Manual therapy has a long history
within the profession of physical therapy and physical therapists have greatly
contributed to the current diversity in manual therapy approaches and
techniques. Mechanical explanations were historically used to explain the
mechanisms by which manual therapy interventions worked, new research reveals
intricate neurophysiologic mechanisms are also at play and the beneficial
psychological effects of providing hands-on examination and intervention should
not be ignored.
International Federation of Orthopedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT) defines manual
therapy techniques as: "Skilled hand movements intended to produce
any or all of the following effects: improve tissue extensibility; increase
range of motion of the joint complex; mobilize or manipulate soft tissues and
joints; induce relaxation; change muscle function; modulate pain; and reduce
soft tissue swelling, inflammation or movement restriction."
How It Works
may include moving joints in specific directions and at different speeds to
regain movement (joint mobilization and manipulation), muscle stretching,
passive movements of the affected body part, or having the patient move the
body part against the therapist’s resistance to improve muscle activation and
timing. Selected specific soft tissue techniques may also be used to improve
the mobility and function of tissue and muscles."
- Trigger Point Therapy
- Active Release Techniques: A practitioner determines where adhesions are through touch, the practitioner then couples a patient's active movement with his/her touch.
- Assisted Active Range of Motion (AAROM)
- Passive Range of Motion
- Lymph Drainage
- Stretches (muscle, neural tissue, joints, fascia)
- Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Joint Manipulation: A passive, high velocity, low amplitude thrust applied to a joint complex within its anatomical limit* with the intent to restore optimal motion, function, and/ or to reduce pain.
- Joint Mobilization: A manual therapy technique comprising a continuum of skilled passive movements to the joint complex that are applied at varying speeds and amplitudes, that may include a small-amplitude/ high velocity therapeutic movement (manipulation) with the intent to restore optimal motion, function, and/ or to reduce pain.