Manual Therapy

As defined by the APTA Guide to PT Practice
Manual therapy techniques are skilled hand movements and skilled passive movements of joints and soft tissue and are intended to improve tissue extensibility; increase range of motion; induce relaxation; mobilize or manipulate soft tissue and joints; modulate pain; and reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation, or restriction. Techniques may include manual lymphatic drainage, manual traction, massage, mobilization/manipulation, and passive range of motion.

Physical therapists select, prescribe, and implement manual therapy techniques when the examination findings, diagnosis, and prognosis indicate use of these techniques to decrease edema, pain, spasm, or swelling; enhance health, wellness, and fitness; enhance or maintain physical performance; increase the ability to move; or prevent or remediate impairment in body functions and structures, activity limitations, or participation restrictions to improve physical function.