Manual therapy is the skilled “hands-on” treatment provided by a physiotherapist. Treatments may include moving joints in specific directions and at different speeds to regain movement (joint mobilization and manipulation), muscle stretching, passive movements of the affected body part, or having the patient move the body part against the therapist’s resistance to improve muscle activation and timing. Other specific soft tissue treatments such as Muscle Energy Techniques, Myofascial and Visceral Release and massage are also used to improve the mobility and function of tissue and muscles.

The effects of manual therapy are: improve tissue extensibility; increase range of motion of the joint complex; mobilize or manipulate soft tissues and joints; induce relaxation; change muscle function; modulate pain; and reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation or movement restriction.