Manual therapy or manipulative therapy is a physical treatment primarily used by physical therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, athletic trainers, osteopaths, and physicians to treat musculoskeletal pain and disability.
Manual therapy involves restoring mobility to stiff joints and reducing muscle tension to return the patient to more natural painless movement. It involves the work of soft tissue, including massage, which puts pressure on the body’s soft tissues such as muscles.
Manual therapy is a specialized approach to treatment consisting of “hands-on” techniques to mobilize joints, muscle, connective tissue and nerves to facilitate healing and restoration.
Manual therapy has many different styles. It is a fundamental feature of ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and some forms of alternative medicine in the New Age and is used by medical practitioners in general. Hands-on bodywork in traditional cultures around the world is a feature of therapeutic interactions.