Manual therapy may be considered one of the oldest interventions in medicine. It is defined as the passive movements or forces applied to joints and soft tissues through a hands-on approach. The intent is to optimize tissue extensibility, increase range of motion, mobilize or manipulate soft tissues and joints, induce relaxation, change muscle function, stabilize the joint complex, modulate pain, reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation, and movement restriction. Manual therapy does not only benefit the patient physiologically, there are also significant psychological and neurophysiological benefits.

Manual therapy helps manage pain by eliciting certain responses in the body that allow a natural relief of pain, through reducing its sensitivity to the source of pain and actual relief from the pain (altering the physiology of the tissue). The form of manual therapy can have direct effects on the area of pain by enhancing autonomic and circulatory functions, or a more general/holistic approach by influencing the lymphatic and immune functions of the body.

The body is a structural unit; an injury or trauma to one area can result in pain and altered mechanics and movement (to reduce and limit the sensation of pain) and therefore create dysfunction in another. This becomes a negative cyclical response if not interrupted and corrected. Hence why manual therapy and exercise work very well in conjunction. Manual therapy can help a patient receive relief from pain and an exercise coach/trainer can re-educate the body to move well anatomically and strengthen the needed muscles to avoid reinjury or remove the negative adaptations. Current evidence is suggesting that a multimodal approach, including manual therapy, exercise, and education is optimal for pain management and improvement in functional capabilities.

FitStudios has its own in-house Kinesiologist that offers manual therapy and can help you move and feel better faster. Book your free assessment today by clicking the button below! (limited time offer).

By: Faiza Abdullah MSc. R.Kinesiologist CSEP-Clinical Exercise Physiologist

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