manual therapy

What is manual therapy?

Manual therapy involves a broad set of “hands-on” techniques performed by physical therapists, which includes joint mobilization and manipulation, stretching the muscles, passive movements and applying pressure to soft tissue. These sets of techniques are useful for treating musculoskeletal conditions by moving and mobilizing areas in the body. To learn about the most common styles of manual therapy as well as how to get started on your recovery journey, read the following article. 

Forms of manual therapy

There are many different types of manual therapy styles that a physical therapist can employ if you are suffering from chronic pain and discomfort. Prior to beginning treatment, a physical therapist will conduct a muscle and bone assessment, as well as a blood and supply assessment. This will help them pinpoint the manual therapy form best suited for your needs, which may consist of one or more of the following methods:

  • Joint mobilization — This physical therapy technique is the passive movement of the joint from an applied manual force in order to unload and take the pressure off the joints and increase mobility. There are five grades of joint mobilization, which incorporate different range of motion levels to treat specific musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Strain-counterstrain — This method involves passive body positioning of spasmed muscles and dysfunctional joints. A physical therapist will put gentle pressure on the most tender part of your body for about 90 seconds in order to ease tightness in the muscle, joint and connective tissue.
  • Soft tissue mobilization — This type of manual therapy is used to ease pain, reduce swelling, improve range of motion and restore overall functionality in patients suffering from musculoskeletal conditions. These results are achieved through the application of gentle pressure and stretching the deep fascia (a fibrous connective tissue in the body).  

Visit SOL Physical Therapy to start manual therapy today

If you are in need of manual therapy treatment, SOL Physical Therapy + Performance is here to help. Our team of expert physical therapists can help recapture your quality of life from chronic pain and discomfort, so that you can get back to your everyday routine. Since 1997, we’ve helped thousands of individuals like you find the lasting relief they’ve been searching for.

To get started and set up your initial appointment with our team, contact us today. We look forward to connecting with you!

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.

Request an Appointment