Manual physical therapy, or orthopaedic manual therapy, encompasses any hands-on techniques used to decrease pain and improve range-of-motion and flexibility to stiff joints and muscles in any part of the body, including: mobilization, manipulation, soft tissue techniques, and muscle stretching. Both mobilization and manipulation are key components of manual therapy as they restore the power of movement to joints & associated muscles.
Manual physical therapy is based on careful examination of the patient’s movement patterns, including range of motion issues and the subsequent overcompensation that can prevent healing. Research has shown that the most effective physical therapy treatments involve a combination of customized manual therapy interventions combined with targeted exercise.
The Benefits of Manual Physical Therapy
Patients with a variety of disabilities and orthopaedic conditions may benefit from manual physical therapy. Current research confirms that manual physical therapy combined with therapeutic exercise can produce rapid pain relief and improved function in the following conditions: low-back pain, neck pain, muscle-tension headaches, hip and knee osteoarthritis, and shoulder pain.
Throughout the course of care, patients will be monitored regularly for progress and treatment plans updated accordingly.
What’s the difference between manual physical therapy and orthopaedics?
Orthopedic physical therapy is the delivery of care for individuals with disorders or dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic physical therapists are skilled in the diagnosis, management, and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. They are the experts in the assessment of movement and movement dysfunctions.
Manual therapy is often a component of a skilled orthopedic clinician in addition to skilled exercise prescription and specific patient education. The physical therapists at ProActive are highly skilled and trained in advanced manual therapy and go through extensive post-graduate training in order to evaluate and treat a variety of orthopedic conditions.
What does it mean to be a fellow in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT)?
The American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists is a professional organization of physical therapists whose mission is to promote excellence in orthopedic manual physical therapy practice, education, and research. AAOMPT Fellows pledge to 2-3 post-graduate years on advancing their skills in the areas of teaching and research. These “Fellows” have demonstrated advanced clinical, analytical, and hands-on skills in the treatment of musculoskeletal orthopedic disorders and are internationally recognized for their competence and expertise in the practice of manual physical therapy.
We are proud to say that ProActive has a fellow-trained clinician on staff at our West Vancouver location.