Manual Therapy: Description, Techniques, Practitioners


Manual therapy can be defined as a broad range of techniques primarily focused on treatment and relief of musculoskeletal pain, and may also be utilized to address associated disabilities. Most of the procedures are performed with the use of hands. One of the factors that should not be overlooked is that practitioners use a variety of styles, and their levels of effectiveness also vary. The focus on evidence-based practice is incredibly important because resources are used efficiently and it leads to better outcomes.

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The difference in the cost of manual therapy compared to other approaches also needs to be mentioned. The knowledge and experience of the healthcare professional are of utmost importance, and mistakes are not acceptable because they may lead to severe complications. Examination and diagnosis are crucial, and all the appropriate measures should be taken to determine the cause of the problem. Most of the procedures are regarded as safe and not painful, but high levels of precision are required (Olson, 2015).


Strain-counter strain is an approach aimed at the correction of neuromuscular reflexes that lead to issues related to posture and structure. Moreover, some of the areas may become tender, and it complicates the situation for the patient because of inconvenience. A professional tries to adjust tension levels to make sure that they are normal and muscles can be treated. Mild stretching is used, and this method is appropriate at various stages of back pain (Houglum, 2016). The application of this technique is rather broad, and it can be used for both chronic and acute pain.

Joint mobilization is a technique that is commonly utilized to treat pulled muscles. It is believed to be much more efficient than standard methods recommended in such situations. The range of motion of the affected joint is increased because of the velocity and amplitude. One of the most important aspects that should be highlighted is that a professional may move the surface of the bone depending on the situation, and the procedure is relatively painless most of the time. The technique may be used to treat a variety of problems and is quite similar to spine manipulation (Edmond, 2016).

Manual Therapy Practitioners

Robin McKenzie has graduated from the New Zealand School of Physiotherapy and has focused on private practice. The most attention was devoted to spinal disorders and techniques that would help to treat them. Manual therapy practitioner has managed to cure one of his client that suffered from the back pain. It was rather accidental, but the doctor developed a technique that was widely accepted based on the knowledge that he gained.

His claims regarding the efficiency of the treatment are reasonable, and the method is still used worldwide. Stanley Paris is a physical therapist and a doctor of philosophy. He has focused on the mobility of the joints and conducted extensive research to determine which techniques can be used to restore the damage and treat such problems. He has claimed that he healed numerous spinal cord disorders and achieved outstanding results via spine manipulation (Olson, 2015).

It is important to pay close attention to the certificates and knowledge of manual therapy practitioners. The biggest problem at the moment is that some individuals are not educated and do not have sufficient training, but still promote their services. Their actions are illegal and may lead to long-term damage.

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Case Study Report

A 45-year-old pilot has complained about the back pain (LBP) that has lasted for close to three weeks. This condition had an enormous impact on his ability to perform day-to-day activities, and it was a significant risk at the job because it can be quite distracting. The individual has a history of complicated LBP that was assessed with the use of such instruments as radiography and imaging. The level of pain was rather severe, and it was rated eight according to the analog scale.

Trauma and possible interventions were denied. The patient has show tenderness during the examination of the sacral region. All of the reflexes were normal, but the reduction in the flexibility levels of hamstrings was significant. The rotation of the anterior sacral iliac spine (ASIS) was particularly problematic. The position of a sacrum was also noted as abnormal. The professionals have explained all of the possible complications related to manual therapy and managed to receive consent.

Direct muscle energy was utilized to address flexibility issues during the first day. An indirect technique was used to alter the rotation of sacrum to ensure that it is normal. The Counter strain approach was applied to underlying muscles. Effleurage and stretching were chosen as treatment methods during the second day when the patient has noted an increase in pain. The primary goal was to reduce tension and correction. The same approach was used during the last day, and the professional advice the pilot to focus on stretching techniques. Overall, the patient has reported an eighty percent reduction in pain levels and did not experience any complications (Andicochea, Fulkerson, Taylor, & Portouw, 2015).


Andicochea, C. T., Fulkerson, J., Taylor, B. M., & Portouw, S. J. (2015). Manual therapy for chronic low back pain in an F-5 pilot. Military Medicine, 180(10), E1132-E1135.

Edmond, S. L. (2016). Joint mobilization/manipulation: Extremity and spinal techniques (3rd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Houglum, P. A. (2016). Therapeutic exercise for musculoskeletal injuries (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Olson, K. A. (2015). Manual physical therapy of the spine (2nd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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