young female getting her shoulder pain examine by physical therapist

Manual Therapy

In manual therapy, a “hands-on” treatment method, a trained physical therapist works on stretching, joint mobilization, and soft tissue work.

What is manual therapy?

Encompassing a broad group of techniques performed by trained physical or occupational therapists, manual therapy treatments may include moving the joints in specific directions to regain movement (joint mobilizations), muscle stretching, and exercises designed to improve muscle activation. Specific soft tissue techniques are also used in manual therapy to enhance the mobility and functioning of tissues, nerves, and muscles.

The natural healing effects of human touch are an essential aspect of our treatment philosophy. In addition, adding manual therapy to exercise is proven by research to result in better outcomes and improved function.

Is manual therapy the proper treatment?

It may seem that manual therapy is similar to other treatments, such as massage, chiropractic, or other osteopathic therapies. While some interventions may look similar, the key difference is in the approach for promoting healing and reducing pain. Manual therapy has two primary goals, to improve and maintain mobility and reduce pain, often allowing for easier performance of exercise and activity.

Manual physical therapy is based on careful, ongoing examination and assessment of your movement patterns, including range of motion restrictions and compensatory movements that can prevent healing or limit function. Research has shown that the most effective treatments involve customized manual therapy interventions combined with specific exercises to restore function.

physical therapist helps strengthen womans knees

Manual therapy can improve mobility, reduce pain, and restore normal functioning of the soft tissues and joints throughout the body, caused by:

What to expect

Your first physical therapy appointment is about creating a personalized treatment plan based on your health history, diagnosis, and goals. Here’s what you can expect at your first physical therapy appointment:

Your first appointment will last about an hour. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

If applicable, bring your physician referral or prescription, insurance card, paperwork, ID, and co-payment.

At your appointment, we’ll do an initial evaluation and discuss your care plan.

*Services are not available at every location. Visit our Locations page for more details.

Physical therapy insurance & payment options

We work with most major insurance providers. Although coverage will vary from plan to plan, many physical therapy, occupational therapy and speciality therapy programs are covered under insurance. Learn more about our insurance coverage and self-pay options for physical therapy.

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