The Concept of Manual Therapy


Modern doctors are capable of treating patients using medical therapies, physical therapies, or psychological therapies. Where medical therapies fail, physicians opt to use physical therapies as significant remedies for treating certain musculoskeletal problems (Clar, Tsertsvadze, Court, Hundt, Clarke, & Sutcliffe, 2014). The concept of manual therapy has existed for several decades, but the knowledge about its actual definition, its purpose in the medical practice, and its application in the practice has been minimal. This essay is a comprehensive overview of manual therapy.

Meaning of Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is a form of natural physical therapy, where the physiotherapist uses hands-on therapeutic solutions to deal with body injuries or musculoskeletal health complications (Clar et al., 2014). Manual therapy, also known as manipulative therapy, is a form of physical treatment that uses various sophisticated techniques, by the use of hands to heal certain physical problems (Braun & Hanchard, 2010). These various physiotherapeutic techniques serve to deal with different conditions associated with the physical parts of the body such as the joints, the muscles, or the backbones.

Examples of Manual Therapies and their uses

Manual therapies can be in form of massage therapies, mobilization therapies, or manipulation therapies (Clar et al., 2014). Massage manual therapy is a form of physical therapy used by massage therapists and applied on the soft body tissues to ease pain, relax muscles, or improve blood circulation (Clar et al., 2014). Mobilization manual therapy is a therapy remedy that the physical therapists or osteopathic therapists apply on the body joints by twisting, pulling, and pushing body parts to heal the joints (Clar et al., 2014). Finally, manipulation therapy is the application of pressure on the affected areas to enhance flexibility and reduce pain.

Their Education, Scope of Practice, and Treatment Claims

Education about manual therapies often includes various areas of training and education. The training ranges from the means of maintaining personal safety, proper living habits, physical exercises, to the activities that cure medical conditions (Braun & Hanchard, 2010). The scope of the practice of education on manual therapies includes training on the manner in which people can perform their tasks safely, protect their body joints to avoid injuries, use supportive devices, or on how people can deal with personal health problems ((Braun & Hanchard, 2010). In terms of treatment claims from the perspective of different practitioners, manual therapies can heal arthritic problems, heart problems, musculoskeletal injuries, and joint problems.

Case Study of a Successful Manual Therapy- Postural Restoration

A female-aged forty years reported pain in multiple areas. She complained of acute pain in the lumbar spine, within the left hip, in the cervical spine, across the lower extremity, and within the right shoulder (Spence, 2008). She claimed that the initial remedies such as chiropractic care and physical therapies failed. By December 2005, the patient visited the Postural Restoration Institute, where she noticed that she had a bilaterally rotated anterior pelvis, poor stability of the lumbar-pelvic section, and restrained chest mobility (Spence, 2008). In the Postural Restoration Institute, the physiotherapists subjected the patient to several manuals and non-manual exercise plans for six months (Spence, 2008). She later restored her posture.


Manual therapy is a form of physical therapy which the physiotherapists and other physicians who perform physical remedies, use to deal with corporeal problems. Massage therapies, mobilization therapies, or manipulation therapies are three major forms of manual therapies that physicians use therapeutically to deal with certain body conditions or injuries that cannot heal through medical therapies. Patients with joint problems, blood circulation problems, musculoskeletal problems, neuropathic conditions, and other physical problems, require the three different manual therapies.


Braun, C., & Hanchard, N. (2010). Manual therapy and exercise for impingement-related shoulder pain. Physical Therapy Review, 15(3), 62–83.

Clar, C., Tsertsvadze, A., Court, R., Hundt, G., Clarke, A., & Sutcliffe, P. (2014). Clinical effectiveness of manual therapy for the management of musculoskeletal and non- musculoskeletal conditions: systematic review and update of UK evidence report. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 22(12), 4-34.

Spence, H. (2008). Case study report: postural restoration: an effective physical therapy approach to patient treatment. Techniques in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management, 12(1), 102-104.

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