Hands-On Physical Therapy: What Is It? How Is It Different from Other Forms Of Physical Therapy? - Shaul's Individual Physical Therapy

Hands-On Physical Therapy: What Is It? How Is It Different from Other Forms Of Physical Therapy?

Many people are confused by the different types of physical therapy and the benefits they provide. In this article, we describe Hands-On physical therapy.

Hands-On or Hands-Off?

When it comes to physical therapy, there are two basic approaches to treatment: Hands-On and Hands-Off.

Hands-on physical therapy tries to reach and treat the source of the problem. This approach involves manual contact with the patient and mechanical work on the body.

  • Hands on requires time and knowledge vested, to actually affect the tissue mechanically. This is usually performed by the therapist
  • Hands on is more likely to have a long lasting effect and gives the patient some tools to use on their own for continual progress

Hands-off physical therapy tries to treat the symptoms of an underlying ailment. This approach uses methods that may include hot or cold agents, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and similar therapeutic methods.

  • Hands off requires less knowledge and is usually applied by a technician, who would use a “set it and forget it” kind of approach
  • Hands off is likely to give you “instant gratification”, while the effect won’t be long lasting.

What Techniques and Methods are Under the Term Hands-On?

Hands-On physical therapy uses manual techniques, which involve contact between the therapist’s hands and the patient’s body. Hands-On therapy may include:

  • Active/passive range of motion
  • Mobilizations
  • Myofascial release techniques
  • Massage
  • Craniosacral therapy techniques

Learn more about our techniques.

Would the Hands-On manual approach help me?

Here are a few things to consider to evaluate your physical therapy needs.

  • Do you have a musculoskeletal pain or issue (problem with muscles, bones and or joints), which is due to recent onset/injury?
  • Do you have a chronic problem, which wasn’t addressed properly in the past?
  • You think you have a problem, which was undiagnosed or misdiagnosed?
  • You already went thru a course of routine therapy in one of those mill PT operations that use techs and assistants, lots of machines and minimal/no human touch. They “milked” your insurance money but did not help you at all.
  • You used a chiropractor or massage therapist and it helped you only temporarily.
  • You just delivered a baby and have been having back and hip issues and have been told “it is from your pregnancy”?

Learn more about conditions we treat.

Where do I go from here?

If you feel you are a candidate with one of the above conditions, or if you are not sure about it, feel free to call us at 248-366-9170.  Ask to schedule a free consultation (yes, you heard me right-it is totally FREE!). You will be seen by Shaul or Avin who will ask you some questions and evaluate your full body to assess the reason for the visit. They will discuss your condition with you in detail, and what they may or may not be able to do to help you. The therapists at SIPT will tell you upfront if they are not the right professionals to address your condition!

You may find further information here:

Meet Our Physical Therapists

Frequently Asked Questions

Resource Links

Please remember, you are your best advocate. Make sure to educate yourself about your condition, and don’t ever believe anyone (including us) unless you see actual results!