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Manual Therapy

What is Manual Orthopaedic Physical Therapy?

The term “manual therapy” refers to hands-on treatment of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Human touch is an essential ingredient in our treatment philosophy and approach, and for good reason. Patients respond positively to hands-on work when combined with exercise and education. This leads to faster recovery and less out-of-pocket expenses.

Manual therapy encompasses a broad group of sophisticated techniques performed by hand and by uniquely trained physical therapists. These may include mobilizations or manipulations of soft tissue and skeletal joints. Manual therapy techniques aim to decrease pain and increase function. Most manual therapy training programs in the United States are fouryear, post-graduate programs that emphasize clinical experiences, classroom education, and extensive exams.

Who is a Manual Orthopaedic Physical Therapist?

Certified Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists are specially trained in medical screening, anatomy, physiology, joint and soft tissue mechanics, and are experts in the musculoskeletal system. Physical therapists may engage in continued education after graduate school to study, and eventually become certified in, manual therapy. This process typically takes 3-4 years. The credentials COMT, CMPT, or OMT behind a therapist’s name refer to certifications in orthopaedic manual physical therapy.