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All About Manual Therapy

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

What it is, how it can help with your pain, and common questions answered

Manual therapy is the cornerstone of our hands-on approach to effective physical therapy treatment at Chardon Physical Therapy. Skilled manual therapists can make immediate improvements to your range of motion and reduce your pain. As a result, their treatments can also create an opportunity for greater mobility, strength gains, and healing response.

What it is

Definition of Manual Therapy: The “application of an accurately determined and specifically directed manual force to the body, in order to improve mobility in areas that are restricted; in joints, in connective tissues or in skeletal muscles.

How much manual therapy will my condition require?

There is a correlation between the amount of hands-on manual therapy you will need and the amount of time you have had an injury or pain. The more acute/recent the problem, the quicker we tend to see positive results. Acute injuries can often be resolved in just a few visits. However, more serious or chronic injuries will usually take somewhat longer to effectively treat.

Factors such as age, overall health, and lifestyle definitely also play a role in how much treatment is needed to get you back to doing what you love. With that said, we do occasionally see major changes quite quickly, even if a problem has persisted for many years. It really depends on many things, which we can identify and more clearly determine at your initial evaluation.

Take-home point

For most people, the sooner you decide to pursue manual therapy treatments, the fewer treatment sessions you will likely need.

Why shouldn’t I just go to a massage therapist to get “manual therapy” and treat my condition?

While we are big proponents of massage therapy and often send our patients to get regular massage, physical therapists are uniquely trained to assess and evaluate the musculoskeletal system and injury. Hands-on techniques are often not very effective (and can even be damaging) if they are not guided by skilled evaluation and diagnosis that massage therapists are not trained to complete, and in fact, legally unable to perform.

From our in-depth evaluation and constant re-assessments at every visit, our manual therapy techniques are not simply aimed at working on an area that hurts, but also directed at resolving the true sources of your pain and injury. Additionally, most injuries and pain need some form of exercise-based treatment, which again, massage therapists are not trained or legally allowed to prescribe. Again, we love massage therapy and are regular clients of great massage therapists here in town, but when we’re injured, we stick with professionals who can fully evaluate and treat the entirety of the injury.

Will I be sore following manual therapy?

It is not uncommon to have some soreness following treatment, and this is nothing to worry about if it happens. This usually subsides within 24-48 hours. If it persists beyond 48 hours, we will adjust our future treatments to match your body’s receptivity to hands-on treatment.

Wondering if manual therapy can help ease your pain?

Reach out to a therapist today to learn more about this physical therapy method.



Chardon Physical Therapy is an outpatient physical therapy practice for active adults and athletes that helps clients efficiently manage pain so they can get back to the activities they love to do with the people they care about most. Our one-on-one approach allows us to spend more time discussing every aspect of your life to create a custom-care plan unique to your needs while taking advantage of the amazing local businesses and parks that can support a healthier you. Tune into Chardon BIZ, our podcast, to hear from local Chardon business owners and clinicians before stepping foot inside their practices.

Ready to live pain-free? Contact us today >>


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