physical therapist assisting patient
Relieve pain with manual therapy.

Manual therapy is a “hands-on” approach to healing used by many physical therapists as part of a recovery program. It is not the same type of treatment as chiropractic or massage therapy, although manual therapy is often mistaken for those. A physical therapist will use his or her hands instead of exercise or medical equipment to apply pressure directly to muscles or joints. The goal is to increase circulation and relieve pain from a wide variety of injury types. Your physical therapist will probably use manual therapy as a method to assess an injury during your first appointment. 

Manual therapy has proven to be very effective in various forms of pain relief. It is also used to break up scar tissue following surgery or an accident and to increase circulation. Mobilization techniques are used to twist, pull, push, or otherwise manipulate bones and joints into the proper position. The range of motion can be limited in your limbs following an injury, so mobilization/manipulation therapies are aimed at restoring proper joint function.

Trigger Point Therapy includes specific manipulations to the muscles, fascia, and connective tissues. This pressure is provided by the hands of a skilled physical therapist trained in a pressure point release. Sometimes, a therapist may choose to use certain devices or tools to assist with force application. Trigger point therapy is intended to “release” the tension and stress in the fascia and other structures within targeted treatment areas, thus restoring normal movement, relieving pain, and reducing your risk of further tissue damage.

  • Muscle fibers may tense up in spasms and there may be a decrease in oxygenated blood or lymphatic flow to the area, all of which can contribute to localized stiffness and discomfort, it is commonly felt in the shoulders, back, and hips. 

Some of the conditions that can benefit from Trigger Point release:

  • Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)
  • Back pain, Sciatica
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Neck pain / Cervicalgia
  • Lateral and Medial epicondylitis (Tennis elbow and Golfer’s elbow.)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Whiplash
  • Headaches and migraines

Joint Mobilization

  • Our skeletal system is formed of various joints which are formed by the articulating surfaces of two or more bones. The joints play a significant role in our stability and mobility and assist in carrying out our functional tasks easily. Joints are supported by other physiological structures such as capsules, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscle fibers, all of which can become injured and potentially benefit from physical therapy services.
  • Joint mobilization involves the passive movement of specific joints using the skilled application of force, direction, and technique. A physical therapist can use his or her hands to mobilize an affected joint or may elect to use certain tools, including straps/belts, to help deliver the desired treatment effect.
  • The specific type, speed, magnitude, and frequency of joint mobilization performed depends on several factors, including the goal of treatment, the type of joint being targeted, and even your unique anatomy. The primary effects of joint mobilizations include pain reduction, improved range of motion, and improved quality of joint movement itself.
  • Joint mobilization isn’t appropriate for all patients, and only skilled and experienced physical therapists can determine if it is right for you. Specific conditions successfully manage with joint mobilizations include:
    • Arthritis (especially of the shoulder, spine, elbow, knee, and hip.)
    • Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
    • Ankle sprains
    • Facet joint locking and other types of spinal misalignments.
    • Lateral and Medial epicondylitis (Tennis elbow and Golfer’s elbow.)
    • Rotator cuff tears and sprains
    • Sciatica and other types of nerve impingement syndrome.

Kindly contact us at or call at 248-730-0414 to schedule your visit in the comfort of your home.