Manual therapy, muscle energy, joint mobilization, physical therapy

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Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy: Available at all STAR Locations

Sometimes a problem in your muscles or other tissue can cause a joint to become so stuck you cannot move it. These problems can also cause pain that seems as if it will never go away, even after years of trying.

If you experience these challenges, we provide the direct, hands-on treatment you may need. We use manual therapy to treat all joints except the hands and jaw. We also treat the tissue surrounding your nerves, your muscles and your fascia, the tissue that gives your body shape and support.

Why Choose STAR for Manual Therapy?

Standard physical therapy methods, such as exercise, are not always enough to provide relief. For people who need more or are not getting better, we offer manual therapy, a group of related, more specialized treatments.

We may recommend these treatments as part of physical therapy after joint replacement, during treatment for pelvic pain and incontinence, and for other issues. When you see us for manual therapy, you receive:

  • Satisfaction: Many people tell us they were not able to find effective treatment until coming to our program. They also say we provide one of the best therapy experiences they have encountered. We truly care about helping you feel better.
  • Experienced therapists: Our manual therapists have completed the additional training required to use manual therapy and have treated people for years. They also take classes to keep up with the ever-evolving field and to learn new techniques. They share their knowledge with each other to provide you with the best care possible.
  • Personalized attention: You receive one-on-one therapy at STAR. We spend the time needed to identify the problem and the right approach to treat it. Our care is personalized to your needs, rather than one size fits all.
  • Thorough evaluation: We carefully look at your body’s alignment as well as the imbalances that often cause pain. Among pairs of muscles, for example, one side may be weaker and the other stronger. Or one side is tight and the other more flexible. These dysfunctions can pressure your spine and pelvis.
  • Defined goals: We work with an end in sight. Instead of scheduling more appointments, we help you become better and then empower you to maintain that improvement on your own.

Learn more about the benefits of choosing STAR sports therapy and physical therapy.

Manual Therapy Techniques

Our therapists are committed to learning the latest techniques for manual therapy and adding new options whenever possible. Our main techniques include:

  • Muscle energy: Your therapist stretches out your problematic joint and helps you hold it in position. You then contract and relax your muscles, with your therapist stretching out your joint a little farther after each repetition.
  • Joint mobilization: Your therapist moves your joint for you at different degrees of force. Unlike a chiropractor, they do not “pop” your joint.
  • Myofascial release: Our manual therapists can often massage the fascia closer to the skin. But they may recommend seeing one of our massage therapists for specialized techniques or for deeper massage. Learn more about our massage therapy.

STAR Approach to Treatment

In addition to manual therapy, we will likely recommend other physical therapy, such as conditioning and increasing strength or flexibility. If the way you move contributes to the problem, we will show you better ways to sit, stand and perform daily activities. 

Not everyone needs manual therapy, and we will help you decide if it is right for you. Other forms of physical therapy at STAR may provide better treatment if:

  • Your joint is not actually stuck, and the problem stems from the way you move.
  • You only need more strength and flexibility training.

Contact Us

To learn more about our services or make an appointment, please call a STAR location:

  • Chesterfield — Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Orthopedic Center: 314.514.3636
  • Creve Coeur — Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital: 314.996.3050
  • South County — Center for Advanced Medicine: 314.286.1000


Creve Coeur: 314.996.3050
Chesterfield: 314.514.3636
South County: 314.286.1000

STAR Locations




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