What is Manual Therapy?

Manual therapy involves specific hands-on techniques to treat various problems throughout the body. Physiotherapists are healthcare practitioners who have both the training and the skill to evaluate and work with you to reduce pain and to help you manage a variety of health issues. They can use manual therapies such as massage, resistance training and joint mobilization and manipulation to help reduce muscle tightness, reduce pain and improve function.

Manual Therapy


Whether you are managing a chronic illness or recovering after surgery or an injury, manual therapy can help. These treatments will help you to return you to an active lifestyle and maintain maximum mobility and flexibility. Sprains, strains, back and arthritis pain are only a few of the conditions that are suitable for manual therapy. Patients with postural problems or issues of overuse such as tendonitis can also benefit. Even if you have a debilitating disease or a major injury, manual therapy can help to ease the negative impact and improve functionality.

One aspect of manual therapy is massage which involves applying pressure to the soft tissues of the body, particularly the muscles. Injured patients, or patients in pain, tense up as the body tries to protect itself from harm. Unfortunately, this tenseness usually causes more pain and can also cause more problems. Massage helps to relieve this tension, increase circulation to bring blood to the injured area, and alleviate a significant amount of pain so that muscles can relax and the body can begin to heal.


Another manual therapy used is mobilization. This is where the physiotherapist slowly twists, pulls or pushes you into alignment to alleviate pain and to restore structure. When the body is misaligned pain is just one result. Another problem involves decreased functionality as the body is unable to move as it should. If left uncorrected, this misalignment impedes movement in other parts of the body which escalates problems for the patient. Resistance exercises are often included to strengthen muscles so that the body returns to its proper state when the body is at rest and to cut the risk of further injury.

Finally, physiotherapists use manipulation to help patients. Pressure is applied to a joint in a particular manner to correct problems. The physiotherapist chooses an appropriate movement, whether it be slow or fast, strong or gentle, to bring about effective results.


Besides pain management and flexibility, manual therapies also increase strength and coordination and improve respiratory function. This makes these techniques suitable for a wide range of conditions including headaches, neurological conditions and chronic breathing issues such as asthma, hay fever and sinusitis.

The licensed physiotherapists at FIT Physiotherapy have the evaluative and “hands-on” skills necessary to get you on the right track towards improved health. If you are looking for relief without having to take medication, manual therapy is a good alternative or an excellent addition to your existing treatment protocol. Our professionals have spent years in the classroom and in practice and have mastered manual techniques that can help you feel better. There is no need for you to suffer. Manual therapies are affordable and effective.

Have a question about manual therapy?  If you live in Newmarket, Ontario or the surrounding area, feel free to call us at 905-235-5360 with any questions you may have.  You can also book an appointment online using the form below.

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