Manual Therapy, or manipulative therapy, is a specialized form of physical therapy which involves the use of hands for diagnosis and treatment of pain and/or dysfunction.
At the first appointment, patients are taken through a specific series of tests to determine the cause of pain and/or dysfunction. This information is used to create a personal treatment plan for each patient that will involve manual therapy and exercise. Manual therapy for treatment may include:
- Soft tissue mobilization – to prepare muscle, tendon, and fascia for treatment by decreasing pain and guarding. Techniques may include massage, myofascial release, and contract-relax as indicated by patients’ needs.
- Joint mobilization – this includes active movement of the joint by the therapist while the patient is relaxed and comfortable. This allows the therapist to move the joint passively to restore normal movement pattern.
- Therapeutic Exercise – each patient who receives manual therapy is also instructed in a personalized exercise program to reinforce normal joint mobility and muscular coordination, endurance, and strength. The exercise program will include exercises to be performed in the clinic and at home.