What can manual therapy treat?

What can manual therapy treat?

October 7, 2023

What can manual therapy treat?

PT 360° Sports Medicine & Spine Therapy

What Can Manual Therapy Treat?

Manual therapy is a group of hands-on techniques used by physical therapists to address various symptoms and conditions. Manual therapy, when done correctly, can be highly effective at relieving pain and enhancing function. Nonetheless, it must be understood that manual therapy is not a one-size fits all solution.

Joint Manipulation

Joint manipulation is a manual therapy technique designed to increase range of motion, reduce muscle spasms and stretch fibrous connective tissue. This can be done using specific techniques and may help treat conditions such as headaches, shoulder impingement, back pain or tennis elbow. Manipulations can be performed by a variety of health professionals, such as chiropractors, American-trained osteopathic physicians and physical therapists. Patients may even opt to do it themselves for self-care purposes.

Soft Tissue Work

Soft tissue work is an integral component of physical therapy. It can effectively treat conditions such as muscle strains, sprains and herniated discs. Muscles, tendons and ligaments are all soft tissues in the body that can become rigid, tight and cause pain when overused or injured. This could be caused by stress, disuse or improper exercise techniques.

After an injury, scar tissue can develop in the injured area and cause pain and inflammation. Furthermore, this tissue may limit range of motion and muscle activation. Soft tissue work helps break up adhesions and reduce tension to promote healing and restore function. This is accomplished by manually manipulating muscles, tendons, and ligaments in order to increase blood flow to the affected area.


Traction is a minimally invasive treatment option that helps decompress the spine after herniated discs or ruptured vertebrae. This reduces pain and allows patients to move around more freely. Physical therapists can utilize either manual or mechanical traction to treat their clients. Manual traction involves strapping the neck and head onto a harness which is connected to an apparatus that applies pulling force.

Range of Motion

Range of Motion is the extent to which a joint can move in different directions. This range may be restricted due to injury, disease, or lack of mobility due to inadequate rehabilitation exercises. Maintaining a healthy range of motion for your body is essential for overall wellbeing. A limited range of motion can impact strength and flexibility, leading to muscle imbalance and poor posture.

Manual therapy, an age-old form of treatment that improves joint and soft tissue mobility, utilizes techniques tailored towards specific areas. The process takes into account biomechanical, neurophysiological and psychological elements in order to produce optimal outcomes. Therapy involves measuring speed (from slow to fast), force and distance (known as amplitude) when manipulating bones, joints and tissues. These methods aid in increasing mobility while relieving pain, stiffness and tension.

Pediatric Physical Therapy

Children with physical impairments or developmental delays can benefit from pediatric physical therapy. This specialized form of therapy helps improve strength, flexibility, and motor skills in young patients, allowing them to reach their full potential and lead a more active lifestyle.

If you’re in need of physical therapy services, don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment with our team of specialists.

Request An Appointment

Please fill out this form and we will contact you about scheduling.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.