Physical Therapy soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization, when applied specifically and when combined with appropriate therapeutic exercise, can be highly effective in terms of pain management. Physical Therapy soft tissue mobilization is a form of manual therapy and is an integral part of many programs at CoreActive Therapy such as the treatment of overuse injuries, chronic muscle pain due to trigger points, and the prevention of scar pain due to adhesions. At CoreActive Therapy, physical therapy soft tissue mobilization is as important for serious athletes as it is for those recovering from pelvic or back pain during routine daily activities.
A lesser known area of manual physical therapy is visceral mobilization. Visceral means "pertaining to an organ" and manipulation means "to move." If the body’s organs and surrounding connective tissues and their attachments to the skeletal system are not moving efficiently, then reduced blood flow and poor function can result.
The goal of visceral mobilization is to support or restore this essential organ and tissue motion and function in order to reduce or eliminate pain and dysfunction. Back pain, pelvic pain, painful period symptoms, constipation, and infertility of mechanical origin all may benefit from visceral mobilization.
Visceral Manipulation is especially beneficial following:
- Surgery (to reduce or eliminate scar tissue/adhesions)
- Trauma/impact to chest or abdomen or pelvis
Evidence for visceral mobilization is largely at the case study level. However, the body of research surrounding the enteric nervous system and specifically abominal and pelvic organ regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters which control key motor and mood functions, is growing. A few examples:
Post visceral manipulation treatment MRIs show increased activity at proprioceptive and body regulatory centers: the cerebellum & thalamus. (2006 Wetzler)
Chronic back pain research indicates that the addition of visceral work to “usual” manual therapy improves quality of life, physical ability & energy (Tamer et al J Back MSK Rehab 2016)
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