Physical therapy is an approach that may involve physical exercises, manual therapy, and chiropractic care. It may be used to help improve physical function, reduce pain, and restore range of motion in the musculoskeletal system.  

It is designed to help patients regain strength and mobility in their bodies. Physical therapists are trained to assess the health issue so that they can work with patients to develop a plan of action. 

Physical therapists may use a variety of techniques to help their patients. There are different types of physical therapy, each with its own unique approach and set of techniques. Read on!

1. Manual therapy

One type of physical therapy is manual therapy. This type of therapy involves the use of hands-on techniques such as massage, mobilisation, and manipulation to help alleviate pain and improve mobility. 

Manual therapy may be effective in addressing a wide range of conditions, including musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain.

2. Chiropractic care

Chiropractic care focuses on addressing disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. Chiropractic may be used to manage health issues such as neck pain, slipped discs, and sciatica. 

Neck pain

Neck pain is a common health concern that may be caused by anything from poor posture, muscle tension, and injury to specific medical conditions such as a herniated disc. It can range from mild discomfort to sharp pains that make it a challenge to move your head and neck. 

Neck pain may also be accompanied by headaches, dizziness, or numbness in the arms or legs. It is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of these symptoms in relation to neck pain.

Slipped discs

A slipped disc, also known as a herniated disc, is a condition that occurs when one of the discs between the vertebrae in your spine becomes damaged and pushes out into the spinal canal. This may cause pain and discomfort and can limit your range of motion. 

It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect that you may have a slipped disc.


Sciatica is a common condition that may cause nerve pain. It occurs when the sciatic nerve - the longest nerve in the body - becomes irritated or compressed. It may cause pain, numbness, and tingling in your lower back, buttocks, and legs.

A chiropractor for sciatica uses a variety of methods such as manual adjustments, exercise therapy, and lifestyle advice in order to help reduce symptoms and improve musculoskeletal health. 

With their approach to health care, chiropractors may be able to provide relief from chronic pain and help patients manage the condition more effectively.

3. Exercise therapy

Another type of physical therapy is exercise therapy. It is a type of physical activity that is specifically designed to improve the physical health of the patient. It is used to improve fitness, manage chronic conditions, help with injury rehabilitation (if any), and help provide relief from pain. 

According to Australian Sports Physiotherapy, these are some examples of exercise therapy:

  • exercising range of motion 
  • exercising with increasing resistance
  • balance exercises
  • strengthening exercises
  • conditioning through aerobic exercise.

Exercise therapists work with a variety of clients including those who are recovering from injuries or illnesses, those who have chronic conditions and athletes looking to optimise their performance. Exercise therapy may also be used in combination with other therapies such as chiropractic. 

4. Aquatic therapy 

According to the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center: “Aquatic therapy is a form of physical therapy conducted in temperature-controlled pools. Individualised treatment plans are designed to improve mobility, balance, strength, and endurance. The goal is less pain and better function.”

Aquatic therapy is a type of rehabilitation therapy that uses the properties of water. It may be used as a part of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan, or it may also be used as an independent treatment. 

Aquatic therapy is particularly beneficial in helping reduce pain, improve range of motion, and increase strength and flexibility. Aquatic therapists use techniques to maximise the benefits produced through the use of water for therapeutic purposes. This may include hydrotherapy, buoyancy techniques, aquatic massage, and aquatic exercise programs.

In conclusion…

Physical therapy offers a wide range of options to help patients restore movement and function to their musculoskeletal system. Different types of physical therapy include manual therapy, exercise therapy, aquatic therapy, and chiropractic. 

Each type of therapy has its own unique approach and set of techniques, and the most appropriate type of therapy will depend on the patient’s specific condition and needs.