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Manual Therapy

Peak performance occurs when the body’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and nerves are functioning at their best. A healthy balance between joint mechanics and tissue tension is key to a happy body. After injury, it is crucial that this balance is optimized prior to initiating exercise.

Manual Physical Therapy: Massage, Mobilization, Manipulation

At Symmetry Physical Therapy, Downtown Miami, your therapist will conduct an in-depth evaluation to determine if manual therapy is an appropriate treatment method for you and your goals. If manual therapy is determined to be appropriate your therapist will assess the area and then apply a specifically determined manual force to the body to improve mobility in areas that are restricted such as joints, muscles, and connective tissues. These types of directed forces are commonly referred to as massage, mobilization, and manipulation.


A technique that can be applied to the soft tissue structures of the body and commonly incorporates kneading, sliding, and gliding over the skin. The purpose of massage is to either relax or facilitate the muscle, improve circulation, or assist in lymphatic drainage.


A slower controlled technique that applies force to a joint or soft tissue structure with varying speeds and amplitudes with the purpose of improving motion, function, and reducing pain. The purpose of mobilization is to decrease restriction in the joint; yielding in an improvement in range of motion, function, and reduced pain.


A passive, high velocity, low amplitude thrust or force that is applied to a joint. This is typically associated with an audible pop that is caused by a breakdown of gas bubbles that form during what is called a joint cavitation.


Common Benefits of Manual Physical Therapy

Extensive research has been done on manual therapy and its beneficial effects.

  • Reduction of pain
  • Induces relaxation
  • Improved range of motion (ROM)
  • Reduction or elimination of soft tissue inflammation
  • Improved tissue repair of contractile and non-contractile tissues
  • Improved function through better mobility and stability


Multi-Modal Approach to Physical Therapy

At Symmetry Physical Therapy we commonly incorporate manual therapy into the treatment. Recent research has shown significantly improved patient outcomes when treatment consists of a “multi-modal approach”. The multi-modal approach includes: manual therapy, therapeutic activities therapeutic exercises, and neuromuscular re-education.

Symmetry’s therapists are trained to incorporate multiple manual therapy techniques in every session to facilitate healing. Therapists are trained in:

  • Joint Mobilization
  • Cupping
  • Active Release Technique (ART)
  • Graston
  • Muscle Energy
  • Strain Counterstrain
  • Myofascial Release Technique
  • Mulligan Mobilization
  • McKenzie Method
  • Deep Muscle Stimulation
  • Kinesiotaping