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Manual Medicine

Manual medicine refers to the art and science of correcting musculoskeletal conditions using the hands or hand-assisted instruments to alter joint motion and function. There are many professions which practice under the umbrella of manual medicine or manual therapy. The most notable ones are listed on this website and ready to be included in the membership of EMMCA.

Because Estonia is a relatively small country which has only quite recently regained its independence after 50 years of isolation and suppression, it has had very little exposure to various forms of manual medicine which became commonly practiced in the west during the Soviet occupation. As such and because of the relatively small population, the EMMCA intends to create one singular designation which will be recognized and regulated. This is the “M.M.D.” designation which denotes and represents Manual Medicine Doctor.
Qualified Chiropractic, Osteopathic, Naturopathic or Allopathic doctors as well as masters or doctorate level physiotherapists which have become first licensed in other countries are invited to submit their academic achievements and to provide the EMMCA with evidence of their training. According to our visio all M.M.D.’s in Estonia will have subspecialties in their respective areas of expertise such as Chiropractic Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine etc. It is also the intention of EMMCA to lobby for support of limited pharmaceutical prescription and injection rights for all M.M.D.’s in Estonia.

Manual Medicine, Chiropractic, Naturopathy and Osteopathy are well-established and well-proven treatment techniques. Even Hippocrates claimed that a dislocated vertebra has to be manipulated or adjusted in it’s position and movement ability.

In the fields of manual, chiropractic and osteopathic medicines, reversible functional disorders of the spinal column or movement-fixated joints are treated by using only the hands (“Chiros”: hand) or hand-held/directed instruments. There are distinct differences in each of these professions which are outlined in their respective areas on this website.

To treat the spinal vertebra or peripheral bones which have become restricted in their movement, an frequently efficient method is by adjusting the joint range of motion gently by hand. Joints with restricted mobility can either be treated by manipulation or mobilization. When mobilizing a joint, the blockage is relieved with gentle and frequently repeated stretching or neurologically facilitated resisted exercise and relaxation movements. The manipulative method, however, can often lead to an immediate and complete restoration of mobility only by means of pressurized, rapid, low amplitude hand movements which are applied to the spine or affected joint.

In some cases, following manipulative treatment, for a day or 2, patients will experience some discomfort or even pain of a different kind in the treated or related areas. This is usually due to some mild irritation of the treated joint capsule or surrounding soft tissues. When this occurs, it always dissipates and is considered normal in those cases. Complete recovery can take a few days to a few months depending on the severity and chronicity of the condition. The astute manual medicine physician will usually combine a number of therapies to gain the most comprehensive and best result. These therapies can include, exercise rehabilitation prescriptions, physiotherapy modalities such as ultra sound, laser, radio wave, infra-red etc.soft tissue treatments such as myofascial release, myobrasion, Trigenics, Bowen therapy, muscle taping, spinal disc decompression, TENS, electrovolt muscle stimulation etc.

Before applying therapy, x-rays are often taken to rule out underlying or causative organic pathological disease processes and to see deteriorative or joint degenerative changes such as those found in cases of osteoarthritis, spinal disc herniations and degenerative joint disease. X-rays are also extremely useful to the manual medicine practitioner in providing them with information as to adverse structural changes in the spine which will lead to accelerated further deteriorative changes if not corrected.

If a condition requires application of manual or physical medicine procedures for it’s correction, then this is exactly what is needed to bring relief and restored function to the presenting patient.

This post is also available in: Estonian, Russian