Manual therapy

Manual therapy is defined as a clinical approach utilizing skilled, specific hands-on techniques, including but not limited to manipulation/mobilization, used by the manual therapist to diagnose and treat soft tissues and joint structures for the purpose of modulating pain; increasing range of motion (ROM); reducing or eliminating soft tissue inflammation; inducing relaxation; improving contractile and non-contractile tissue repair, extensibility, and/or stability; facilitating movement; and improving function.

Manual therapy techniques are aimed at relaxing tense muscles and restricted joints in order to decrease pain and increase flexibility. In general, manual therapy techniques employ the following types of movement:

Soft tissue work, including massage, which applies pressure to the soft tissues of the body such as the muscles. This pressure can help relax muscles, increase circulation, break up scar tissue, and ease pain in the soft tissues.

Mobilization/manipulation, which uses measured movements of varying speed (slow to fast), force (gentle to forceful), and distances (called 'amplitude') to twist, pull, or push bones and joints into position. This can help loosen tight tissues around a joint, reduce pain in a joint and surrounding tissue, and help with flexibility and alignment.

Osteopathy. Whole or "total" body adjustment. It emphasizes the interrelationship between structure and function of the body and recognizes the body's ability to heal itself; it is the role of the osteopathic practitioner to facilitate that process.