Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is a highly effective therapy for relief and control of acute and chronic pain


Manual physical therapy from our skilled professionals at Physiocare Physical Therapy creates a sense of well-being and promotes relaxation, which helps to reduce stress. One of the most dangerous threats to good health is stress. In fact, living with anxiety and tension is associated with many serious illnesses. Soft tissue mobilization type of treatments have proven to be a real solution for people who need to manage the stress in their lives. It is also an essential form of treatment for many types of back pain and a plethora of other conditions. Unlike many other physical therapy offices which are not physical therapist owned and operated,  all physical therapy patients who will benefit from manual therapy will receive manual physical therapy.


Manual (hands on) therapy is an important aspect of most physical therapy programs.  It is important to use in conjunctin with stretching, strengthening, and aerobic conditioning to achieve the quickest recovery.  Manual therapy may include your Physiocare physical therapist stretching you, providing specific soft tissue manipulation of muscles, tendons, joint capsules, ligaments, scar tissue, Graston Therapy technique or Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM).  

Our physical therapists at Physiocare Physical Therapy are available for manual therapy without a doctor referral, since this is a direct access facility. Contact us today to get started on manual therapy and other forms of treatment that are available to treat any issues you may have.


Different types of manual therapy are administered to achieve different goals. In addition to reducing stress, manual therapy can improve circulation, relax tight muscles, prevent or relieve pain and dysfunction, reduce muscle spasm, improve joint mobility, decrease scar tissue restriction, decrease swelling, and rehabilitate, augment, maintain, and/or develop physical function.



Types of Manual Therapy

There are different types of manual therapy that can be administered, to achieve different goals. In addition to reducing stress, manual therapy can improve circulation, relax tight muscles, prevent or relieve pain and dysfunction, and rehabilitate, augment, maintain, and/or develop physical function.




Strain-Counterstrain When a back strain is too acute for other types of procedures, a strain-counterstrain massage can be used to set the muscles to a normal tension level, making progress toward healing possible. This technique targets postural and structural problems caused by abnormal neuromuscular reflexes. The condition creates tender points, which are very painful. Treatment is applied with mild, precise stretching in the direction of greatest comfort.


Soft Tissue Mobilization. The goals of soft tissue mobilization (STM) include moving tissue fluids, relaxing tension in muscles, and breaking up fibrous or inelastic muscles tissue. This therapeutic manual therapy is applied to the musculature that surrounds the spine. During STM manual therapy, the therapist uses deep pressure and rhythmic stretching. As in all treatment plans, other modalities are also used to reduce pain associated with the injury and to restore the tissue’s normal texture.


High Velocity, Low Amplitude Thrusting. The goal of high velocity, low amplitude thrusting massage therapy is restoration of gliding motions in joints. This doesn’t move a joint beyond its anatomical limit, though it is more aggressive than other techniques, such as joint mobilization. Because no structural damage is involved, there is not a pain increase after the treatment.


Muscle Energy Techniques. Muscle energy techniques (METs) in manual therapy aim to lengthen shortened muscles and mobilize restricted joints. The voluntary contraction of muscles is utilized during the procedure, against a precisely controlled counterforce that the therapist applies in a particular direction from a specific position. This is an active procedure, as opposed to passive. These techniques don’t typically stress the joint; patients are usually able to tolerate them well.


Joint Mobilization. Muscle spasms from a pulled muscle in the back often involve a restricted joint. Joint mobilization therapy loosens up a restricted joint and increases its range of motion. Joint surfaces are moved onto each other in a way patients cannot accomplish for themselves. These treatments are painless, as long the approaches to the barrier of the joint aren’t too aggressive.