Manual therapy is the use of hands-on techniques to evaluate, treat, and improve the status of neuromusculoskeletal conditions. The goal of manual therapy includes pain reduction, improved ROM and flexibility, and improved function. Techniques include joint mobilizations, manipulations, myofascial release/soft tissue massage, and passive range of motion/stretching:
- Mobilization, which uses slow, measured movements to twist, pull, or push bones and joints into position. This can help loosen tight tissues around a joint and help with flexibility and alignment.
- Manipulation, which uses high velocity, low amplitude thrust techniques to spinal segments and extremity joints for improved mobility, pain reduction, and neurophysiological responses.
- Myofascial Release/Soft Tissue Massage, which applies pressure to the soft tissues of the body such as the muscles. Massage can help relax muscles, improve circulation, and ease pain in the soft tissues.
- Passive Range of Motion (PROM)/Stretching, which is the movement of a joint or soft tissue typically through a pain-free range without exertion by the subject, usually done by an examiner who moves the person’s body part manually.