Manual therapy in human medicine is defined as:
"Skilled hand movements intended to produce any or all of the following effects: improve tissue extensibility; increase range of motion of the joint complex; mobilize or manipulate soft tissues and joints; induce relaxation; change muscle function; modulate pain; and reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation or movement restriction."
Manual therapy differs from massage therapy in that massage is just one of the techniques that a manual therapist uses to obtain these results. Other techniques that a manual therapist may employ include:
- Joint mobilizations
- Passive range of motion
- Stretching of a muscle or muscle groups
- Myofascial release techniques where there are trigger points present
- Lymphatic drainage
- Active release techniques
- Glides (joint, nerve)
- Instrument assisted release techniques
This therapy is often incorporated with other techniques or modalities based on the therapists assessment of the patients current needs and can change from session to session based on the pets response to therapy.