Sports Medicine

Grand Traverse Manual Therapy

TC Manual Therapy, owner and bodywork professional. Penny Nelson, ATC, specializes in sports therapy, myofascial release, dynamic stretching and physical rehabilitation.

In depth, one on one sessions.

Equine and canine physical therapy.

Located on East 8th St in Traverse City at Murphy Chiropractic.


Care options

Rates below are by the hour. Longer sessions will be charged accordingly.

Call to book your appointment today: (231) 944-6398

Sports Dynamic Stretching & Mobilization $75

Kinesiotape per site $15

Myofascial Release $75

Reflexology $65

Equine Body Work $95

Canine Body Work (office) $65

Canine Body Work (off site) $95

Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.

Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.)

Myofascial Release looks at each patient as a unique individual. One-on-one therapy sessions are hands-on treatments during which a multitude of Myofascial Release techniques and movement therapy can be applied. Independence through education in proper body mechanics and movement is a goal, along with self treatment instruction, enhancement of strength, improved flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.

Dynamic Sports Stretching

Dynamic stretching incorporates active movements of muscle that bring forth a stretch not held in the end position.  The opposite of this is static stretching, consisting of stretching in which the position is held for a given amount of time. 

The body has many mechanisms that need to be activated and stimulated.  When you put your body through a series of stretches while in motion, it sends signals from the brain to the muscle fibers and connective tissues in that area to prepare to do work.  Your body’s temperature begins to rise and blood is pumped to the working areas of the body.  Getting good blood flow to the area of the working muscles is very critical in order to supply the area with energy needed to do work.  Along with getting proper blood flow to the working area, the muscle fibers and connective tissues will gain more flexibility and range of motion.  Many studies have shown that dynamic stretching can help increase power, improve flexibility, and increase your range of motion.

By doing dynamic stretching after your warm-up and before your workout, you are going to feel stronger and work up to a heavier load.  Dynamic movements are very sport and movement specific.  Among the numerous benefits is greater range of motion and flexibility, as well as improved performance in your chosen sport.


Kinesiotaping is a rehabilitative taping technique designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion as well as providing extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting. Latex-free and wearable for days at a time, Kinesiotape is safe for populations ranging from pediatric to geriatric, and successfully treats a variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurological and other medical conditions. By targeting different receptors within the somatosensory system, Kinesiotape alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. This lifting affect forms convolutions in the skin thus increasing interstitial space and allowing for a decrease in inflammation of the affected areas.

Kineostape is applied based upon your needs after evaluation. With the utilization of single “I” strips or modifications in the shape of an “X”, “Y” or other specialized shapes as well as the direction and amount of stretch placed on the tape at time of application, Kinesiotape has the ability to re-educate the neuromuscular system, reduce pain and inflammation, optimize performance, prevent injury and promote good circulation and healing, and assist in returning the body to homeostasis.


Based on the theory that feet are the window to the body, reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary therapy that works with legs, hands, face and ears. It can enhance the natural healing mechanisms of your body by stimulating more than 7,000 nerve endings in one session.

Reflexology is a treatment process that restores the body’s natural balance, leading to a feeling of deep relaxation after a treatment.

There are many stresses in everyday life today, so taking time to calm your body is a must. The relief of stress is just one of the advantages of receiving reflexology treatment.

In a reflexology session pressure is applied to specific points on your feet that relate to where you may be suffering issues.

There are 10 zones to the body and different areas of the feet relate to each zone. When this pressure is applied, a message is sent to your central nervous system and an overall relaxation sensation happens which helps organs function at their best.

Aside from relaxation and stress management, reflexology can have a number of other benefits too, including:

  • Cancer – reflexology is regularly used on those suffering with cancer. It is known to reduce symptoms caused by chemotherapy including nausea, pain, constipation and diarrhea. It can also help with sleep and anxiety.

  • Arthritis – reflexology has also been used to treat for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, with patients reportedly feeling up to 40% less pain.

  • Hypertension – a common risk of heart disease, reflexology is thought to assist with the reduction of hypertension.

  • Anxiety and depression – the two most common mental health problems. The relaxation side of reflexology can extend to the mind to calm and aid any signs of depression and anxiety.

  • Multiple sclerosis – this is a disease of the nervous system and it’s suggested that reflexology decreases the fatigue felt with multiple sclerosis, and that it may reduce the tingling sensations experienced.

  • Circulation – receiving foot reflexology is known to improve your blood circulation to vital organs. This in turn can result in quicker healing and regrowth of any damaged cells.

  • It can also be useful during pregnancy and even reduce the risks of post-natal depression.

Reflexology stimulate nerve functions that help your body increase your energy levels, circulation, central nervous system, prevent migraines, clear urinary infections, sleep disorders and depression.

Note: If you suffer with varicose veins, ingrown toenails, bruises, cuts, foot fractures, athlete’s foot or a foot sore then you should avoid receiving reflexology treatment.

Canine Physical Therapy

Physical therapy for canines, or canine rehabilitation, adapts human physical therapy techniques to increase function and mobility of joints and muscles in animals. Animal rehabilitation can reduce pain and enhance recovery from injury, surgery, degenerative diseases, age-related diseases, and obesity.

The goal of physical therapy for animals is to improve quality of life and decrease pain. Techniques used in this discipline can also be applied to horses, cats, birds, rabbits, and other small animals.

The benefits of physical therapy for animals have been widely accepted in the veterinary community for many years. However, clinical practice of physical therapy for animals is a relatively new field in the U.S. In Europe, equine and canine physical therapy have been widely recommended and used for at least the last fifteen years. In the last three to five years, the veterinary community in the U.S. has seen a large growth in physical therapy practices for animals.

Massage is used in animal physical therapy to relieve tension in muscles and stimulate muscle development. Massage helps speed up recovery from injuries and surgery by increasing blood flow to the area and relieving muscle spasms. Massage is used widely in canine physical therapy and can be helpful in improving the comfort of animals affected by nearly all medical conditions.

Passive range of motion (PROM) is accomplished through flexion and extension of the joint to its limits. PROM is used to encourage animals to use the full range of motion of the joints. This therapy technique can significantly increase an animal's range of motion and decrease joint pain, improving its quality of life.

Hydrotherapy techniques use water as a tool to improve muscle and joint function in animals. These techniques include but are not limited to swimming and underwater treadmill. Swimming allows an animal to work several muscles at once while stretching further than walking on land would allow. This helps to build muscle and endurance and is a technique that minimizes stress on the joints.

Equine Physical Therapy

Horses are naturally compelled to move freely at all times, which makes injury recovery a delicate process. Equine physical therapy is designed to relieve chronic pain, enhance performance, and help prevent injuries that often occur in horses. An individually tailored plan may consist of rehabilitative exercises, massage, and muscle stimulation.

The physical therapist’s background in anatomy and biomechanics are put to use to identify the cause of hard-to-pinpoint soreness, opening up ways of speeding the healing of wounds and soft tissue injuries. Specialized techniques, such as myofascial release and sports massage, are very useful in helping a horse realize his athletic potential or to recover from injury.

Being a human physical therapist permits identifying and addressing rider issues at the same time as helping the horse. A rider might be one-sided in their muscular development, or perhaps one leg is shorter than the other. In such cases, the horse almost always ends up being similarly uneven or crooked, and that lack can lead to lameness and discomfort. A personally designed program of stretches and exercises to help the rider become more balanced will also help the horse.