What is manual therapy?

A wide variety of treatments fall under the manual therapy umbrella, but the most common thread is that they all involve direct contact from the therapist, with or without the use of a supplemental tool. These techniques can be divided into two categories: soft tissue and joint. During soft tissue work, the therapist applies pressure to specific soft tissue areas to relax muscles, increase circulation and break up scar tissue. When a therapist performs joint techniques, they use measured movements to push, pull or twist joints to loosen, release pressure and improve flexibility and alignment.

What are the benefits?

Virtually all patients can benefit from having some type of manual therapy treatment integrated into their care plan. Manual therapy is most effective when delivered as part of a comprehensive care plan involving prescribed exercise, including a home exercise program. This type of care can effectively reduce pain and improve movement from carpal tunnel syndrome to low back pain. Your physical therapist may use spinal manipulation, joint and soft tissue mobilizations, dry needling, cupping, as well as other therapies in your care.

Related Services

Many physical therapy services are commonly used in combination. Learn more about our related services.