A Hands-On Approach: Treating Pain with Manual Therapy

Have you recently sustained an injury? Are you recovering from a surgical procedure? Is your illness or ailment causing you aches and pains? If so, you would likely benefit from manual therapy treatments.

Manual therapy explained:

Manual therapy is a specialized treatment also known as “hands-on therapy” and is used as a way to relieve pain, reduce swelling, decrease restriction, improve range of motion, and mobilize joints by manipulating joints and soft tissue. In order to do so, your physical therapist will conduct targeted massages and stretches to the affected part(s) of your body.

Is Manual Therapy Safe?

Manual therapy is a non-invasive treatment option that doesn’t require any harmful pain-management medications. Your physical therapist will use a variety of techniques aimed at moving your tendons, ligaments, and joints in ways that facilitate pain relief and healing.

How is manual therapy performed?

There are several different types of manual therapy. Some of the most common include, but are not limited to:

Manual traction

Manual traction is done by applying gentle pressure to certain areas of the body, in order to stretch it out. Manual traction treatments are generally done for 5-10 seconds at a time.


Massage treatments performed by a physical therapist are a bit different than those you might receive at a spa. At Riverbend Physical Therapy, we use therapeutic massage treatments as a way to manipulate the soft tissues. This is done through deep pressure and rhythmic stretching, allowing your physical therapist to find and mobilize areas of your body that are heavily restricted. By doing this, your physical therapist is able to break up any scar tissue or adhesions in the affected body part(s).


If you have recently sustained an injury, you may experience severe pain. This is typically the result of a restricted joint. Mobilization and manipulation techniques are safe, effective, and painless. They also allow for a breakdown of the affected joint’s barrier, resulting in an improved range of motion.

How can I get started on manual therapy treatments?

Your physical therapist will design a personalized treatment plan for you that will likely include several different therapies, in order to improve your overall function. For example, some targeted exercises may focus on improving balance and strength, while others may focus more on improving your range of motion.

Manual therapy is a crucial part of a recovery plan, as it helps to reduce pain and swelling, minimize inflammation, and increase your range of motion. To learn more about how my manual therapy services can help you achieve relief and recovery, contact Riverbend Physical Therapy today to schedule your appointment.