Why manual therapy?
Manual therapy uses primarily hand-on active and passive intervention techniques, and includes mobilization and manipulation. Manual therapy is most effective when combined with therapeutic exercise and other rehabilitative activities.
Manual therapy intervention is used to decrease pain and improve range-of-motion and flexibility to stiff joints and muscles. Once pain has been reduced and joint mobility improved, it is much easier for a patient to regain optimal and efficient movement patterns and restore maximum function. Mobilization and manipulation are key components of manual therapy and consist of skilled, passive movements to joints and associated soft-tissue structures. Mobilization involves small amplitude, non-thrusting, oscillatory movements imparted to the patient by the therapist. Manipulation involves small amplitude movements imparted to the patient but also includes a thrust component. Other hands-on procedures such as massage, stretching, and deep pressure are components of manual therapy.
Who will benefit?
Individuals with a variety of disabilities and orthopaedic conditions that result in disorders of the moving parts of the body can benefit from manual Physical Therapy. In fact, there is high-quality research evidence supporting the use of manual Physical Therapy in the following conditions: acute and chronic low-back and neck pain, muscle-tension headaches, hip and knee osteoarthritis, and shoulder pain. In many cases, manual therapy combined with therapeutic exercise can produce rapid pain relief and improvement in function.