Manual Therapy

What is Manual Therapy?  Manual Therapy is a "Hands On" approach to assessing and treating a client. It is just one piece of the puzzle that allows a Physical Therapist to have success in treating patients, but a very important piece that not many Physical Therapists have acquired.  Why is that?  Successfully acquiring advanced Manual Therapy skills comes only after repeated failure in the attempt.  My Mentor, "the late' Peter Boyle, explained to me that it can take years of daily practice with every patient before one might feel they have become proficient at the skills.  He was correct, it took 4-5 years for me, even with the daily mentoring from this master of the craft.  Even now I have difficulty with the more subtle cases, but that is when the other pieces of the assessment provide the clues to help achieve a successful outcome with a client.

I owe my development in Manual Therapy to Peter, who was "the Guru" of Physical Therapy in Washington DC for over 10 years.  He was taught by the true pioneers of Manual Physical Therapy while training in New Zealand and Australia.  He brought a passion for the profession and for learning that could be matched by no one.  He was a mentor in the truest sense of the word.  He would interrupt treatment to bring me in to show me unusual conditions and specific treatment techniques with his clients .  He encouraged me to grab him anytime I needed help with a client or treatment technique.  Boy did I ever, making the man run late nearly everyday.  The experience was invaluable.

Peter Boyle also helped me develop my Manual Therapy skills by:

  • By surrounding me with experts in all approaches to Manual Therapy in hiring other highly trained Manual Therapists of different backgrounds (McKenzie Trained, Maitland Trained, Kaltenborn Trained, Paris Trained) many who were Fellows of Manual therapy.
  • By having an unlimited continuing education budget and sending me to courses and conferences all over the country.  He guided my selection of courses giving me the broadest exposure in Manual Therapy that one could receive.
  • By allowing me to help him teach his Manual Therapy courses, further refining my skills by teaching others.

What are some of the Manual Therapy skills that will be used at SMART Physical Therapy?

  • Joint mobilization and manipulation
  • Soft tissue techniques including Myofascial Release
  • Manual Traction
  • Passive Range of Motion

At SMART Physical Therapy we value hands on care and assessment but recognize it is more important to teach the patient to help themselves as soon as possible.