Techniques and Outcome of Manual Physical Therapy 

Many patients arrive at Lake County Physical Therapy expecting to receive a lot of packs, ultrasound, and instructions on how to complete a series of exercises. These modalities are often justified, and most therapists agree that training is necessary to restore muscle imbalances. 

Manual physical therapy restores mobility rather than directly manipulating the muscles through exercise. However, physical therapist Aurora approaches the restoration of function with a unique perspective. They are interested in knowing why a muscle is not functioning correctly and view exercise not as the driving mode of recovery but as a complement to manual therapy. 

It is a specialized treatment plan to deliver with the hands instead of a machine. Our physical therapists use their hands to apply pressure on muscle tissue and manipulate joints to decrease the pain caused by joint dysfunction or muscle spasm. 

What Is Manual Therapy?

There are many definitions and misconceptions about manual therapy. The most accurate description of manipulative therapy is manipulative therapy performed by a therapist. When used in the proper context, it is a useful tool in many medical practitioners’ physical therapy list. Many professionals use manual therapy, including physical therapists, registered massage therapists, and chiropractors.

When you refer to a physical therapist Aurora for manual therapy, you can expect many types of manual therapy in their assessment and treatment plan. Manual Therapy Techniques

Active Assisted Range Of Motion (AAROM)

A client is made to move a joint through their available range of motion while the therapist assists in improving their range of motion.

Passive Range Of Motion (Prom)

A therapist moves a client’s joint through the available range of motion without assistance from the patient.

Passive Stretching

A therapist will place a muscle in a lengthened position and provide a sustainable hold for a long time.

Soft Tissue Massage

The therapist manipulates muscles, tendons, ligaments, or fascia with their hands, forearms, or elbow. Therapists will use different pressures and depths to act on the soft tissue.

Manual Traction

It uses distraction force on a joint, which allows decompression or gapping to occur in the joint space.

Joint Mobilizations

It includes unique passive movements that work directly at your joint surfaces through different velocities and amplitudes.

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)

It involves using specific tools to remove soft tissue and myofascial restriction.

Trigger Point Release

Trigger points are palpable nodules that create taut bands in the muscle. The trigger point release applies pressure to these taut bands to remove these nodules.

Myofascial Release Technique (MRT)

It is an application of consistent pressure to have restrictions in the myofascial tissue.

Goals of Manual Therapy

Manual therapy techniques are essential in a physical therapist’s assessment and treatment. Based on the symptoms and the outcome of the physical therapist’s therapist’s review, they may use one or multiple forms of manual therapy in their treatment plan. When using these techniques, physical therapists attempt to provide one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Natural pain relief treatment
  • Increase joint range of motion
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improved tissue compliance
  • Reduces soft tissue inflammation
  • Move specific joints
  • Reduce movement restrictions

After thoroughly evaluating the client’s condition, the therapist will know the techniques to involve one or more of the above-listed effects. The ultimate goal is to improve a client’s function using manipulative therapy.

Effectiveness Of Manual Therapy

The efficacy of manual therapy is controversial in the literature. For every study that shows the benefits of one form, there is another that shows side effects.

The difficulty in validating these studies lies in the differences in therapists, techniques used, patients’ treatment, and their conditions. Manipulative therapy is not a universal approach. Physical therapists must critically analyze the patient, their condition, and the effect they are trying to achieve when deciding on an appropriate treatment plan. Although manual therapy has many benefits, it is unsuitable for all conditions. Experienced physical therapists use manual therapy techniques in combination with education, exercise, and exercise to promote healing and improved function in their patients.

At Lake County Physical Therapy, our experienced and trained clinicians are skilled in treating various complex neurological and orthopedic conditions. They understand the value and role manual therapy brings in the assessment and treatment of clients.

If necessary, our doctors will use appropriate manual therapy techniques to manage your condition and improve your function. If you are struggling with an injury, talk to one of our therapists to help you get back to what you love.


Lake County Physical Therapy provides compassionate care to help our patients achieve their health goals. Our team consists of qualified experts for physical therapy in the Aurora area. 

With years of experience, they provide gentle and hands-on therapies that address many muscles and joint conditions, including massage and neuromuscular techniques to help you feel better. We provide quality treatment for the pain you currently have and find the root cause of your pain for long-term pain relief. Contact us at (630) 978-8763 or request an appointment on our website.

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