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Manual Therapy


Manual therapy is a hands-on approach used within a course of treatment to address muscle and soft tissue pain, joint stiffness, posture, and to assist in efficient movement. And at Spooner Physical Therapy, we’re using specialized techniques to help each patient thrive.

What Is Manual Therapy?

Manual therapy includes specific techniques used to treat musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction and can assist in providing a multitude of benefits. Manual therapy techniques assist in restoring fluid motion to the affected joint or soft tissue with the focus on better overall movement.

Physical therapists and hand therapists incorporate manual therapy to assist with with a patient, restoring mobility, improving motor control, reducing pain, and improving efficiency of movement. Manual therapy includes skilled techniques such as soft tissue massage, joint mobilization and manipulation, lymphatic drainage, and passive and assisted functional movement. The benefits of manual therapy go beyond the skilled treatment to the qualities of physical touch and connection with a patient that contributes to healing. In an outpatient physical therapy setting, manual therapy coupled with exercise that restores and elevates efficient movement is the most effective way to improve a patient’s quality of life.

How Does Manual Therapy Benefit Patients?

Manual therapy is customized to each patient’s individual condition, making it a very personalized form of treatment. Based on a careful examination of a patient’s condition, manual therapy is incorporated into the treatment plan according to their body’s specific needs.

There are many techniques that physical therapists and hand therapists use when caring for patients, and each technique is uniquely beneficial. For example, depending on the patient and condition massage may reduce inflammation, improve flexibility and mobility of muscle and fascial increase mobility of adhesions between soft tissues, or provide muscle extensibility. Similarly, mobilization and manipulation of joints modulates pain and improves mobility. Manual therapy is used in conjunction with physical exercise to restore function to the treated area and entire body.

Because manual therapy is very hands-on, it allows for a combination of art and science to benefit the patient. Utilizing a variety of techniques allows each patient to achieve successful movement patterns and make progress toward their individual health goals.

What Manual Therapy Techniques Are Used At Spooner Physical Therapy?

Physical therapists and hand therapists learn manual therapy techniques in their academic training and are licensed to perform these techniques. Therapists at Spooner Physical Therapy have hundreds of hours of continuing education and many have advanced manual therapy skills and additional certifications. Our therapists have learned skills from some of the best manual therapists in the country. Therapists at Spooner are also trained in a variety of trigger-point dry needling techniques, cupping, and techniques of augmented soft tissue mobilization.

Our therapists use specific and skilled manual therapy techniques combined with progressive exercise to improve a patient’s movement and overall function.

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