What is Manual Therapy?
Manual therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy delivered with the hands of the therapist as opposed to a device or machine. Physical therapists use clinical reasoning and their hands to apply pressure on muscle tissue and manipulate joints in an attempt to restore movement
and decrease pain caused by muscle spasm, muscle tension, and joint dysfunction. Mobilization and manipulation consist of movements of joints and associated muscles. Other hands-on procedures such as massage, stretching, and trigger point therapy are components of manual therapy.
The benefits of manual therapy are primarily achieved by influencing the human nervous system. A therapeutic touch applied in a skilled fashion can calm or facilitate the body's nervous system. The result of manual therapy is often an immediate decrease in pain sensitivity, improved muscle function, and improved mobility.
Who Benefits from Manual Therapy?
Patients with a variety of condition
s can benefit from manual physical therapy. In fact, there is high-quality research that supports the use of manual phy
sical therapy and exercise for the following conditions: low-back pain, spinal stenosis, neck pain, certain types of
headaches, shoulder pain
, ankle sprains, hip and knee osteoarthritis, and elbow pain
. In many cases, manual therapy combined with skilled instruction in an exercise program by a physical therapist can produce rapid pain relief and improvement in function.
At BSR Physical Therapy, we specialize in manual physical therapy. Our physical therapists
are either board certified or working towards board certification. We also have Fellows of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy with more advanced clinical reasoning & specialized skills.