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Manual Physical Therapy

Neck of Steel CindyNNeck of Steel Cindy Posts: 1,064
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Chronic Pain
I have been referred for "Manual" physical therapy to try to help with pain from muscle spasms and tension, and I wonder if any of you have experience with this.

I have severe muscle spasming in my neck and shoulders after 2 surgeries, and this has gone on for years. At this point I have a very difficult time even holding my head up without support, and it is felt that a manual physical therapist may be able to help.

I had 2 sessions of this from a therapist in another state, and did find it temporarily beneficial. My problem is finding someone qualified in my own state. I have had years of traditional therapy, including exercise, heat, ice, stim, and a few minutes of massage. This is completely different, and apparently it is most effective with hands on of at least 40 minutes at a time. I'm excited to give this a chance.

Have any of you had success with Manual Physical Therapy, including joint mobilization techniques?

Check out this link to read more about MPT.
Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!


  • It is surprising that no one has come forward who has used manual physical therapy. I want to keep this at the top, so here is a "bump" to keep it going.

    I'm truly excited about this type of treatment, and it would be great to hear real life stories from some of you. So please feel free to tell the good, the bad, and the ugly associated with MPT.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I have only had physical therapy, from someone, once.

    [Yes - I do understand that there is a significant difference to what you are talking about, but I think we get scared of being physical after hurting for so long.]

    That was from my wife, whom I directed to hit places on my back and spine. She is very good at what she does for myself.

    I also have a QiJong master - who is very physical in his approach. I went to him for about 3 months. At the start, it was every 2 to 3 days. It was intense and he told me how to move and what to exercise and how much. He was extremely adamant, about myself being willing to help myself and do what I could.

    In the end - I am still working through the path that he pointed me on, and I am continuing to enjoy benefits.

    I will also say that my body rebels at times, but it has been over a year, since I had a major flare-up.
  • Neck of Steel --

    I have had a couple of rounds of manual therapy through the years by a great P.T. My suggestion would be to call the outpatient physical therapy dept at your local (larger) hospital and ask about therapists trained in manual therapy. Someone will know someone good if they do not offer it there. Just remember, like everything else, it is not a quick fix and you will several sessions before you really start having results. Also need to do the recommended exercises even after your sessions are completed. But I loved manual therapy. Good luck!
  • I'd prefer the automatic kind please :) After two years of this I find my motivation and drive to be best left to others.

    Sorry couldn't resist the pun.
  • therapist did some of her treatment manually. She did manual traction on me for my lumbar spine. I thought that it felt great at the time. Unfortunately I did not have any long lasting results from it. Then she started to put me on a traction machine as she was busy and thus she could slap me on there and then see another patient at the same time. I wish you all the best in checking out this method.
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I've had my first two or three of these for ongoing muscle issues in my neck and shoulders after having first a 2 level ACDF in 2008 and 7 months ago a 4 level posterior cervical fusion (C4-T1). I can tell you it is actually a little uncomfortable while they're doing it because it makes a deep tissue massage look like child's play. But it's totally worth it to me. It has really helped my range of motion in my neck and also greatly reduced the amount of muscle spasms I'm having in both neck and shoulder. Be prepared though; it will make your muscles pretty sore for a couple of days after it's done.
  • I think I've found someone, about an hour and a half away, but I'm going to try him out and see if he is as good as the person I saw in Colorado.

    Centurion, thanks for your comments. I try to get my husband to "hit me" on my spine and shoulders too, but he isn't very good at that. What is QiJong? My body rebels sometimes too, ha ha, but it is my stubbornness that causes the kind of rebellion that gets me in trouble. :?

    dkbens, yeah-this isn't a quick fix. I'm told I will require several months of hands on therapy, and then occasional sessions after that. From what I can tell, there are traditional physical therapists who dabble in MPT, and then there are those who are great at it. I'm told I need someone with the COMT credentials after their name. The key to success is finding someone who is aggressive enough to get the job done, and someone willing to spend the time working on me rather than just putting me on a machine.

    Kris, you are too funny. I'm with you regarding the automatic thing--it would be so much easier to not have to do the work involved. But no work equals no results.

    Karen, it drives me crazy when therapists are paid to be treating you but they schedule multiple patients at the same time. I've had really good therapists who took the time to work with me, and really bad ones who just had me come to use their gym.

    Greg, your statement is so true.
    I can tell you it is actually a little uncomfortable while they're doing it because it makes a deep tissue massage look like child's play
    The two sessions I had were not pleasant at all. I think this is an instance of no pain, no gain. But I was encouraged because after the 2nd one I had a little better range of motion in my neck. If 2 sessions could give me that, what will several months worth of treatment do for me? I'm excited to get started again.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Ya Manual Physical Therapy is good but i think yoga is best.

    Yoga is very slow process but very fast effective..What is special think in yoga ..the special think in yoga is it rejuvenate the cell by give excess of oxygen by stretching ..So guys try yoga !

    URL removed by Authority member Cindy (Neck of Steel). It is a violation of forum rules to advertise.
  • Physical therapy is very helpful. It can relieve our muscle pain and neck pain.

    URL removed by Authority member Cindy (Neck of Steel). It is a violation of forum rules to advertise.
  • So today I had session number two with the local therapist. Man oh man does it hurt while she is working on me, but I am already seeing some benefits. She is pressing on tender spots that I had no idea were related to my neck, explaining that she needs to go to the root of the muscle in order to get long term benefits. For example, below the clavicle/sternum area almost into the cleavage line for we women, there are "ribs" that need to be manipulated, simply by pressing on them in a certain way they move and align themselves. So she started with that area, then worked her way higher up to the collar bone area where she found some really deep spots that made me want to jump from the table. But, I have instructed her to be aggressive and not to hold back because of the pain she inflicts. I want to get the best results I possibly can in the number of visits I can do before the insurance runs out. After working the collarbone area, she moved toward my neck (front and back), and then moved on to the rhomboids. Then we were out of time, I had developed a headache, and I was happy to be finished for the day. Now, about 6 hours later, I am amazed at the mobility she freed up, and I can feel a difference in the muscle knots. I think I'm on to something with this type of treatment!

    I remember Ron stating something about him finding that deep tissue massage works wonders for him. This is similar to deep tissue, but involves a whole bunch more.

    I'll keep posting results in case anyone is interested. I've been 4+ years without getting much relief, and I can't help but be excited about it.

    Sorry for the rambling. Like I said, I do have a headache and just don't even want to attempt correct sentence structure and grammar tonight. I hope I still got the message across.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!

  • I have been having cervical joint mobilisation from my physiotherapist.
    Once I got my diagnosis of cervical spondylosis throughout my neck and cord compression at C3/4 and C4/5 he seemed reluctant to continue. Once I had seen my neurosurgeon and he got the ok to continue, I am seeing him once a week now.

    He does what I call his 'jiggling'. I lie on his couch on my back and he very gently jiggles my neck. I believe it is to free up the facet joints and keep them mobile. He also works on my muscles and sometimes stretches my neck, which really feels good as it eases the pain.

    I am hoping that this will help to avoid the need for surgery.

    I am interested to hear how you got on Cindy.
    Hope that you got help too.

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