Manual therapy technique are accessory movements which are not under your control. Pressure is applied from a therapist’s hands or fingers directly over the targeted tissue. The pressure is aimed at a specific structure and depth of treatment is determined by the targeted tissue. These techniques feel like a pulsed movement on a specific spot, and the therapist may change the pressure and tempo to achieve a certain goal. This pressure at a specific place, angle and depth are targeted at a particular structure like a joint, muscle nerve or ligament.
One of the most widely used manual therapy techniques is joint mobilizations. Orthopedic Manual therapy techniques mobilise one joint surface over another to decrease pain and increase movement.
Orthopedic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) is part of pre graduate physiotherapy studies. There are different schools of techniques to treat joint pathology. Maitland, McKenzie and Mulligan are all different techniques to treat joints. Treatment accuracy is enhanced with a further post graduate diploma in OMT.
Maitland techniques are passive. This means your physio moves the joint surfaces while you keep your joints relaxed. This is great to decrease back pain and enable you to put on your shoes more comfortably.
McKenzie techniques are active. You will move into a specific position and your physio guides the rest of the movement you need to do. These are great to do at home throughout your recovery.
Mulligan mobilisations combine active and passive movement. You move actively, while your physio applies a direct, passive force with hands or a belt to the bone above or below the joint being moved.