Manual therapy is a primary modality of physical therapy. It is a skilled application of hands-on techniques by skilled clinicians to manipulate soft tissue, joints, and nerves. Manual therapy is important for multiple body systems, because hands-on manipulation can be very effective to decrease pain and tissue tension, improve quality of movement, and guide a patient through their exercises.
For example, let’s say you are having stiffness in your hip. During your sessions in the clinic, your therapist may employ manual therapy techniques like joint and soft tissue mobilization and/or massage to improve your range of motion and decrease stiffness and discomfort when you walk.