Treatment Essentials

Manual Therapy

Are You Looking for a Safe, Non-Invasive, and an Effective Way to Treat Pain? Try Manual Therapy

Are you in recovery from a surgical procedure or recent injury? Have you been diagnosed with a condition that’s causing you aches and pains? If so, manual therapy is a safe, non-invasive, and effective way to treat your pain.

Our Southeast Michigan physical therapists are highly trained in helping you relieve your pain while also improving your physical function. To find out more about our services and how manual therapy can benefit you, contact HealthQuest Physical Therapy today!

What is manual therapy?

Also referred to as “hands-on therapy,” manual therapy is a specialized treatment method performed by physical therapists without the use of intimidating equipment or machines – it is performed by manipulating joints and soft tissue with nothing more than the hands.

This effective treatment method is used as a way to relieve pain, reduce swelling, decrease restriction, improve range of motion, and mobilize joints. At your initial appointment, one of our Southeast Michigan physical therapists may prescribe this treatment to you.

Is manual therapy a safe method of treatment?

In one word, yes! Manual therapy is a non-invasive way to achieve the results you want, without the need for any harmful drugs or surgical correction. There are a variety of techniques associated with manual therapy that work to move your tendons, ligaments, and joints in a very specific way that generates pain relief and healing.

Our Southeast Michigan physical therapists are highly-trained medical professionals who understand both the capabilities and limitations of your body. Many of our patients even notice relief after just one manual therapy session!

Types of manual therapy:

There are several different types of manual therapy. The most common include:

  • Manual traction – Manual traction is done by applying gentle pressure to certain areas of the body, in order to stretch it out. One of the most common areas to receive manual traction is the neck; however, our physical therapist may also recommend it for different areas of your body. When manual traction is performed as a treatment for neck pain, our physical therapist will have you lie down on your back while they gently stretch the spaces between your vertebrae. This is done by taking the base of the skull in one hand and chin in the other while applying slight pressure. Manual traction treatments are generally done for 5-10 seconds at a time.
  • Massage – Massage treatments performed by a physical therapist are a bit different than those you might receive at a spa. They are meant to be more therapeutic in nature, rather than relaxing. At HealthQuest Physical Therapy, we use therapeutic massage treatments as a way to manipulate the soft tissues. This is done through deep pressure and rhythmic stretching, allowing our physical therapist to find and mobilize areas of your body that are heavily restricted. By doing this, our physical therapist is able to break up any scar tissue or adhesions in the affected body part(s).
  • Joint mobilization/manipulation – If you have recently sustained an injury, you may be experiencing severe pain. This pain typically the result of a restricted joint. Fortunately, our Southeast Michigan physical therapists are trained in loosening restricted joints by applying pressure at a low velocity. Joint mobilization and manipulation techniques are safe, effective, and painless. They also allow for the breakdown of the affected joint’s barrier, resulting in an improved range of motion.
  • Lymphatic drainage – Lymphedema is a condition that causes swelling in the arms and legs, due to a blockage in the lymphatic system. It is typically a concern for those who have undergone complex surgical procedures. If you are suffering from lymphedema, one of our experienced physical therapists can perform manual lymphatic drainage by applying light pressure (similar to a massage) to the affected arm or leg, in order to encourage the drainage of fluid, or “lymph.” Lymphatic drainage is typically followed by compression, in order to reduce swelling.

Get pain relief today with manual therapy!

At our Southeast Michigan physical therapy offices,- we have the most dedicated team of physical therapists in the area. Our physical therapists are movement experts and will work hard to design you an individualized treatment plan for your specific needs that gets you moving again. Some targeted exercises may focus on improving strength and balance, while others may focus more on improving your range of motion. All exercises and treatments will be based around the same goal – improving your overall function.

Manual therapy can become a crucial part of your recovery, simply by contacting HealthQuest Physical Therapy today. Don’t suffer from aches and pains any longer! Get started on your path toward long-lasting relief today.

Joint Mobilization

Massage Therapy

What is therapeutic massage?

If you are an athlete, you know the amount of dedication that it takes to be good at your sport. Whether you’re preparing for a marathon, competition, recital, or big game, the amount of training and preparation is extensive. You have to train your muscles and tissues to perform in the ways you want them to, which can ultimately lead to pain and soreness. This is a minor setback, but it doesn’t change the fact that it temporarily impedes your training process.

Therapeutic massage is commonly used in Southeast Michigan athletes whose muscles may have experienced extended periods of overuse. It helps in loosening up any tight areas and making recovery quicker and easier – so you can get back on track to accomplishing your end goal. Contact HealthQuest Physical Therapy today to figure out how therapeutic massage can help you!

Your soft tissues and you:

Your muscles are made up of many small, thin fibers that contract on command, working together to mobilize your muscle groups. These muscles are attached to your bones by connective tissues, called tendons, enabling them to move your body parts. Your bones are then connected by tough bands of connective tissue, called ligaments, for added stability. Your ligaments are covered by yet another connective tissue called fascia. All of these connective tissues can be referred to as “soft tissues.”
Soft tissues help in mobilize your joints and give your body the strength it needs to perform tasks. Your soft tissues provide you with the ability to do many things; however, they also limit you from pushing yourself too far – even if that’s your intention. These can be damaged by certain stresses, especially those caused by the repeated actions within athletic activity. A tear in the tendon can lead you with a significant amount of swelling and inflammation. Many athletes also experience sprains, which is caused by a ligament stretching farther than intended.

These injuries may occur in response to the intensity of your sport, but they can also occur if muscles simply are too tight before you begin one of your workouts. Therapeutic massage can help with this, as it loosens up the muscles, and may even prevent some of these injuries from occurring.

How therapeutic massage will improve your performance:

Therapeutic massage can be extremely beneficial for athletes, both before and after their training process. Your physical therapist may also recommend other types of massage to complement your physical therapy treatments, including:

  • Deep tissue massage. This type of massage loosens up your muscles and their connective tissues.
  • Myofascial release. This type of massage creates room for tissues that may be trapped by distortions or fascial adhesions, freeing them from constriction.
  • Swedish massage. This type of massage relaxes any stiff or tense muscles you may have, allowing for increased blood flow and fluid drainage from swollen areas.

Therapeutic massage promotes tissue healing, so you can get back to your sport of choice as quickly as possible. Sports massage therapy can also be used before you even begin your rigorous exercise regimen, targeting the specific muscles and tissues that see the most use for your sport. By working to mobilize, loosen, and relax these muscles before you train, you can help them stay limber throughout the process. This will decrease your risk of strains, sprains, and ruptures.

Your soft tissues work hard to make sure your body is functioning correctly, so it is important to help optimize their health and function. If you are an athlete in Southeast Michigan looking for therapeutic massage services, request an appointment from HealthQuest Physical Therapy. Our Southeast Michigan physical therapists are happy to discuss our massage service with you and how it will benefit your physical performance. Your sport is important to you – we want to help get you back in the game!



Phonophoresis is a therapeutic modality that our Southeast Michigan physical therapists use to relieve inflammation in affected muscles, tendons, ligaments, or arthritic joints. With this treatment, high-frequency sound waves are employed through ultrasound technology, as a way to administer medication or another healing chemical to the injured body part through the skin. If you’d like to learn more about phonophoresis and how it may benefit you, contact HealthQuest Physical Therapy today.

How does phonophoresis work?

Many people ask, “does phonophoresis hurt?” – The answer is NO! When your treatment is being conducted, your physical therapist will gently move the ultrasound wand over the affected area. It is likely that you will feel nothing at all, but in some cases, you may feel a slight warming sensation as the treatment is being applied.

The medications used in phonophoresis treatments are anti-inflammatories, aimed at relieving pain and reducing swelling. The sound waves from the ultrasound technology result in the medicine being transmitted through your skin for absorption, so it may reach the affected tissues underneath.

Some common medications used for phonophoresis treatments include:

  • Hydrocortisone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Salicylates
  • Lidocaine

Phonophoresis can also be used to treat a variety of conditions affecting the soft tissues. Some of the most common conditions that our Southeast Michigan physical therapists recommend this treatment for include:

  • Arthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)

Schedule an appointment to learn more:

If you are interested in learning more about phonophoresis treatments and if it may be a beneficial treatment for you, contact our Southeast Michigan physical therapy office today! At HealthQuest Physical Therapy, we are dedicated to providing each of our patients with the best treatment plans for their specific needs. If you are suffering from soft tissue damage or inflammation, schedule your appointment to begin finding relief and recovery!


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