Benefits of Manual Therapy

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The Benefits of Manual Therapy Combined With Exercises

At Alpha Chiropractic we feel that the best combination of care for neck, upper back and shoulder pain includes manual therapy as well patient participation. Chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and Graston Technique in combination with prescribed at-home exercises have yielded the best results ith patients at our clinic, and a study posted in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showed just that.

In an article titled Comparative Study of Hands-On Therapy With Active Exercises vs Education With Active Exercises for the Management of Upper Back Pain obtained from PubMed, they chose to compare the benefits of manual therapy and exercises with the benefits of postural education and active exercises. The study had one group of participants receive manual therapy including heat and massage combined with active exercises. The other group was given instructions and educated on how to correct their posture and given exercises to perform as well. The results of the study showed a significant difference between the results obtained in the manual therapy group with those of the education group, demonstrating hand-on therapy is more beneficial that simple education and corrections.

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

Volume 29, Issue 3 , Pages 228-235, March 2006

Comparative Study of Hands-On Therapy With Active Exercises vs Education With Active Exercises for the Management of Upper Back Pain

Mary S. Pesco, MA, Etsuo Chosa, MD, PhD, Naoya Tajima, MD, PhD


The aim of this study was to compare hands-on therapy, including heat, massage, and active exercises with postural education that emphasized increased self-efficacy and postural self-awareness along with education about the physiology of the disorder, and prescribed daily active exercises.


Twenty-four randomly selected women, 12 custodians and 12 students, with neck and shoulder pain and stiffness.


Data were compared using a nonparametric analysis (Wilcoxon signed rank test) and showed evidence of statistically significant reductions in neck, shoulder, and back stiffness and shoulder muscle tension for most of the study subjects.


Treatment of repetitive stress injuries that combines maintenance of daily active exercises prescribed and modeled by a professional therapist, which emphasize postural awareness to correct poor posture and provide a basic physiological understanding of the disorder, is as crucial to reducing upper back and neck pain and stiffness as hands-on therapy with active exercise provided in a clinical setting.

Alpha Chiropractic & Physical Therapy believes in combing the specialties and experiences of a medical physician, chiropractor, physical therapist, and massage therapists for treating injuries. This comprehensive treatment approach often produces better results in less time by addressing the muscle and joint aspect to every injury. Our clinic is conveniently located to serve the Ahwatukee, Chandler, Tempe, and Gilbert communities. To learn more about our treatments please visit the Resource Pages or Home Page.