Manual therapy skills consist of soft tissue mobilization or massage, stretching, joint mobilization, and passive range of motion. All techniques are used to decrease pain, improve mobility, and enhance function.
Soft tissue mobilization involves manual pressure of various tissues including skin, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and muscle. Treatment not only addresses the abnormal tissue type but can also have a positive effect on multiple body systems.
Stretching of tight muscles increases muscle flexibility. Muscles that are chronically short or tight result in weak muscles that will be more prone to injury. Tight muscles can also cause problems for surrounding joints.
Joint mobilization is a passive technique used to increase joint motion and to relieve pain.
Passive range of motion or PROM is a therapist applied technique used to both assess and treat the amount of movement around a joint.