Benefits of Manual Therapy Newsletter

Benefits of Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is one of the many techniques that physical therapists use to help patients alleviate pain, restore function, and get back to doing the things they love most. Manual therapy helps our PTs use less-invasive techniques to help individuals get treatment for pain, injuries, and chronic conditions that can stem from overuse, surgeries, or even natural aging. Take a look at some of the many benefits of manual therapy to see why you should consider physical therapy for your aches and pains.

What is Manual Therapy?

Manual therapy is a hands-on approach that is designed to help address muscle and soft tissue concerns, posture, and joint discomfort. During the course of treatment, your physical therapist will work with you to evaluate and implement a comprehensive treatment program that is designed around your unique needs and goals. Manual therapy is an important component of a comprehensive physical therapy treatment program that can help your physical therapists to identify where the pain stems from and also improve pain and mobility to get you back to your life.

Benefits of Manual Therapy for Patients

Relieve Pain

One of the most important benefits of manual therapy for patients is that it helps them relieve pain. Pain may be debilitating and can sap the joy of everyday activities for many folks, which is why it's so important that patients get treatment for their pain when it arises so they can continue to enjoy the things they love most. Manual therapy helps to alleviate and relieve pain at the source.

Increase Mobility

The next benefit of manual therapy is that it focuses on helping individuals increase their mobility. Through the use of gentle and precise movements, our physical therapists will work with you to help you improve joints and soft tissue mobility. Manual therapy can have an immediate improvement in mobility and help you make quick gains getting you back to what you want to do.

Reduce Soft-Tissue Inflammation

Manual therapy techniques may also help to reduce soft-tissue inflammation. Through the use of joint mobilization and soft tissue therapy, manual therapy techniques help to encourage blood flow to the area and may reduce pain that can stem from inflammation. As blood flow is sent to the injured area, vital nutrients are delivered which help promote and encourage the healing process.

Create Relaxation

Manual therapy soft tissue mobilization can also help to create a relaxation response from the muscles which may tense due to the underlying stress from an injury or the stiffness that can be from the injury.

Improve Function

Manual therapy is also beneficial in helping patients improve and restore function once the pain has been alleviated to the afflicted area.

Conditions That Can Be Treated with Manual Therapy

Physical therapy and manual therapy techniques can help patients seek treatment with over 100 conditions, but some of the most common conditions that are treated with manual therapy fall into several categories which include, shoulder pain, lower back pain, knee pain, migraines/headaches, thoracic spine pain, jaw pain, hip pain, and ankle pain.

Shoulder Pain

Some of the most common shoulder pain conditions that can be treated with manual therapy include impingement syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, and frozen shoulder.

Lower Back Pain

Some of the most common lower back pain conditions that can be treated with manual therapy include spinal stenosis, disc herniation, and facet joint restriction.

Knee Pain

Knee pain impacts millions of individuals every single year. Some of the most common knee pain conditions that can be treated with manual therapy include patellofemoral dysfunction, post-surgical knee replacement, and iliotibial band syndrome.

Migraines / Headaches

Headaches and migraines can range from a slight level of discomfort to debilitating pain which can make everyday activities difficult. Manual therapy can help to alleviate some of the underlying tension and stressors that could be causing migraines and headaches.

Thoracic Spine Pain

Spinal issues can make walking and moving difficult, which is why manual therapy can be an effective treatment option for thoracic spine pain which can include rib restriction and disc herniation.

TMJ Dysfunction

Individuals who find it difficult to chew or yawn due to the pain, clicking, or locking sensation in their jaws may find relief with manual therapy. Manual therapy can be an effective treatment option for individuals who experience discomfort in their jaw or who have limited function while eating or talking.

Hip Pain

Manual therapy can help patients with a variety of hip pain conditions including hip bursitis, myofascial hip pain, hip impingement, and post-surgical hip replacement.

Ankle Pain

Some of the most common ankle pain conditions that can be treated with manual therapy include ankle sprains, strains, and arthritis.

Manual Therapy Uses Evidence-informed Techniques

Manual therapy uses evidence-informed techniques to treat soft-tissue injuries and joint limitations with the goal of improving the efficiency of movement and alleviating pain. Take a look at some of the evidence-informed techniques that are used to help patients alleviate pain and get back to doing the things they love most through manual therapy techniques.

Joint Mobilization

Joint mobilization consists of using skilled graded forces to move joints and increase motion.

Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)

Soft tissue mobilization focuses on assessing and treating soft tissue to benefit nervous, musculoskeletal, lymphatic, and circulatory systems.

Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization focuses on the use of instruments that are designed to relieve stiffness, improve range of motion, and reduce pain.

Alleviate Aches and Pains with Physical Therapy

Manual therapy is one of the many important components and methods that our licensed and trained physical therapists use to help patients overcome their aches and pains and get back to living their life to the fullest. Our physical therapists perform comprehensive evaluations and assessments to create treatment programs that are designed to help patients based on their unique needs and goals. Find a nearby physical therapy clinic and schedule an appointment today to see how physical therapy can help you get back to doing the things you love most!


  1. Nguyen, Uyen-Sa D T, et al. “Increasing Prevalence of Knee Pain and Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis: Survey and Cohort Data.” Annals of Internal Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 6 Dec. 2011,,years%20or%20older%20(5).
  2. Bishop, Mark D, et al. “What Effect Can Manual Therapy Have on a Patient's Pain Experience?” Pain Management, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2015,