Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy services offered in Appleton, Oshkosh, North Fond du Lac and Fond du Lac, WI

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy uses hands-on techniques to release tight muscles and joints. At NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin’s office location in Appleton, Wisconsin, the physical therapy specialists use manual therapy to help people with back, neck, and joint pain. They expertly perform safe techniques that reduce your need for medication and help improve your range of motion. Call your nearest NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin office today.

Manual Therapy Q & A

What is manual therapy?

Manual therapy is a specialized treatment physical therapists deliver with their hands. They manipulate joints and put pressure on muscle tissue to decrease pain caused by muscle tension, spasms, and joint dysfunction.

Manual therapy is useful for joints lacking a satisfactory range of motion or mobility, including those in the spine and pelvis. Manual therapy restores function to stiff joints and reduces muscle tightness, helping you move more naturally and without pain.

What conditions benefit from manual therapy?

Manual therapy provides pain relief for patients with the following:

Chronic spinal problems

Chronic back and neck pain could be due to degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal).

Joint disorders

Joint disorders include conditions like arthritis which causes joint pain and limited motion due to disease or injury.

Soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue injuries include muscle and tendon strains and pulled ligaments.

What techniques does manual therapy use?

Manual therapy techniques include:

Soft tissue mobilization

Soft tissue mobilization breaks up myofascial adhesions — scarring and other stiff or fibrous muscle. It also moves tissue fluids and relaxes muscle tension. Soft tissue mobilization techniques include applying deep pressure and rhythmic stretching. Sometimes manual therapists use traction to restore normal tissue texture and reduce pain.


Strain-counterstrain corrects abnormal neuromuscular reflexes responsible for structural and postural problems that cause painful, tender points. Your therapist positions the painful area and holds you in this position for about 90 seconds, applying mild stretching and then slowly relaxing the area.

Strain-counterstrain is mild enough to treat acutely painful back problems and conditions for which other treatments might be unsuitable.

Joint mobilization

Joint mobilization loosens a restricted joint and increases its range of motion. Your therapist uses slow speed (velocity) and increasing movement distance (amplitude) to move the bone surfaces in ways you can’t perform yourself.

Muscle energy techniques

Muscle energy techniques lengthen shortened muscles and mobilize restricted joints. After a 3-5 second muscle contraction, your provider moves the joint to a new position, and you contract the muscle again. They may repeat this several times.

Call NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin to learn how you could benefit from manual therapy today.