Manual therapy, sometimes referred to as manipulative therapy is a physical treatment primarily used by osteopaths, athletic trainers, chiropractors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists to treat different kinds of disabilities and pain. Most of the time, manual therapy involves manipulation and kneading of muscles. Studies indicate that placebo is one of the most likely and potentially relevant mechanisms through which manual therapy improves clinical outcomes linked to musculoskeletal pain conditions. There are numerous styles of manual therapy in Ottawa so let us look at some of them.


This is a kind of manual therapy that focuses on analysis, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal pain. Myotherapy incorporates trigger point therapy and a broad range of soft tissue massage and manipulation including muscle energy technique, and joint mobilization. Myotherapists also use stretching, nutritional advice, exercise prescription, postural advice, and education, cold and heat therapy.


This is a form of alternative medicine primarily concerned with diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. Such disorders affect the general health of an individual through the nervous system, and vertebral subluxation claims that are untrue. The key chiropractic treatment technique involves manual therapy and particularly spinal manipulation therapy, manipulation of soft tissues and other joints. Chiropractors thrive in Canada, the United States, and Australia. This form of manual therapy overlaps with other manual therapy professions such as physical therapy and osteopathy. Most people seeking chiropractic care do so for lower back pain. Neck and back pain are specialties for chiropractors but they can treat other ailments as well especially those that have to do with musculoskeletal issues.

Soft Tissue Mobilization

It is important to recognize the role of muscles and their attachments around the joints. Muscle tension can often decrease upon restoration of joint motion but most of the time the spasm will continue to remain present. Therapists commonly apply this procedure to the musculature surrounding the spine, and consist of deep pressure and rhythmic stretching. The therapist will localize the area of greatest tissue restriction through layer-by-layer assessment. Once the therapist identifies these restrictions, they can mobilize them using a variety of techniques. These techniques often involve placing a traction force on the tight area with an attempt to restore normal texture to tissue and reduce associated pain.

Muscle energy techniques

The design of muscle energy techniques is in such a way that mobilizes restricted joints and lengthens shortened muscles. This procedure utilizes a voluntary contraction of the patient’s muscles against a distinctly controlled counterforce applied by the practitioner from a precise position and in a specific direction. Following a three to five second contraction, the operator takes the joint to its new barrier where the patient again performs a muscle contraction. This may be repeated two or more times. This technique is an active procedure where the operator does all the work. Muscle energy techniques are generally tolerable by most patients and do not stress the joint.

Active release technique

ART is the only soft tissue technique where the muscle moves under the contact point, the physical therapist’s hand. Moreover, ART is specifically designed for the correction of adhesions and scar tissue normally resulting from overuse injuries. The physical therapist’s particular directional pressure coupled with the patient’s active movements break apart dense scar tissue in the injured area.

Thrust techniques

This form of manual therapy applies a shallow, quick, and repetitive pressure to a particular joint. The physical therapist manually finds joints that are moving incorrectly or symmetrically. They will then engage the barrier of motion in the joint with distinct rapid movements to restore natural motion. Therefore, the process allows that particular joint to open and close properly and improve mobility and stability in the affected joint.

All the aforementioned methods are available in Ottawa but a manual therapist with extensive knowledge should perform them. This is because of their extensive knowledge.

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