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Manual Physical Therapy

Manual Physical Therapy
Manual Physical Therapy is a clinical approach utilizing specific hands-on techniques such as manipulation/mobilization to diagnose and treat soft tissues and joint structures.

Manual therapy can only be provided by university-trained physiotherapists who have taken an extensive series of specialized courses.

  Conditions Treated:

  • Lower back and neck pain
  • Shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand pain
  • Hip, knee and ankle pain
  • Ligament sprains and muscle strains
  • Whiplash and soft tissue injuries
  • Disc herniations
  • Tendinitis and bursitis

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How does Manual Physical Therapy work?

Physiotherapists that practice manual physical therapy are specially trained to use their hands to diagnose and treat restrictions in movement. This can include a variety of conditions involving the legs, arms, spine, pelvis, TMJ and many other areas of the body.

By using gentle hands-on techniques, manual therapy helps to reduce pain and muscle tension, and improve joint movement and function.

Manual therapy has also been proven to promote faster recovery times.

If you have an injury, disease or condition that involves your joints, muscles, tendons or ligaments, you may be a candidate for manual therapy.

Benefits of Manual Physical Therapy

   Helps to decrease the pain in your injury.
   Helps to restore normal mobility and function.
   Promotes the normalization of scar tissue to accelerate muscular healing.
   Facilitates faster recovery times.


We are an approved physiotherapy provider in the WorkSafeBC Physiotherapy Network (WCB). Learn more here.

 ICBC Claims

We bill ICBC directly for authorized treatments. Learn more here.

What Patients are Saying

  • The staff at this location is very professional and friendly. I have been a patient with Deepika for well over 1 Year .I am very happy with her knowledge and expertise she demontrates in her field. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, and my medical concerns have been well taken care of. Another bonus is the convenient location, where the service is being offered. I certainly recommend Deepika as a physiotherapist.

    Christina S. – Google review

  • I highly recommend South Vancouver Physio clinic! The staff are extremely welcoming and friendly. Deepika S has been treating my knee injury and after the first few sessions with her I could already see an improvement. She really takes her time and listens to you to understand where the problem areas are. She is great and I highly recommend seeing her.

    M O – Google review

  • I recently injured myself while doing the Grouse Grind. So, I decided to visit a physiotherapist to help with my recovery. I was very happy with the service and guidance that Jonathan provided. I highly recommend Jonathan and the team and South Vancouver Physiotherapy.

    Daniel M. – Google review

  • I strongly recommend this clinic. They primarily consider health, not money. Thanks for the good service, especially to my physiotherapist Deepika Shantaram Sawant!

    Ferhat Ç. – Google review

  • When I first attended South Vancouver Physiotherapy Clinic in 2016 I could barely lift my hand. Thanks to Deepika that has changed. The minute you walk in for your treatment there is a sense of warmth and genuine caring. Deepika is very kind and friendly and always takes her time. After every session, I feel the tremendous benefit of her treatment with the heavy feeling in my hand disappearing. She gives fantastic professional advice and Physio sessions.I highly recommend Deepika to many and will not hesitate to continue to do so. Thanks to Deepika for her incredible knowledge and dedication to her patients.

    Chandani M. – Google review

  • I am really glad to find this place, and Deepka as therapist, she has been really helpful and understanding my pain. My specialist has given up treating my foot pain but Deepka has fixed them. The staff are also helpful and friendly. This is conveniently located and open long hours so anyone needs to work seriously, this is the place to go.

    Michiyo S. – Google review

  • Thank you wonderful team at South Van Physio. Thank you Pratik Vyas for excellent treatment plan. Highly recommended for physio needs.

    Ps J. – Google review

  • Jonathan has been treating my tricky lower back and neck issues for seven years now and I won’t see anyone else! He takes the time to understand what is bothering me, and responds with an appropriate treatment plan – I always leave feeling better than when I arrived.

    J.A. – Google review

  • The staff were really friendly and my physiotherapist helped me recover with a work related injury. She’s very caring and kind, and I loved her taping. I highly recommend the services that South Van Physio has to offer.

    Patrick A. – Google review

  • Deepika Sawant’s service is exceptional! I come here for ICBC injury and I feel much improved after visiting her regularly since the last car accident. Everyone here is so friendly and very helpful! I also love the relaxing atmosphere as well. Can’t stop raving about Deepika and this clinic to all of my families and friends!

    Miri L. – Google review

  • I really love the service. Thanks to my physiotherapist Deepika she helped me a lot to recover from my accident and later my knee. I love her tapping and care she shows towards her patients. She is awesome. Thanks again!!!

    Steph J. – Google review

  • Quick note to say thank you. Finally, I feel some relief!! Feel so much better than I did when I walked in there today. Much appreciate the treatment.

    Parveen – Google review

  • Deepika Sawant is simply Amazing! Her combination of methods is brilliant and my condition is improved so much after 4 sessions. Deepika is very professional, knowledgable and approachable! It is so relaxing and fun to work with her! Definitely highly recommended! I will for sure continue my treatment with Deepika.

    Emily C. – Google review

  • Deepika Sawant helped me with my rotator cuff – especially her exercise program that consistently helped to relieve the pain and give me more mobility. Deepika’s smile, positive approach and kindness made every appointment very pleasant. All the staff at reception was very polite and gracious.

    Elena U. – Google review

+ Common Questions About Manual Physical Therapy +

What types of treatments do manual physical therapists use?
Manual Physical Therapists use the following:

Joint Mobilization: This is a specialized technique where a rhythmic or sustained pressure is applied to the joints of the body to help to decrease pain and restore normal mobility and function.

This technique has also been found effective to promote the normalization of scar tissue and accelerates soft tissue up healing. It increases joint mobility by facilitating accessory motions, which are involuntary movements of the joints that bring about a full normal range of motion.

Joint Manipulation: This involves the skilled, quick, passive movement applied by a manual therapist to a specific joint. Joint manipulation helps to decrease pain in the injured area, as well as helps to restore normal mobility and function.

Soft Tissue Mobilization: This includes different techniques including massage, trigger point therapy and myofascial release. Pressure is applied to the muscles, soft tissue, tendons and ligaments which helps to stimulate relaxation, increase circulation, break up scar tissue, and ease pain.

Is manual physical therapy an effective treatment?

Manual physical therapy combined with other more traditional physiotherapy treatments is extremely effective.

Manual physical therapy is used to:

  • Treat soft tissues and joints
  • Modulate pain
  • Increase range-of-motion
  • Reduce or eliminate soft tissue inflammation
  • Induce relaxation
  • Improve contractile and non-contractile tissue repair
  • Increase extensibility of the tissues
  • Promote joint stability
  • Facilitate movement
  • Improve function
How will I know if manual physical therapy is the right treatment for me?
Your Physiotherapist will thoroughly assess your condition, and create a customized rehabilitation or treatment plan for you. Your Physiotherapist will advise you if Manual Therapy is one of the recommended treatments for your condition.