Functional Manual Therapy


Your therapist will work with your fascia, if necessary.

Fascia is a web of tissue that covers and connects your body structures.

It’s important to tell your therapist if you’ve had surgery or an injury. When fascia is restricted in one area, it may pull in several other areas of your body.

For example, you may have pain in your shoulder every time you move your arm. The restriction may originate in the fascia in your abdomen, resulting from abdominal surgery.

Can you move freely without pain? If so, do you have the neuromotor control to complete a full range of motion smoothly and efficiently?

In the Scott & White Division of Physical Therapy, our licensed physical therapists are specially trained in a treatment approach called functional manual therapy (FMT).

FMT is the most comprehensive approach to treating mechanical, neuromuscular and motor control difficulties.

Functional Manual Therapy™

Functional manual therapy combines mechanical treatment of your joints, soft tissues, visceral and neurovascular systems with manual neuromuscular facilitation to enhance optimum motor control and function.

FMT includes traditional healing techniques:

  • Joint manipulation and mobilization
  • Soft tissue mobilization

What’s Different About FMT?

  • Whole-body connection – Your body functions efficiently as a whole unit; therefore, seemingly disparate but connected body parts are treated.
  • Patient-engaged – You’re not just lying there. You’re an active participant in your own therapy.
  • Coordinated response – As your therapist moves a joint or works on a nerve bundle, you respond with corresponding breathing or movement.
  • Prescriptive exercises – Targeted, individualized exercises you repeat and practice at home in order to break old patterns and begin new ones.

The Whole-Body Connection

Injury, damage or disease in one area of your body affects your whole body. Though you may have an orthopedic problem in one part of your body, your therapist will treat your entire system.

You may have injury to a disk in your back, for example. Your physical therapist will assess your entire body alignment and treat not only near your affected disk, but also your:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Hips
  • Legs

Goals of FMT

With functional manual therapy, using specific hands-on therapy techniques, your therapist will help:

  • Restore mobility – Loosen up any stiffness or restrictions of movement you may have so that you may move freely
  • Retrain neuromotor control – Retrain your muscles and nerves so that they move the right way at the right time with the proper strength and endurance
  • Improve motor control – Help you follow the proper everyday movement patterns efficiently and without pain

The ultimate goal of functional manual therapy is that you become self-sufficient and more proficient in all areas of human activity through:

  • Proper alignment
  • Automatic and pain-free activation of the proper muscles in the proper sequence

Individualized Therapy Plan

Your therapist will design a specifically targeted, individualized therapy plan designed to improve your:

  • Balance
  • Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Functional activity
  • Range of motion
  • Strength

A key ingredient to functional manual therapy is core-first activation. Find out more about CoreFirst™ activation.

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