What is Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy?
Manual and manipulative therapy represents a rehabilitation approach which utilizes a multitude of physical and hands on treatments to restore normal mobility and function. Therapists specializing in this area are referred to as manual and manipulative physiotherapists, manual therapists or manipulative physiotherapists. These highly specialized practitioners use techniques which include joint mobilization and manipulation, soft tissue techniques, therapeutic exercise, education and stretching.
Who are Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapists?
Manipulative physiotherapists are highly trained in assessing musculoskeletal disorders. The clinical reasoning processes employed by manipulative physiotherapists enables them to reach a diagnosis consistent with the findings of the clinical examination.
Research has shown that manipulative physiotherapists are highly skilled in their examination such that they are able to form a diagnosis similar to or better than those determined by sophisticated imaging processes. For example, studies have shown that manipulative physiotherapists are skilled in the diagnosis of symptomatic facet joints (Philips and Twomey 1996), symptomatic intervertebral discs (Donelson et al 1997) and lumbar instability (Avery 1997).
After a session with a manual therapist you should feel better, have less pain, and feel more comfortable with your movements. As each individual is different, results may vary accordingly. Relief may be dramatic and long lasting, but it may also take a few visits before you start noticing a change. Occasionally, a person may report feeling a bit sore following a treatment session, these symptoms should pass and be replaced with improved mobility and function.
Who can benefit from seeing a manual therapist?
Should I be concerned about my safety?
Physiotherapists are most of all concerned about your safety! Unskilled manipulation of the spine can cause serious side effects. It is precisely for this reason why each and every manual and manipulative physiotherapist has undertaken extensive and rigorous training to become the very best in their field. Through proper screening of patients and advanced clinical reasoning and diagnostic skills, patients can feel at ease that their safety is the number one priority.
Our physiotherapists constantly update their skills through continuing education courses in order to provide the best possible treatment for their clients. Our goal is to achieve patient independence through excellence in education, manual therapy and exercise. You can find out more information and physiotherapists who are members of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapy (CAMT), at the web site www.manipulativetherapy.org.