Published On: August 11th, 2020Tags:

About the Author: Dr. Josh D'Angelo, PT

With all the various types of therapies that exist to treat pain and injury in today’s world, it can be difficult to know exactly what you are getting when you see a physical therapist. At MovementX, we place the highest priority on individualized, evidence based care that is both effective and efficient. Our carefully crafted sessions are composed of manual therapy, movement analysis, and exercise programming tailored to your body’s needs.

Manual Therapy

Physical therapist treating woman with neck pain with hands on therapy

Manual therapy is the act of using hands-on techniques to help you increase joint mobility, decrease pain, relax tight muscles, and engage the right muscles to move their best. Commonly referred to as “body work,” manual therapy includes soft tissue work (such as massage and myofascial release), joint mobilization, and manipulation (adjustments) to help your tissues move better.

Many professions perform a variety of soft tissue work. Physical therapists, however, are one of the few who have extensive doctoral training in these hands-on techniques specifically aimed at injury and performance enhancement. Manual therapy can be used in conjunction with exercise and posture instruction to help optimize your movement performance.

Some examples of manual therapy include:

Trigger point release, sports massage, myofascial release, cupping, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, spinal mobilization, joint manipulation “joint adjustment”, spinal manipulation “spinal adjustments,” and more.

Benefits of Manual Therapy Include:

  • Increased blood flow to tissues and joints
  • Decreased muscle spasm and soft tissue tension
  • Inhibition of central pain nerve pathways
  • Improved joint mobility and muscle flexibility

Exercise Programming

Man learning how to squat with his physical therapist after hip pain

There are endless options in the world today when it comes to types of exercise: CrossFit, Barre, HIIT, Zumba, Yoga, Olympic Weight Lifting, Powerlifting, Pilates, and so much more. This is where physical therapists come into play. Think of us as your exercise consultants:

We utilize our doctoral level training to detect limitations in your body that may be contributing to pain or dysfunction, and then utilize these findings to prescribe specific corrective exercises.

Let’s say you have low back pain and you do Zumba and Yoga three times a week. Sure, you’re exercising…great job! But how would you know if your lumbar spine is tight or your gluteus medius needs strengthening? Every body is different and has its own limitations based on our genetics and daily habits. With just a few focused and specific corrective exercises, you can go a long way to prevent and recover from pain and injury.

Additionally, some movements are best avoided after surgery or injury. Your physical therapist will help you understand what exercises are safe for you and which ones you may want to avoid while healing. Our doctoral training puts us in a unique position to get you safely back to your active lifestyle while taking your specific limitations into account.

Benefits of Corrective Exercise include:

  • Improved cardiovascular endurance
  • Improved energy levels
  • Increased blood flow to tissues and joints
  • Decreased muscle spasm and soft tissue tension
  • Inhibition of central pain nerve pathways
  • Improved joint mobility and muscle flexibility

Movement Analysis

Physical therapist analyzes a woman's thoracic mobility

The way our bodies move is composed of a complex system of joints, muscles, neural pathways, habits, environmental factors, emotions, genetics, and more. Our movement system dictates how we interact with the world; from the way we breath, to the way we sit, to the way we walk, to the way we pick up our grandchildren. Our job as physical therapists is to evaluate your movement patterns and postural habits to make sure everything is in perfect harmony.

Commonly known as body mechanics, physical therapists are experts in teaching you proper ways to bend, lift, sit, turn, jump, roll, skip, and run. Don’t let anyone tell you there is one perfect way to move. Every body is unique and has different levers and injury risk factors. Our doctoral level training allows us to evaluate your specific needs and teach you the best way to move for your body.

Whether you are training to run a marathon, learning to walk again after surgery, or looking for performance enhancement for your tennis career, the way your body moves matters.

Benefits of Movement Analysis include:

  • Sports performance enhancement
  • Efficiency of day to day activities and energy preservation
  • Improved posture
  • Injury prevention
  • Decreased muscle spasm and soft tissue tension
  • Inhibition of central pain nerve pathways

Meet the Author

Josh D'Angelo Physical Therapist with MovementX, Geriatric Wellness Physical Therapy

Dr. Josh D’Angelo is a geriatric and orthopedic physical therapist in Arlington, Virginia. He is passionate about the role physical therapy can play in solving some of healthcare’s biggest challenges. Josh uses his hands, hearts, and words to guide patients through the healing process. Josh’s love of utilizing movement to improve health and quality of life fuels his efforts every day. Fun fact, Josh is also CEO of MovementX!

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  1. […] Learn more about how PT’s treat here! […]

  2. Taylor Hansen January 25, 2021 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    My brother wants to try physical therapy since his knee is still hurting him after his injury last month. I liked that you said how movement analysis can help with energy preservation. He should see a physical therapist and find out what he can do to prevent the pain.

    • Dr. Keaton Ray, PT January 26, 2021 at 4:57 am - Reply

      Hi Taylor. We are sorry to hear your borther is having knee pain. We would be happy to speak with you about helping him if interested!

  3. Dr. Roshan Kumar Jha June 17, 2021 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this great post. very well written.

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