Skip to main content

Manual therapy

Manual therapies are the core of physical therapy's hands-on approach. An understanding of anatomy and kinesiology is used to manually restore alignment and function. Therapists move and stretch soft tissues, removing barriers to pain-free movement.

Dry needling

A very fine filament needle is inserted through the skin and into the deeper tissues that are considered trigger points to your pain. Dry needling works by causing a micro-lesion within pathologic tissue, thus breaking up shortened tissues. This inhibits a reflex arc from the nervous system to the tissue, normalizing the inflammatory response and centrally mediating the pain.


Stainless steel instruments are used to address scar tissue, fascial restriction and range of motion. It is used in combination with appropriate therapeutic exercise to improve and restore pain-free movement and function. Graston separates and breaks down collagen cross links, facilitates reflex changes in chronic muscle holding patterns and increases blood flow to the area.

Manual therapies are augmented by therapeutic exercise to strengthen, stabilize and create flexibility. Therapists guide specific exercises in the clinic. A home exercise program is an essential follow-through by the patient. Alignment and function are restored through the therapist's hands, and exercise assists and guides the process.

Subscribe to This Week in Health to get the latest health news delivered to your inbox.