Manual therapy is defined as the skillful use of the hands to mobilize/manipulate joints, massage and lengthen soft tissues, and to monitor and facilitate improved neuromuscular control. The strength of this approach is that it requires considerable one on one time between the therapist and patient.

There are many manual therapy techniques, and after a comprehensive evaluation, the therapist would decide which techniques would work best for the individual patient. Different techniques include:

  • Myofascial Release
  • Muscle Energy Techniques
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization/Release Techniques
  • Maitland/Australian Approach
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization/Release Techniques
  • McKenzie Method
  • Mulligan Concept
  • PNF
  • Visceral Release
  • Mechanical Link
  • Strain-Counterstrain

Manual therapy techniques are often performed while the patient is performing a specific movement pattern. This functional approach allows for facilitation of the neuro-muscular system and produces a faster and longer lasting healthy outcome.

Most manual therapy utilized in physical therapy is very compressive in nature (soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, joint mobilization.)

MFD works in the decompression of adhesions; reducing inhibition of fluids and nutrient exchange. It is effective in decreasing stiffness and pain, improving tissue health and increasing mobility. We use MFD clinically to:

  • Decrease mechanical connective tissue changes following inflammation or trauma
  • Decrease trigger Points (presence of hypersensitive, tender tissue within the
    muscle belly)
  • Decrease myofascial dysfunction, scar adhesions, scar tissue
  • Decrease myofascial syndromes; i.e. faulty patterning due to hypertonic muscles

Almost everyone, athletes included, is left with circular marks from the negative pressure of the cups. See the chart below for a description of what each color or pattern represents.