What is considered manual therapy?

The word “manual therapy” can have a broad spectrum of meanings due to health providers’ professionality. You might know that chiropractors, osteopathic doctors, Physical Therapists, and orthopedic doctors do not follow an identical therapy rule. However, we can generally shed light on the meaning of manual therapy to get to the point,

Manual therapy is the knowledge of using hands by care providers to adjust, mobilize, order or manipulate the joints and soft tissue. It will diminish the pain and enhance the range of motion, improving muscle pain and swelling. It helps stabilize the body in general terms. It is practical in home health

In this treatment, the joints are moved in specific directions at different speeds. The practitioner puts pressure on different parts of muscles and joints with his hands to reduce the amount of muscle spasms and tension and improve joint dysfunction.

Manual therapy techniques

Manual therapy can be done in multiple ways. Here are some standard techniques to release the pain:

Soft tissue techniques

  • Massaging
  • Active Release Technique (ART)
  • Manual lymph drainage
  • Soft tissue, scar, and functional mobilization
  • Myofascial release
  • Strain counter
  • Feldenkrais
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Graston

Joint techniques

  • Joint mobilization
  • Mulligan techniques
  • Joint thrust
  • Muscle energy techniques
  • Traction
Manual Therapy Las Vegas

What is manual physical therapy?

Manual physical therapy is a specific form of physical therapy offered with the hands instead of a device or machine. Practitioners put pressure on muscle tissue with their hands and manipulate joints to reduce back pain. As a result, muscle tension, muscle spasms, and joint dysfunction will get better.

Acute and Chronic Back Pain relief

Manual therapy is useful to treat joints that lack suitable mobility and have certain musculoskeletal conditions. The mobility limitations can cause:

  • Discomfort
  • Pain
  • Alteration in posture, function, and movement


Manual physical therapy involves reducing muscle tension to help the patient get back to a natural way of movement without pain. In addition, manual physical therapy might cause back pain relief for patients who suffer from:

  • Joint problems, like sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Acute back pain from soft tissue injuries like back muscle strain


Although further clinical studies should be performed on all manual therapy areas, limited clinical data and patient reports prove that manual physical therapy can be practical in relieving back pain.


What Issues Can Manual Therapy Treat?

Manual therapy is usually performed for issues that stem from the spine, like acute and chronic back pain. But, the technique can be done to treat a wide range of issues. For instance:

  • Neck pain
  • Hand, wrist, elbow, or shoulder problems
  • Neck injuries
  • Accident-caused injuries
  • Hip, knee, ankle, or foot problems
  • Muscle spasms/ tension
  • Work-related injuries


Specialized Manual Therapy Techniques

Before beginning any manual therapy techniques, the therapist will normally perform an assessment of the patient’s body to ensure other complications won’t happen. For instance:

  • Bones
  • Muscles
  • Blood and nerve supply


On the basis of assessment results, the physical therapist may choose other techniques that include, but are not limited to, the elements below.


Soft Tissue Mobilization

It is often used to split apart fibrous muscle tissue and relax muscle tension. Namely, a therapist may implement soft tissue mobilization around scar tissue which stems from a back injury. This technique consists of repeated stretching and pressure close to the target musculature.


Joint Mobilization

It is used to loosen a restricted joint so that the range of motion is increased. The painless technique consists of slowing the speed and distance of motion into the barrier of the painful joint. Joint mobilization usually brings about lasting relief from muscle pain. Resting and temporary icing can ease it because the issue stems from the joint itself.



This technique concentrates on structural and postural issues, which are due to abnormal neuromuscular reflexes. This technique is performed in a gentle way. Therefore, therapists may prefer this technique instead of other painful procedures to treat delicate or acute back disorders.


Muscle Energy Techniques (METs)

METs use voluntary muscle contraction against a counterforce to move joints and lengthen muscles that are shortened. This technique is an active procedure where the operator does all the work. Muscle energy techniques are usually tolerated well by the patient and do not make the joint stressed.


What is integrative manual therapy?

Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT™) is a specific set of techniques, methodologies, and approaches that address pain, disease, dysfunction, and disability. IMT is defined as a health care process.

IMT provides a wide range of health care practices and achieves healing by considering the human body’s diverse systems, discovering dysfunction at the cellular level.

IMT practitioners use their hands in addition to other tools to diagnose and treat clients. IMT offers clients the opportunity to successfully pass the following levels:

  • Healing
  • Recovery
  • Rehabilitation


This method is used as an alternative to invasive procedures or pharmaceutical methods.


What is osteopathic manual therapy?

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment(OMT) is a set of techniques used by osteopathic physicians to diagnose, prevent, treat, and illness. The OMT enables the physician to move a patient’s muscles and joints by techniques the following techniques:

  • Stretching
  • Gentle pressure
  • Resistance


Osteopathic physicians come by special training in the following fields:

  • Musculoskeletal system
  • The intricate system of muscles, bones, and nerves


This advanced training provides information about how the body’s systems are interconnected and affect each other reciprocally.


What is Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment?

OMT can help people of all ages. The treatment can be used to:

  • Ease pain
  • Promote healing
  • Increase overall mobility


In addition to treating muscle pain, OMT also helps patients with other health problems such as:

  • Asthma
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sinus disorders
  • Menstrual pain
  • Migraines

Using the OMT, physicians manually apply a particular amount of pressure to different regions in the body. These techniques help you:

  • Treat tissue abnormalities
  • Restore muscle/tissue balance
  • Relieve joint misalignment
  • Promote the blood flow throughout the body


What does STM stand for in manual therapy?

Using stretching and deep pressure, Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM) can:

  • Break up rigid muscle tissue
  • Move trapped fluids in the inflated tissues
  • Relax muscle tension


STM can treat soft tissue injuries such as muscle strains and sprains. It is considered a type of manual therapy.


STM benefits

Soft Tissue Mobilization has an extreme impact on:

  • Relaxing tense muscles
  • Improving range of motion
  • Reducing scar tissue
  • Stretching and lengthening the fascia


Soft Tissue Mobilization is used for the following disorders and injuries:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Ankle sprains
  • Knee and hip pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Shoulder impingement


Types of Soft Tissue Mobilization

Stm has lots of types which includes:



It uses passive positioning to relieve tissue, muscle, and joint tightness. Your physician will identify pain points and hold the position from 90 seconds to 3 minutes.


Graston Technique

This Technique uses a steel tool to treat scar tissue. This technique leads to faster rehabilitation. Studies show the Graston technique is extremely helpful for low back pain, developing the range of motion.



This typical type of treatment uses a plastic tool to stimulate the breakdown of scar tissue, promoting regeneration and joint function. Scar tissue may cause:

  • Muscle tension
  • Limited flexibility
  • Range of motion restrictions


ASTYM is a highly effective treatment for chronic tendonitis and bursitis as it reduces inflammation.


Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

This type of soft tissue mobilization uses manual movements along with anatomical lymph pathways which improve fluid circulation. This type of therapy is useful for:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Swollen legs

And so many other disorders.


Manual traction

Manual traction is a practical type of manual therapy for patients who suffer from backache. This decompression therapy helps relieve spine tension.

It is an applied pressure that lasts for a few seconds, taking pressure off the lumbar discs and stretching the spine.


Trigger Point Therapy / Myofascial Release

It is a soft tissue manual therapy to treat immobility and chronic muscular pain. Myofascial release concentrates on easing the tension and tightness in the different areas of pain. It is also known as “deep tissue work”.


Cross friction

This type of manual therapy is to keep mobility within the soft tissue structures of the tendon, ligament, and muscle, preventing scars from forming. It is a specific deep tissue massage, applied transversely to the target location.

Cross friction massage is useful for reducing pain and regenerating connective tissue, influence the healing process.

Can Manual Therapy Offer Pain Relief for Acute and Chronic Back Pain?

In some musculoskeletal diseases, manual therapy can be beneficial in rehabilitating joints that lack proper mobility and range of motion. This restriction can result in discomfort, pain, and changes in function, posture, and mobility. Manual therapy entails restoring mobility to tight joints and lowering muscular tension to return the individual to more natural, pain-free movement. Therefore, manual therapy may give back pain treatment for individuals suffering from chronic back pain caused by joint disorders like sacroiliac joint dysfunction and acute back pain caused by soft tissue injuries like a back muscle strain or a strained back ligament. Although significant clinical trials on all aspects of manual treatment have yet to be conducted, limited clinical evidence and patient experiences confirm the belief that manual therapy can be useful in alleviating back pain in certain people.

As a collective, manual physical therapy attempts to relax stiff back muscles and constrained joints to reduce back pain and promote flexibility. Manual physical treatment procedures, in general, involve the following types of movement:

  • The application of pressure to soft tissues, such as muscles, in soft tissue work, including massage. Soft tissue pain can be relieved with this pressure, which helps relax muscles, promote circulation, break up scar tissue, and break up scar tissue.
  • Mobilization/manipulation is the twisting, pulling, or pushing of bones and joints into position with measured motions of varied speed (slow to fast), force (soft to powerful), and lengths. This can aid in loosening tight tissues around a joint, reducing discomfort in the joint and surrounding tissue, and improving flexibility and alignment.

The following page discusses manual physical therapy approaches for relieving low back pain caused by muscular spasms, muscle strain, and joint issues.

Manual Therapy near me 

Manual therapy includes different services for various people. If you need it for family members at home, Health & Care Professional Network in Las Vegas provides you services. We have served the residents since 2006. Give us a call at (702) 871-9917 for further information or get a skilled nurse serving your needs. 

You can get information about other Home Health services.


  1. paul says:

    Is it helpful for the disabilities?

  2. Daddy-00 says:

    The skilled nurse’s massage is pain relief and I feel better with it.

  3. Willow says:

    Yes, I totally recommend their manual physical therapy techniques that helped me a lot.

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