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Manual Therapy

Physical therapists have expertise that is grounded in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, clinical medicine, and pathology, and use a comprehensive patient examination to identify patients for whom manual therapy is appropriate.
Manual therapy encompasses a variety of hands-on techniques including a “continuum of skilled passive movements to the joints and/or related soft tissues that are applied at varying speeds and amplitudes, including a small-amplitude and high-velocity therapeutic movement.1
Specifically manual therapy can include:
  • Joint manipulation/thrust manipulation
  • Joint mobilization (non-thrust techniques)
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Friction massage
  • Passive stretching of muscle, connective tissue or nerve
  • Manual traction
1. Guide to Physical Therapist Practice. Revised 2nd ed. Alexandria, Va: American Physical Therapy Association; 2003.