Manual therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy delivered with the hands of the therapist as opposed to a device or machine. In manual therapy, 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 consists of movements to joints and associated muscles. Other hands-on procedures such as massage, stretching, and trigger point therapy are components of manual therapy.
Patients with a variety of conditions can benefit from manual physical therapy. In fact, there is high-quality research that supports the use of manual physical 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 therapeutic exercise 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.