Osteopaths use osteopathic techniques (OT), which are classified as a manual therapy, these build off a foundation of soft tissue therapy (STT).
Joint mobilisations are used to treat a joint and its associated structures and tissues. These include muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, menisci, bursas and nerves. All maybe effected by movement.
The degree of movement is classified by the Maitland Joint Mobilization Grading Scale.
The scale grades the range of motion (ROM) a joint is moved through by a therapist. The scale ranges from grade 1 to 5.
Grade I – Small amplitude rhythmic oscillating mobilization in early range of movement
Grade II – Large amplitude rhythmic oscillating mobilization in midrange of movement
Grade III – Large amplitude rhythmic oscillating mobilization to point of limitation in range of movement
Grade IV – Small amplitude rhythmic oscillating mobilization at end of available range of movement
Grade V (Thrust Manipulation) – Small amplitude, quick thrust at end of available range of movement
Neuromuscular Technique (NMT)
Neuromuscular techniques cover a range of techniques designed to influence the nervous system.
Some techniques use pressure from the hands, or therapy tools. The pressure is used to apply tension to tissues to create change in them, and their associated structures.
Other techniques utilise the release of tension. This is achieved by moving the body until there is a palpable change in tension.
One of the benefits of neuromuscular techniques, is that they allow an osteopathy to flow between the different variations. As well as seamlessly integrate them into a patient’s treatment in conjunction with other techniques.
All neuromuscular techniques, regardless of variation, are intended to directly influence the nervous system to bring about change to the body, helping it return to balance.
Muscle Energy Technique (MET)
Muscle energy techniques utilise a muscles own activation, or the activation of its functional antagonist (opposing muscle).
They are commonly integrated into stretching to increase a joints range of motion. But they can be used without a stretch phase to calm the nervous system, and restore balance.
As with neuromuscular techniques, the techniques allow an osteopath to flow between the different variations. As well as seamlessly integrate them into a patient’s treatment in conjunction with other techniques.