• Dr. Mark Freund

What is Muscle Manipulation Therapy

Updated: Aug 25


muscle manipulation therapy

Muscle Manipulation

The use of hands to manipulate muscles and treat musculoskeletal issues is a component of physical therapy and is broadly the same as a variety of other chiropractic therapies, such as chiropractic adjustment, manual therapy, and acupuncture. You may have heard about the technique of spinal manipulation when you talk about how chiropractic care and treatment work. However, there is a particular form of muscle manipulation that is more common in the chiropractic field. Read on to learn about the different types and techniques involving muscle manipulation therapy.

What Is Muscle Manipulation Therapy?

Muscle manipulation therapy is a specialized technique that can provide instant relief from acute and chronic pain. It involves the application of sensitive touch and feel as well as positioning techniques that attempt to change the position of muscles in the body, as they are used in rehabilitation after a head injury or tendon transplant, for example. Tendons play a very important role in the body. They not only hold the bones together but are also crucial for keeping the muscles in the right position. The fibers and ligaments can be replaced in many ways, e.g. by using muscle manipulation or through physical therapy techniques.

manual manipulation therapy techniques

How Muscle Manipulation Therapy Works

The therapist must know what he feels and apply the right movement to bring back balance and alleviate pain. They feel the tissue with their hands and determine if they can correct muscoskeletal issues. The therapist needs to be quite knowledgeable about how muscles and tendons work to feel where they need to manipulate. This, combined with techniques of hand and visual assessment, allows the therapist to immediately detect whether a muscle is weak enough to be pulled unevenly from the bony scaffolding of a body or weak muscles that allow asymmetry. You might expect the force to lengthen the shortened passive tissues, but that is not the case, especially if it is for the rehabilitation of head injuries and tendon transplants.

This form of muscle therapy uses the patient's own muscle strength and energy. By controlling the activation of the Golgi tendon organs, the physical therapist will bring about relaxation of muscles to relieve muscle cramps. While the stationary surface resistance is presented by a manual therapist, patients contract their muscles to stretch muscles and joints. With the technique of using "muscle energy," physical therapists ensure that the muscles relax and lengthen to the optimum level in order to perform and heal better.

Physical Therapy vs. Manual Therapy

Many chiropractors or physical therapists have performed some kind of manual therapy technique. In manual therapies, practitioners use their hands to put pressure on muscle tissue or manipulate joints to reduce pain. If you ask most physicians, they can advise the best treatments and techniques that have worked for their clients in treating muscle pain.

physical therapist performing manual therapy on patient

Physical therapy techniques aim to relieve musculoskeletal pain associated with back pain and other pain in the body. Manual therapy methods are specifically designed to address postural and structural problems that may result from abnormal neuromuscular reflexes in the body.


Manual therapy is a method of treatment that is often used by locomotor doctors, osteopaths, physical therapists, and chiropractors. There are many other manual therapy techniques that stimulate positive pain-soothing effects associated with muscle manipulation but lack the benefits of muscle manipulation therapy and joint mobilization manipulation. When manual therapy is used in physical therapy, we know that it heals the scar tissue to become pain-free, soft tissue constraints melt away, and joint movement improves.

Muscles are efficient biological machines that transform chemical energy into motion (mechanical energy). All human movements, from chewing food to breathing to blinking, have muscle origins. Manual therapies can not only improve overall muscle function but also drastically reduce pain and inflammation in certain areas of the body.


Benefits of Muscle Manipulation Therapy

Muscle manipulation therapy can be beneficial to patients who suffer from chronic pain conditions which involve the musculoskeletal system. To name a few, this therapy can treat conditions such as:

manual therapy for back pain
  • Back pain

  • Knee pain

  • Hip pain

  • Arthritis

  • Osteoporosis

In muscle manipulation therapy, the goal is to help you get back to your active lifestyle as quickly as possible. Our experienced team uses many techniques and programs to ensure you can fully regain mobility and health. We recommend manual therapy if you have muscle tension or stiffness.

You may also benefit from manual therapy if you experience muscle spasms, muscle tension, or stiff joints. We also may use manual therapy as part of your sports medicine or sports rehabilitation.

In some cases, manual therapy proves to be extremely useful in treating joints that lack adequate mobility and range of motion. Manual therapy can help to train muscles that do not work or limit your performance due to pain. Training the muscles in the lower back and upper back involves gently exercising the stiff joints and reducing tension in the muscles in order to restore natural movement and help you recover from injuries. Recent studies have examined the effectiveness of this technique for treating acute and chronic lower back pain, and its potential for long-term health benefits, supporting the use of muscle manipulation therapy as an alternative to physical therapy. In the short term, manual therapy is best suited to relieve pain, while strength exercises help to reduce disability symptoms and relapses in the long term. The researchers analyzed and examined the benefits of manual therapy and joint mobilization manipulation, and concluded that the effects of muscle manipulation therapy in combination with exercise were more significant in the treatment of chronic back pain compared to mobilization.

Do You Have Muscle Pain?

It is possible to live a fun life and also be free from pain. Our team at Natural Care Chiropractic is here to help. Most muscle manipulation therapy treatment plans include treatment programs including exercises, chiropractic adjustments, and other therapies, but these are not the only treatment modalities used. These therapies are just one of the many ways physical therapists and chiropractors use to ease muscle pain and restore bodily functions. You will have to undergo a proper diagnosis to treat your specific condition so that your chiropractor can determine the underlying cause of the pain and treat it along with other symptoms to help you achieve a long-term, pain-free life and optimum health and well-being. A full assessment of the blood supply is carried out, and the therapist carries out a thorough check before the procedure starts, the patient's blood flow and blood pressure are checked to ensure that no further complications occur.

If you or someone close to you has musculoskeletal pain visit our chiropractic offices for more information on our services and the treatments available.