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The Role of Visceral Manipulation in PT

Visceral manipulation is not familiar to many people, including physicians.  It is one treatment modality in physical therapy that can be very effective in helping with many conditions including post surgical scarring (ie. c-section, appendectomy, hysterectomy) as well as abdominal problems such as constipation or bloating.

The organs, fascia and ligaments in our stomach are not something most of us think about on a daily basis. Fascia is a band or sheet of tissue (think saran wrap) that attaches, covers and separates our internal organs.  When all is well, everything in our stomach slides, glides and rotates on each other like it should and our body functions normally.  At times in life, however, events such as surgeries, injuries, infections, food intolerances, chronic bad posture and pregnancy can cause inflammation and impair these movements.

Over time, this can result in adhesions/scar tissue will attach to either the organs, ligaments or fascia.  This can slow down the passage of food waste through your digestive system and can cause constipation, bloating or even shoulder/back/hip/sacro-iliac or abdominal pain.  Visceral manipulation is a gentle, manual technique that can release the adhesions created by these surgeries allowing the organs to move freer again which can decrease pain and return the body back to normal function.