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What is manual physiotherapy?

Manual therapy is a very general way to say we are using our hands to provide treatment. In a traditional sense, manual therapy means joint mobilizations and manipulations (see below) but in reality it means just about any form of hands-on soft tissue manipulation. There are SO MANY manual therapy techniques, too many to name. This article will hopefully provide you with a general idea of what it is.

Joint mobilization and joint manipulations

Basically, we are using our hands to move your joints in a specific way. Think of joint mobilization as “wiggling” your joint around in a particular direction, speed and amplitude. Joint manipulation is a small, high-velocity (very fast) movement of the joint, at the very end of the joint’s available movement. Joint manipulations usually create an audible popping sound!

We use mobilizations and manipulations to restore movement and reduce pain and ultimately get you back to your daily activities. When combined with therapeutic exercise, joint mobilizations/manipulations have a much better effect.

Joint mobilizations/manipulations can:

  • Relieve pain produced by both the joint and the surrounding soft tissues
  • Improve mobility of the joint (like a frozen shoulder) by targeting the connective tissues

Muscle Release Techniques

Muscle release techniques (MRT) is another broad category of techniques we use to treat reduced muscle tone and relieve pain. We use different combinations of these techniques all of the time! Here are a couple of examples:

  • Active and passive muscle release techniques: We’re holding down your muscle and releasing it through stretch and movement combined.
  • Muscle energy techniques: We get you to contract and relax your muscles while we manipulate them in various ways. One example is getting you to push against us, and then relax while we move you into the opposite direction. With this method, every time you relax after pushing against us, we’re able to bring you a little bit farther.

Why would I want manual therapy?

Manual therapy is a very fast way to relieve pain (body pain, chronic back pain, chronic injury pain, muscle pain, neck pain, joint pain, shoulder pain, etc.) and improve range of motion with the end goal of getting you back to your daily activities. Manual therapy has also been shown to increase blood flow in the human body which accelerates injury recovery. At our clinic, we also use manual therapy as a diagnostic tool to help us understand your problem and provide you with the best possible specialized treatment plans.

Who can perform manual therapy?

All of our clinicians technically perform a wide variety of manual therapy treatments. Our massage therapists, acupuncturist and registered physiotherapists all provide a variety of services including therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage and myofascial release.

At Maximum Potential Physiotherapy we also offer direct billing to many insurance companies. Contact us today to get on the road to recovery and start achieving your health goals.

Local Manual Therapy Experts Near You

Searching for ‘manual therapy near me’ in Calgary NW? Maximum Potential Physiotherapy is your local destination for comprehensive manual therapy. Conveniently located and open to accommodate your schedule, our clinic offers a wide range of hands-on treatments, from joint mobilizations to muscle release techniques.
Whether you’re recovering from an injury, dealing with chronic pain, or seeking to improve your overall mobility, our skilled therapists are close by to provide personalized care. Experience the benefits of expert manual therapy near you, helping to relieve pain, enhance mobility, and get you back to your daily activities.

Vivian Overton Physiotherapist Photo

Vivian Overton


Vivian graduated with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from Queen’s University in 2010. She moved to Calgary and has worked in private practice in Calgary since January of 2011 (Maximum Potential Physiotherapy since 2013 and Country Hills Physiotherapy since 2016). Vivian has a large focus on assessing and treating the body as a…

January Muhlbeier Physiotherapist

January Muhlbeier


January graduated from University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Physical Education. After a year working as a kinesiologist, she completed her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from McMaster University in 2013. Having realized that being able to see and experience the mountains were an integral part of her well-being, she returned to Alberta….

Jessica Claflin Physiotherapist Photo

Jessica Claflin


Jessica came to Physiotherapy by way of Veterinary Sciences. As a Veterinary Nurse (Animal Health Technician), she was inspired by the remarkable outcomes she was seeing in my four-legged patients who received physiotherapy. Her desire to learn more motivated me to return to school. She graduated with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from…

Matt Headshot

Matt Wylie


Matt graduated with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Alberta after completing an undergraduate degree in kinesiology at the University of Calgary. Originally from the Okanagan, Matt was drawn to the mountains in Alberta to pursue competitive cross-country skiing, staying in Alberta to pursue his education. Matt grew up playing…

Tina Marie Lomond RMT

Tina Marie Lomond

Registered Massage Therapist

Tina Marie graduated from Mount Royal University in 2015 as a registered massage therapist. With over 15 years working in the Spa and wellness industry, Tina finds her passion in healing and providing hands-on therapy to clients with various injuries and chronic pain conditions. As someone who has experienced chronic pain on a personal level…

Brittany Grant Physiotherapist

Brittney Grant


After graduating from a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Kinesiology, Brittney completed her Master’s in Physical Therapy at the University of Alberta. Brittney is passionate about patient-centred care, and providing evidence-based and personalized treatment for all her clients. Her treatment approach uses a combination of education, hands-on manual therapy (including IMS / functional dry…


Nishia Richard

Registered Massage Therapist

Nishia enjoys working with people and helping people lead a life of wellness and health, so Nishia always knew she wanted to be in health care. Nishia graduated from CDI college in 2007 as a massage therapist and since then has loved her career and always aspires to learn different techniques to help people get…

Samuel Shapiro headshot

Samuel Shapiro

Registered Massage Therapist

Samuel graduated with honors from Vicars School of Massage Therapy in 2022. Initially choosing massage therapy as a change of pace from his previous endeavors, Samuel has discovered a new and deepening interest in the human body and all of its amazing systems and complexities. He takes a holistic approach to treatment and considers not…

Joe Kristoffersen

Joe Kristoffersen


Joe grew up in Williams Lake, a small city in the heart of the Cariboo Chilcotin Interior of British Columbia. There Joe had the opportunity to grow up in the outdoors of the Wild West where most of his childhood was spent outside enjoying various activities such as hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, skiing, trail running…


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Our patients come from all across Calgary including:

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Maximum Potential Physiotherapy

Email: info@maximumpotentialphysio.ca

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