Manual therapy refers to the hands-on treatment techniques used by physiotherapists.
These techniques may include a physical assessment where your physio will test joint movements, strength, sensation and reflexes. Movements are often assessed as whole patterns (walking, standing, bending etc) and your physio may screen these movements to look for dysfunction.
Treatment techniques used by a manual therapist may include:
- various massage techniques (such as myofascial and trigger point releases)
- joint mobilisations (passive and active mobilisation or mobilisation with movement)
- muscle and nerve stretches
- dry needling (or acupuncture)
- various taping techniques (rigid taping or kinesiotaping)
- rehabilitation exercises that correct muscle and postural alignment
Rehabilitation is centered on specific exercises to enhance function and improve motor control around the joints. It helps to strengthen and refine movement patterns which helps to offload damaged tissue resulting from injury or surgery.