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Services - Manual Therapy - Florida

Manual Therapy

What is Manual Therapy?

Manual Therapy is a specific physical therapy method that implements hands-on techniques without using devices and machines. Therapy comes with a long history within the profession of physical therapy and physical therapists.

 The International Federation of Orthopedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT) defines manual therapy as skilled, professional hand movements to enhance tissue flexibility, quicken the range of motion of joints, manipulate soft tissues and joints, better muscle function, prompt relaxation, reduce inflammation or swelling at soft tissues, and change the muscle function. Manual therapy comes with a long history within the physical therapy segment, and physical therapists had a greater contribution to the current diversity in manual therapy approaches and techniques. Recent research has revealed that subtle neurophysiologic mechanisms are also at play and proven the practical psychological effects of providing direct examination and intervention. 


American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists’ Description of Advanced Specialty Practice has defined manual Therapy as an advanced area of physical therapy practice that includes manual examination and treatment techniques with exercise, patient education, and other therapy modalities to address pain and loss of functions. Physical therapists and hand therapists use manual Therapy to treat a patient while recovering mobility, boosting motor control, reducing pain, and improving movement efficiency. Manual Therapy refers to soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, lymphatic drainage, and passive functional movement. Manual therapy benefits beyond skilled treatment with the qualities of physical touch and ensures a close bond with the patient for a better result.  


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Manual therapy or “hands on” therapy is a clinical method that decreases pain and smoothens the mobility of joints, nerves, and tissues.

Some important therapy techniques include stroking, kneading, friction, vibration, compression, range of movement, and percussion.

Manual therapy reduces pain, improves joint mobility, quantity and quality of movement, flexibility, dynamic balance, and decreases muscle spasms.

What Are the Issues Manual Therapy Treat?

Manual therapy usually cures acute spine issues, including chronic back pain. The technique treats a wide variety of health issues, including neck pain, neck injuries, wrist, shoulder, elbow, knee, ankle, work-related injuries, accident-caused injuries, muscle tension, etc.

How Does Manual Therapy Treat Patients?

Manual Therapy is a customized form of treatment that takes care of every patient based on the individual medical needs and requirements. The medical experts carefully examine the patient’s condition and design the treatment plan based on the particular need. 

There are several kinds of techniques that manual therapists apply while treating patients, and remember; every technique is equally beneficial. Massages might reduce inflammation, improve facial and muscular flexibility and mobility between soft tissues, or provide muscle extensibility depending on the patient and condition. On the other hand, joint mobilization and manipulation modulate pain and better mobility. Manual therapy and physical exercise recover functionality in the treated area.

 Manual therapy is hands-on, allowing a combination of art and science to treat the patient in the best possible way. The use of a variety of techniques enables every patient to achieve fast recovery and progress toward the individual’s personal health goals. 

Specific Manual Therapy Techniques

The section emphasizes various therapeutic methods. Before beginning with any manual therapy techniques, the doctor will perform a complete checkup of the patient’s bones, muscles, blood, and nerve supply to ensure that further complications won’t happen. Based on the measuring results, the physical therapist might choose platform techniques.

1.Soft Tissue Therapy

Verified physical therapists apply for soft tissue work. Soft tissues in our bodies include muscles, nerves, and tendons. The gentle tissue therapy technique involves applying pressure to soft tissues to relax muscle tension, reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, break scar tissues, or ease the pain with the best potential outcome. Manual Therapy includes joint mobilization and manipulation to lessen pain and help smooth blood circulation.

2.Joint Mobilization or Manipulation

Manual Therapy refers to joint mobilization and manipulation to lessen pain and help the body regain regular functioning. The technique leverages measured movements with varying speed, force, and distance to pull and push bones and joints to the previous positions. It helps loosen the tight tissues around the joint, reducing joint pain.

3.Muscle Energy Techniques (METs)

The technique leverages voluntary contraction of the muscles against a counterforce to mobilize joints and stretch shortened muscles. As Robert Daul, MPT, (Master of Physical Therapy) explains, the therapy is how the operator takes the joint to its new point after 3-5 seconds of contraction. Hence, the patient undergoes muscle contraction again. The medical expert might repeat the process two or more times. The technique goes somehow opposite to the joint mobilization. Patients do not have to suffer from much pain while the experts apply the muscle energy techniques, and it does not stress the joint.

4.Strain Counterstrain

The manual therapy technique corrects structural and postural issues stemming from abnormal neuromuscular reflexes. The method is extremely gentle and delicate. Thus, therapists might prefer the technique in place of other procedures which are way more painful to treat acute joint problems.

5.Relief from Chronic Joint Pain

Manual Therapy is highly beneficial for relief from acute and chronic back pain. Musculoskeletal conditions cause discomfort, frustration, and the inability to complete daily tasks. Manual therapy techniques focus on restoring mobility and reducing muscular tension. Joint manipulation and mobilization can cure chronic pains originating from joint problems. Manual Therapy helps relieve severe and chronic back pain.

When to Try Hands-On Physical Therapy

Manual Therapy is a valuable version of Physical Therapy with various concerns. Different manipulations and mobilizations are ideal for treating a more critical injury, like a back or neck strain. In these cases, surgery or procedure, joint mobilizations, and passive stretching often play a crucial role in recovering your range of motion in the affected part. Moreover, soft tissue massage is beneficial in treating long-term pain. Different specific diagnoses benefit from manual physical Therapy. For instance, several studies have shown improvements in patients suffering from knee or back osteoarthritis after availing of soft tissue massage treatment. People with shoulder pain respond favorably to joint mobilizations and manipulations. The same is true for people suffering from neck pain.

Choose the Professionals

Manual Therapy includes several hands-on treatment techniques to treat various physical pains, including neck pain, back pain, knee pain, and so forth. Manual therapists use the methods together or separately, especially during the acute rehabilitation phase. Our manual therapist receives education and training on performing manual physical therapy techniques. Our medical experts are skilled and efficient enough to treat and cure your ailment. Stark is a one-stop solution to provide you with a manual therapist who has excelled in firsthand skills.

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There are many different structures in the anatomy of the back that work together to support your body. Problems with any one of these structures can cause back pain.
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Headache is a discomfort in the head. Headaches vary based on the severity and frequency of pain. The extended nervous network system over the scalp, specific facial and throat nerves; head, neck, and shoulder muscles; blood vessels in the brain might cause headaches. Different types of headaches include migraine, tension headaches, cluster headaches, sinus, etc. Major contributing factors to headaches include muscle tension, exposure to a particular food, certain medicines, dehydration, and hormonal changes. It can also be an underlying medical condition where the issue occurs due to neck injury, eye problem, teeth, or sinus infection. You may feel pain at both sides of your head, dull pain around the head, or pain at the back part of the head or neck. Initially, the pain might seem moderate, but specific factors can trigger the intensity of the headache with time. Come to Stark Rehabilitation to diagnose the root cause of the pain and treat it under the supervision of expert medical professionals.

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Other Services we Provide

There are many different structures in the anatomy of the back that work together to support your body. Problems with any one of these structures can cause back pain.
Back Pain

Stenosis, Disc degeneration, Disc bulging, Disc herniation, Spondylosis, Spondylolisthesis, Facet arthritis, Sacroiliac joint pain (SIJ), radiculopathy, sciatica,

Knee Pain

OA, Meniscus tears, ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL, Patellofemoral pain, Patella tendinopathy, Patella luxation, cartilage injury

Shoulder Pain

Rotator cuff injuries, OA, labrum injury, luxation, instability/hypermobility

Neck Pain

Stenosis, Disc degeneration, Disc bulging, Disc herniation, Facet arthritis, Radiculopathies

Foot Pain

Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, Achilles rupture, bunions, hammer toes, ligament sprains, tendonitis around the ankle.

Hip Pain

Bursitis, OA, Greater Trochanteritis, Labrum tears, FAI, Snapping Hip

Sports Injuries

Muscle strain, Tendinopathy, Osgood Schlatters, Sinding-Larsen-Johansson Syndrome, Groin strain, Avulsion Fractures


Kristin Hallberg

Kristin Hallberg is a Florida board and Swedish health authority certified Physical Therapist. She earned her Physical Therapy license from Uppsala University, Sweden, in 2013. After moving to Florida she also earned her Florida board license in 2016. Kristin has a particular interest in orthopedic and sports medicine. She has 10 years experience of treating a variety of injuries and post surgery recovery for low back, knees, shoulders, neck, hips, and feet.

Previously, Kristin was a track and field athlete and continued with coaching at Uppsala Track and Field High school when injuries stopped her fromcontinuing to pursuit her own journey. During this time she also sought out new experiences and pursuit taking skydiving license and open water diving certificate. She enjoys the outdoors and grew upskiing and hiking. Seeking new adventures has always been a part of her life and relates to the importancefor people to stay active with the lifestyle that makes them happy.

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