Manipulative Physiotherapy is a branch of physiotherapy specialising in the treatment of joint and muscle problems. The joints treated include not only those in the limbs, but also the small joints of the back which are responsible for much back and neck pain.
Manipulations by physiotherapist are not niche. Professor Mennell introduced it in 1916 at St. Thomas’s Hospital, England, but other schools of manipulative thought did not follow his technique.
Today, manipulative physiotherapy described as the field of physiotherapy practice, which relates to disorders of the musculoskeletal system through the assessment, diagnosis and physiotherapy management of musculoskeletal conditions.
The clinical reasoning processes employed by manipulative physiotherapists enables them to reach a diagnosis consistent with the findings of the clinical examination.
Manipulative physiotherapists have advanced skills in the assessment, diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal conditions. These skills assist the medical practitioner with accurate, cost effective diagnosis and appropriate evidence based management. Manipulative physiotherapists have good expertise in the effective management of pain and other disorders related to the musculoskeletal system.
Research has shown that manipulative physiotherapists are highly skilled in their examination such that they are able to form a diagnosis similar to or better than those determined by sophisticated imaging processes. For example, studies have shown that manipulative physiotherapists are skilled in the diagnosis of symptomatic facet joints, symptomatic intervertebral discs and lumbar instability.