When it comes to manual therapy, the relevant meaning for us is “using the hands” or “hands-on.” For physical therapists, manual therapy is literally hands-on therapy. A physical therapist uses his or her hands to provide treatment. Physical therapy includes additional treatments that you could call “hands-off.”
Traditional physical therapy focuses more on managing and treating the symptoms of the disease process, while manual therapy focuses more on performing biomechanical, tissue-based examination to identify the cause of the disease process. In treating the cause, along with the symptoms, the outcome has higher expectations.

Did this answer your question?