Theoretical Model for Manual Therapy

Treatment is prescribed with the thought of improving functional activity such that normal recovery and repair processes occur.  The premise is held that if a disorder prevents or disturbs normal musculoskeletal function for whatever reason, improvement may not be possible until such time as function or functional activity is also improved or normalised to some degree.

This model regards passive movement treatment to restore or normalise function strictly as a requirement only in the absence of normal active function.  In addition, the absence of normal active function may indicate aberrant movement, such as may occur with instability, rather than limitation of mobility.  In this case, passive movement would not be a requirement except where certain motor control patterns were being established.

Background to this model is the general acceptance that appropriate biological forces result in repair, healing and remodelling of musculoskeletal tissues and hence the alleviation and restoration of function.

Biological forces can therefore be influenced by physical treatments and following the initial acute stage when rest or immobilisation may be required, physical activity in the form of functional movement and exercise is the basis for recovery.

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