Manual Therapy

The Evolving Model of Manual Therapy

Manual Physiotherapy has evolved to consist of the physical examination and treatment of a large range of disorders.  This is now referred to as manual therapy. Manual therapy previously referred to as manipulative therapy is now used to denote a broader scope of practice, than that associated with manipulative therapy.  It embraces all aspects of disorder history, examination, and evaluation and includes in depth attention to medical opinion and interpretation of medical investigation reports. Diagnostics are therefore the foundation of the evolving model for manual therapy and this is based upon a systematic interpretation and correlation of all the available evidence, not just the signs and symptoms.  Treatment is then prescribed according to diagnosis.

The extent of differential diagnosis within manual therapy is still restricted, relative to medical practice as it is governed by the limits of physiotherapy practice. So it is still beyond the scope of manual therapy to diagnose disease processes and certain pathological processes. However knowledge of the exclusion or inclusion of various diseases and pathological processes is continually being improved upon and these improvements now reflect the responsibility physiotherapists have as primary contact practitioners.

The approach within manual therapy involves clinical reasoning based on knowledge of the history, presentation of signs and symptoms, medical practitioner or specialist opinion and the informed interpretation of medical investigation findings. Manual therapy management is then prescribed or medical opinion is sought, according to a diagnosis, while intervention is guided by careful and informed interpretation and evaluation of the signs and symptoms of the disorder and the manner in which they may change.

Click below to read more about our philosophy on a specific area of Manual Therapy:

Management vs Treatment

The Broader Scope of Manual Therapy

The Technical Side of Manual Therapy

The Importance of Diagnosis

Theoretical Model for Manual Therapy

Pain and Passive Movement

Considerations for Effectiveness

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