Manual Physical Therapy: What It Is and Why It Works

Life’s all about making the best choices for you. That’s especially true when it comes to your physical wellbeing and selecting a physical therapist that will help you heal properly and efficiently. With physical therapy, there are so many different types that choosing the right one can be tricky.  

The best thing you can do for your body is finding the kind of physical therapy that fits your specific needs. The options include (but aren’t limited to) cardiovascular PT, functional mobility PT, comprehensive PT, and manual physical therapy. It’s a lot, right? 

Manual physical therapy is one worthy type that deserves attention when you’re making considerations. Manual PT is a unique methodology with some great benefits. Keep reading for more information on what manual therapy is, why it works, and what it can do for you. 



What is Manual Physical Therapy? 

Manual physical therapy is a highly beneficial subset of PT. In manual therapy, your therapist foregoes equipment and machines and takes a hands-on approach, literally. Therapists use their hands to feel around the area of the body that needs work and place pressure on the joints and muscles to decrease pain and increase mobility.  

In other types of physical therapy, your therapist might leave you with a device to work on your own. Manual PT is a direct experience between therapist and patient and offers useful individual care.  

Your therapist might work on manipulating or mobilizing joints, soft tissue or friction massages, or even passive stretching of muscles in a specific area. Many manual physical therapy specialists offer facial movement taping, spinal manipulation, functional range release, and more. No matter what they’re doing, a manual therapist uses skillful hand techniques to help with mobility, strength, and pain. 


Why Does Manual Physical Therapy Work? 

Sometimes, a set of human hands is better than any piece of equipment. 

Manual therapy works well because the expert has full control and expansive knowledge of the human body. With that, your therapist can cater the program to your exact specifications in a way that a machine might not be able to do. That means targeting your body with the level of intensity that it needs. 

Manual PT is especially beneficial after an acute injury or procedure, or later on in a recovery process to help general mobility and maintenance. It can be as gentle or as intense as the patient needs, so if there’s any danger of pain, the therapist can adjust accordingly. 

There are also home exercise programs (HEP) that can include some manual physical therapy methods, so you can take the lessons out of the studio and continue to work on performance and recovery without needing any equipment. 



Why Should You Care About Manual Physical Therapy? 

The benefits of physical therapy are vast, and manual PT is no exception. If you’re looking for a type of PT that’s totally hands-on and gives you a catered program at the exact level of intensity that you need, manual PT might be for you. 

A great way to maximize the mobility-boosting and pain-alleviating benefits of manual PT is to pair it with customized one-on-one coaching. MOTIVNY does just that with a comprehensive approach to physical therapy and personal training. Through a customized treatment plan and a training program tailored to you, you’ll get educated, maximize awareness and empowerment, and optimize your body’s performance. 



Manual physical therapy is a unique branch of PT with a lot of advantages, and our seasoned therapists have mastered their craft. With MOTIVNY’s hour-long appointments, cutting-edge techniques, unique treatment plans, and therapists who put you first every time, we’ve got your back with physical therapy done right.  

Find out what physical therapy can do for you. 


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