excellent memory and ability to master the knowledge constantly. Besides, responsibility and confidence in own forces are essential in this profession (Meakins, 2014).
A professional manual therapy practitioner should graduate from a medical school and receive a degree in a neuropathology or orthopedic traumatology. Such qualifications can become the basis for obtaining the qualification of manual therapist supported by the corresponding diploma or certificate. However, the most important requirement is to possess the knowledge and understanding of the human physiology and anatomy, as professionally apply the methods of manual therapy.
Manual Therapy is Effective in the Treatment of Different Diseases
The case of Ms. X, a 45-year-old schoolteacher of music in elementary school is a bright example of the effective application of the manual therapy in the treatment of problems with a neck and spine. The woman has had an injury of a spine two years before (Lafond, 2008). She was diagnosed with dorsalgia and cervicalgia after having hit her head by a steel box. The patient felt pain in the neck, reported nausea and blurred vision. Besides, she complained of the limited motions, headaches, insomnia and inability to work. After the visit to her physician the following day, the teacher was sent to the X-ray, which did not show extraordinary problems with the neck. The doctor prescribed the physical therapy for the 1.5 years after the injury. Along with the exercise therapy, the patient also received the 3-months manual therapy, aimed at the cervical and dorsal parts of her body. Later, the spinal manual therapy was applied to the patient twice a week during an 8-weeks program (Lafond, 2008). Both the impulse and soft manual techniques were applied by the manual therapy practitioner. The report indicated that the manual therapy in combination with the exercise therapy had a positive effect on the improvement of the state of health of the patient with cervical traumas and unsteadiness (Lafond, 2008).
Thus, being one of the ancient methods of effective treatment of spine, neck, spasms in muscles and other disorders, manual therapy is widely used by the medical institutions all over the world. Moreover, it demonstrates effectiveness and positive results in the treatment of a vast number of diseases.