- Manual Therapy: Manual Therapy techniques are hands-on techniques, a multitude of which exists, and some that involves instrument-assistance, that a therapist implements per the patient’s presenting condition, to increase mobility of the joint capsule, tendon, and soft-tissue, in efforts to restore full functional range of motion. These techniques include:
- Joint Mobilization: A general form of manual therapy administered in graded intensity levels with progressive oscillatory amplitudes, and sometimes augmented with straps, belts, and/or blocks to optimize the therapist’s biomechanical leverage, to help elongate tight joint structures, and improve mobility and range of motion.
- Myofascial Release (MFR): A specialized and comprehensive manual therapy technique developed by John F. Barnes. MFR involves light-moderate sustained pressure/stretch to facilitate the connective tissue systems encapsulating the body’s respective organs to help relieve pain and restore joint/soft-tissue length, alignment, and mobility.
- TRIGGER POINT RELEASE (TPR): A type of manual therapy specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of focalized pressure and release. This technique involves the active participation of the recipient through deep mindful diaphragmatic breathing, while identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.
Trigger points are tight, painful, hypersensitive regions within a muscle fiber that can occur from acute and/or chronic repetitive overuse injuries, poor posture, or following surgery, that cause discomfort in peripheral regions of the body, resulting in diminished function and sub-optimal performance with daily, recreational, and sporting activities. For example, a trigger point originating in the neck can stimulate referred pain upwards into the jaw and cranium, as well as down into the shoulder, elbow, and upper extremity. Symptoms may be described as either sharp and intense, or a dull and diffuse ache.
- SELECTIVE FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT ASSESSMENT (SFMA): The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), is an organizational method to capture and rank the quality of postural and functional movement patterns against a standardized baseline. Unlike the FMS (discussed in the fitness & sports performance section), which is a risk management tool applicable to the asymptomatic population, the SFMA comprises a portion of the comprehensive evaluation to map whole-body movement for the symptomatic population, and is used to gauge the status of movement-pattern-related pain and dysfunction, as well as an opportunity to observe movement-pattern behavior before deconstructing these into impairments, measurements, and other isolated testing, respective to the ailing body region. The SFMA effectively separates the subconscious dysfunctional/asymmetric movements from the visible mobility, stability, and motor control restrictions, to enable the therapist to attack the root cause of your condition, thereby ensuring time-efficient treatment accuracy, restoration of healthy baseline function, and safe resumption of exercise, leisure, and sport-related activities.
- POSTURAL RESTORATION: Ironcore’s postural restoration/ergonomic training programs aim to assist clients in gaining a finer sense of awareness, understanding, and appreciation for how even subtle mobility/stability/motor control imbalances can result in disorganized, compensatory, faulty biomechanics and breathing patterns that result in pain, and overall dysfunction, and how best to recognize and correct these tendencies, to impart positive carry-over to daily, work, and leisure activities.
- DYNAMIC NEUROMUSCULAR STABILIZATION (DNS): Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization harnesses the brain’s primitive movement archetypes (i.e.: rolling, crawling, hinging, squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, twisting) to foster motor learning and help re-teach you how to authentically, reflexively, and rhythmically move the way human beings were intended and originally designed.
- THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE: During each treatment session, either prior to and/or after hands-on manual therapy, each client is directed through an appropriate series of corrective exercises targeting a specific dysfunction and/or functional exercises that most effectively carry over to one’s daily/leisure activities, as per the findings from the initial evaluation, to alleviate pain, maximize recovery, and optimize every day performance.
- NEUROMUSCULAR RE-EDUCATION: Neuromuscular re-education, encompasses techniques to help retrain the entire biokinetic system to function properly, as evidenced by patterns of communication between muscles and nerves that together fuel day to day activities such as showering, walking, and climbing stairs. These fundamental patterns can be severely impaired by acute injury and/or certain medical conditions. Thus, neuromuscular re-education aims to restore healthy movement via exercises that help improve body-spatial (proprioceptive) awareness. Excessive soft-tissue scarring and adhesions, weakness, and diminished mobility following injury, surgery, or an associated chronic condition, are elements that can impede coordination, reflexes/reaction time, and overall quality of life. For example, following an ankle sprain, the brain’s control center is prompted to formulate protective movement patterns to avoid further injury. And, it is during this period of time, that the connection between the brain and the ankle becomes weakened due to disuse. Neuromuscular Re-education works to re-fortify this connection.
- PRE/POST SURGERY THERAPY: The stronger and more mobile you are prior to surgery, the better your response will be to your upcoming procedure, ensuring a streamlined recovery process following surgery. Hence, Prehabilitation (“Prehab”), focuses on educating and preparing patients mentally and physically for the rigors of post-surgical therapy. During this period, your therapist works closely with your surgeon to tailor a program specific to your needs. Evidence-based hands-on techniques and exercise science, including appropriate symptom-modulating modalities as needed, will be implemented, to maximize outcomes and restore optimal functional capacity.
- GAIT TRAINING/BALANCE & FALL PREVENTION PROGRAMS: Unsteadiness and lack of confidence on your feet can make even getting out of bed in the morning a daunting and discouraging task. As many as 35% of adults 40 years and older in the U.S. experience balance deficits. Fortunately, there is treatment that can address these deficiencies and diminish your risk of falls. Gait and balance training are specific modes of physical therapy that can be administered in various manners on land and/or water, to help individuals improve their stability, spatial awareness, and overall ambulatory function, to minimize and/or prevent loss of balance and falls which can lead to secondary complications.
Gait and balance training may be recommended by your physician following an injury or illness that impairs standing and walking, such as: stroke and/or spinal cord trauma, low blood pressure, acute infection, peripheral neuropathy, pelvic/lower extremity fractures, and joint replacements/revisions. Collectively, these treatments will help strengthen joints and muscles to improve posture, coordination, balance, as well as increase cardiovascular conditioning, all to optimize independence with daily and leisure activities.