Relieve Back Pain With The Touch Of Manual Therapy!

Potential clients frequently call CORE and ask about our approach to solving back pain with Physical Therapy. They want to know what makes us different than the traditional insurance based clinics in town. We tell them about our hands on approach, called manual therapy, that we use to quickly get them out of pain and promote proper alignment. Then we progress to mind body exercises using our Pilates and Gyrotonic equipment to improve strength and posture. The exercise is great, but the one on one time with the PT for manual therapy is where the transformation begins.

Then I get asked…What is manual therapy?

To answer that question, I want to tell a story…

It all started with a professor that was certified in manual therapy and was super passionate about his work and hands on skills. The New Orleans Saints and the minor league hockey team (NOLA Brass) were always around getting treatment from him. He was the first PT that I had ever known that did not use ultrasound, electrical stimulation and other modalities to treat pain, only his hands and therapeutic exercise. It was great to have Dr Bob as a professor and he instilled that passion to get good with my hands.

After graduating from PT school I had an immediate interest in manual therapy and its quick results for back pain relief. This lead me to study different manual therapy approaches, including Goeff Maitland, Brian Mulligan and John Barnes. I was certified in Maitlands approach after a 5 year program, which is very focused on one specific joint or structure considered to be the issue. Then I found Myofascial Release with John Barnes, while starting my Gyrotonic certification and after my Pilates certification was complete. This was a profound step in my career, teaching me to look at the body as a tree first, holistically. Then if needed, after shaking the tree up, I could focus on the leaves of the tree with Maitland’s and Mulligan’s work. So all of the sudden, I was equipped with a whole body manual therapy approach and exercise approach with Pilates and Gyrotonic.

So manual therapy can vary from the very subtle myofascial release and cranial-sacral work (which is absolutely amazing) to the more aggressive deep release work, to joint mobilizations and manipulations. Everybody is different and the treatment plan using manual therapy is individualized to each client’s needs and goals.

So after a thorough evaluation, manual therapy is used all over the body as needed to improve flexibility, while reducing pain drastically. With pain reduction, the body is now ready to move in its new postures and that is where Pilates and Gyrotonic is extremely helpful when combined with manual therapy sessions.


So this story from school to present defines not only manual therapy, but our entire approach including manual therapy, Pilates and Gyrotonic. Cheryl and I have been committed to this approach since 2002 and enjoy teaching it to others, both clients and students alike.

If you or someone you love are in PT elsewhere without getting manual therapy, or if the PT is sharing you with other clients at the same time, then it may be time to give us a call at 512-215-4227.

Are you interested in learning if manual therapy can start your healing process?

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My youngest son loves doing manual therapy on people just like his dad!

Stephen Dunn

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