Manual therapy is a general term that encompasses a variety of techniques performed by physical therapists to improve musculoskeletal dysfunction including range of motion deficits, flexibility issues, and joint/soft tissue pain. Manual therapy includes:
- Soft tissue mobilization (commonly referred to as massage) of muscles and connective tissue to improve blood flow and flexibility.
- Manipulation is a high velocity/low amplitude force of a joint that can often result in a cavitation or an audible pop that can desensitize symptoms and improve range of motion.
- Mobilization is a lower velocity force of a joint that can help desensitize symptoms and cause muscular relaxation.
Manual therapy can often be used for many diagnoses to decrease symptoms to allow for improved tolerance to exercise to improve overall function.