Simply stated manual therapy is the practice of orthopedic physiotherapy in which therapists are trained to reduce pain and stiffness using gentle hands on techniques such as mobilizations and manipulations for the joints, nerves, muscles and more.

This past fall and winter I once again had the opportunity to assist Steve Guy PT from Manual Concepts Physiotherapy in Guelph (manualconcepts.com) in teaching the intermediate prep course. The physiotherapists taking this course are preparing themselves to challenge the exam for the Intermediate Diploma in Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy. These therapists have spent the last several years completing the coursework and then have chosen to spend one Saturday a month for the last 6 months doing some extra studying and preparation for the pending April exam. Upon completion of the intermediate exam, the therapists will have the option of completing 2 more courses and then challenging the Advanced Diploma in Manual and Manipulative therapy. This intense apprenticeship typically takes a minimum of 5 years to complete and is completely optional credentialing.

I was introduced to the world of manual and manipulative therapy while at McMaster as a physiotherapy student. While studying at Mac, I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best manual therapists in Ontario. It was clear to me at this point, that pursuing manual therapy was critical to developing one’s assessment and treatment skills. Thus, I began my apprenticeship while completing the final unit of my MScPT at McMaster. Start to finish; completing the Advanced Diploma was one of the most difficult journeys I ever had the privilege to partake in. There were many weekends away from family and friends, many late evenings studying, and many tasks that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my family and friends. Watching and listening the therapists discuss their own sacrifices over the past six months certainly brought back some old memories.

This training in Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy has formed the foundation of South Simcoe Physiotherapy. It is our belief that effective physiotherapy begins with a thorough biomechanical assessment, correction of biomechanical faults using manual therapy, personalized exercise prescription, and techniques such as acupuncture and IMS to reduce pain. Treating several patients at one time, relying primarily on machines, and using untrained aids are contradictory to our treatment philosophy.

For more information on manual therapy visit the CAMPT website (manippt.org). In order to experience the difference manual and manipulative therapy can make in your physiotherapy treatment, come see one of our manual therapists.

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