If you are receiving therapy for an injury or a chronic condition that limits your mobility, your physical therapist may use manual therapy techniques to alleviate pain and improve your function.
Manual therapy refers to hands-on techniques designed to facilitate ease of movement and improve muscle and joint function.
Manual therapy can be used to:
- Improve muscle flexibility
- Increase range of motion
- Mobilize soft tissue and joints
- Reduce swelling and inflammation
- Increase circulation
- Control pain
Some examples of injuries or conditions that manual therapy can treat include muscle strain or spasm, ligament stiffness, pelvic floor disorder and limited range of motion from chronic conditions, such as arthritis.
Depending on your injury and the goals of your treatment, your physical therapist may combine manual therapy treatments with other forms of treatment, such as therapeutic exercises.
Some physical therapists at Sutter Health also offer Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), techniques that use tools along with manual therapy to help break down scar tissue and restore the tissue’s natural, pre-injury structure.