Physical therapists often use a variety of specific, hands-on techniques, called manual therapy, to improve mobility in joints and soft tissues. Once restrictions or other dysfunctions are identified, the physical therapist may use various manual therapy techniques to reduce pain, improve mobility, facilitate movement, increase soft tissue extensibility and restore function.
Any joint or muscle can actively be treated by manual therapy. The range of conditions vary and manual therapy could treat knee osteoarthritis, neck and back pain, SI Joint dysfunction, shoulder impingement, or even jaw pain.
Specific Techniques that may be used to relieve pain and injuries can include:
- Dry Needling
- Mobilizations and Manipulation
- Myofascial release techniques
- IASTM (Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization)
- Cupping (vacuum decompression)
- Active/passive range of motion
Hands-on physical therapy tries to reach and treat the source of the problem. This approach involves a specific manual change in the tissue or joints which is offer difficult or impossible to do alone in active exercise. Hands on approach is more likely to have a long lasting effect on improving joint mechiancs and reducing soft tissue tension.