We often receive questions from patients about
how we are different from other physical
therapy clinics they have been to in the past.
We could give you a long list including our
passion, empathy, fun environment, and
However, today we are going to discuss one
fundamental difference between us and many
others. . . . that is our clinicians are certified
orthopedic manual therapists. This is the
basis from which they approach your evaluation
and treatment plan. It is a very different
experience from what you may have received
at an “exercise based” clinic.
So what is manual therapy?
Manual physical therapy is a specialized form
of physical therapy delivered with the hands of
the clinician. In manual therapy, practitioners
use their hands to put pressure on muscle tissue
Manual physical therapy involves restoring
movement to stiff joints and reducing muscle
tightness. The goal is to return the patient to a
more natural movement without pain. This is
achieved through increasing joint range of
motion, decreasing inflammation of surrounding
tissues, and inducing muscle relaxation. This
provides the tissue ease of movement, more
rapid repair, and improved stability.
What will we actually do to you?
Treatment by a manual therapist may include
moving joints in specific directions and at
different speeds to regain movement, stretching
of muscles, passively moving the affected body
part or having you move against the therapist’s
When manual therapy is added to a full therapy
treatment plan, we are better able to facilitate
movement, modulate pain, and improve function.
Our ultimate goal . . . helping you attain optimal
health, return to your loved activities, and
minimize disability associated with progression
of muscle and joint problems.
Who will benefit from manual therapy?
Manual therapy has been shown in numerous
studies to be an effective component of treatment
in a wide range of conditions. Commonly seen
problems include arthritis, tendon damage or
inflammation, back injury, and neck pain.
A study done in 2000 investigated patients treated
for neck pain. Those treated with hands on manual
therapy techniques that included joint and muscle
mobilization as part of a comprehensive physical
therapy program showed greatest improvement
in symptoms. The participants in this group
used less prescription medication and missed
fewer days of work. These factors led to faster
recovery and less out-of-pocket expenses.
Another study, “Effectiveness of manual physical
therapy and exercise in osteoarthritis of the knee”
also combined manual therapy with supervised
exercise. They again showed this combination
most beneficial. It yielded functional benefits for
all the patients and prevented the need for future
surgical intervention for many.
Why should I see a physical therapist
for manual therapy?
It may seem that manual therapy is similar to
other types of treatments, such as massage, or
chiropractic. Physical therapists have a unique
education and perspective in the use of manual
One key differences is in the assessment process
behind the treatment. There is a continuous cycle
of assessment, treatment, reassessment, and
further treatment based on the patient’s response
to the therapy provided. There is no one size fits
all protocol. The most appropriate personalized
exercise program can then be initiated according
to the patient’s response to manual treatment.
A comprehensive physical therapy treatment
programs consist of educating you about the
cause of the problem, “hands on” manual
techniques and instructions in exercise to
improve function. In addition, the plan will
aim to restore or improve movement, activity,
and functioning. This enables optimal
performance and ultimately enhances health,
well-being, and quality of life.
Why should I call Peak Potential?
All physical therapists have the option to use
manual therapy in their practices. However,
many don’t spend the time or the resources to
become efficient in this area of practice.
The capable hands of our Certified Orthopedic
Manual Therapists can detect the difference
between a joint and muscle limiting your
movement or causing pain. When you know
exactly what is restricting movement, we can
then choose the most appropriate form of
manual therapy to affect the change needed
to get you the results you want.
Human touch is an essential ingredient in our
treatment philosophy and approach, and for
good reason. Our patients consistently respond
positively to hands-on work when combined
with exercise and education.
Head over to our web page (or click HERE) and
read some real stores from our clients.
Ready to try manual therapy?
Request a call HERE today to set up a discovery
session. Our highly trained therapists right here
in Collierville, Tennessee can identify the
underlying cause of your pain and explain if
manual therapy is the best course to help you
reach your goals.