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.