"A clinical approach utilizing skilled, specific hands-on techniques, including but not limited to manipulation/mobilization, used by the physical therapist to diagnose and treat soft tissues and joint structures for the purpose of modulating pain; increasing range of motion (ROM); reducing or eliminating soft tissue inflammation; inducing relaxation; improving contractile and non-contractile tissue repair, extensibility, and/or stability; facilitating movement; and improving function."
Definition from the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (AAOMPT) and American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
Techniques include, but are not limited to:
- Joint mobilization
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Muscle Energy Techniques
- Manual resistive exercise
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
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.