Manual therapy
Module: Physiotherapy
Contact hours – lectures: 50
Contact hours – seminar:  
Contact hours – clinical exercises: 42
Contact hours – clinical practice: 28
Holder of subject: Blanka Koščak Tivadar, Senior Lecturer
Year of study: First
Manual therapy              

Contact hours – lectures: 50
Contact hours – seminar:  
Contact hours – clinical exercises: 42
Contact hours – clinical practice: 28
Holder of subject: Blanka Koščak Tivadar, Senior Lecturer
Education providers:
  •  Blanka Koščak Tivadar, Senior Lecturer
  •  Janko Novak, an expert in practice
Level of study: First Bologna cycle professional education study program
Semester: Winter
Language: Slovene/English
Subject-specific competences:
Physiotherapy assessment and documentation of functions of the locomotor system within healthy population and patients with developmental abnormalities, disorders, orthopaedic or rheumatic illnesses and injuries.
  • A description of the manual technique and terminology: classical therapeutic massage, basic lymphatic drainage, deep friction massage, fascial manipulation and mobilization of the joints of the axial and appendicular skeleton.
  • The effects of manual techniques (mechanical, physiological, and psychological reflex) and their empirical justification.
  • Implementation and application of various manual techniques depending on the pressure, direction, pace and speed approaches.
  • Directivity of manual assessment techniques (investigative scheme), physiotherapy assessment and documentation of the various acute and chronic soft tissue.
  • The use of appropriate techniques of manual and physiotherapy techniques, programming the intensity and frequency of implementation regarding indications, contraindications, limits, taking into account the patients' rights for selection.

The aim of the course is the ability of systematic manual therapy of soft tissues (skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles, tendons, ligaments) and joints of the axial and appendicular skeleton, using the knowledge and understanding of functional anatomy, physiology and pathology of the musculoskeletal system, skin, blood and lymphatic circulation, and nervous system.
Subject-specific competencies:
  • With the help of physiotherapy assessment methods, the ability of the evaluation of function levels and to identify the main symptoms and signs of defective structures (joint surface, capsule, ligaments, tendons or muscles) motor system is disrupted or affected by developmental abnormalities, illness, injury, surgery.
  • Understand the therapeutic effect and the interpretation of physiological and foundations, in order to identify indications, contraindications, and restrictions for manual approach on soft tissues and joints as well as the ability of rejection of similar approaches, which are professionally and empirically unfounded.
  • The use of physiotherapy techniques, approaches and concepts according to the principles of research-based on clinical practice.
  • Familiarity with innovations at physio-therapeutic treatment of the locomotor system, supported by more advanced literature.
  • Ability of an autonomous selection and interpretation of relevant information about a person (patient) and the creation of meaningful physiotherapy programs, planning of intensity and frequency, taking into account the needs and rights of individual.
  • Development of skills for the implementation of the physiotherapy program in individual cases.
  • Ability to cooperate, communicate, document and share the information, ideas, problems and solutions with other healthcare professionals, specialists, as well as lay people.
  • Compliance with the principles of the Code of ethics of physiotherapists in Slovenia.
Knowledge and understanding:
  • Appropriate identification of normal and pathological processes and effects on the motor system (local, functional).
  • Pathological and pathophysiological changes in the organs, morphological changes at the tissues of the locomotor system in developmental disorders, diseases and injuries and their treatment and reparation.
  • Autonomous identification of the main symptoms and signs of defective or damaged structures of the locomotor system.
  • Assessment of the functional level of the locomotor system: handicapped, defective, limited, threatened or weakened by congenital abnormalities, illness, injury, surgery.
  • Proper implementation of physiotherapy techniques, according to the principles of research-based clinical practice and understanding of the physiological foundations of therapeutic effect.
  • Knowledge of and compliance with the indications, contraindications and limitations.
  • Selection, justification and planning of the intensity, evaluation and documentation of the effects of specific physiotherapy techniques, methods or approaches in reasonably designed physiotherapy program.
Mandatory references:
  • Gaber, G., 1994. Klasična terapevtska masaža. Ljubljana: samozaložba.
  • Beard, G. & Wood, E.C., 1965. Massage. London: Saunders.
  • Cyriax, J. & Russell, G., 1992. Textbook of orthopaedic medicine. Zv. 2. Treatment by manipulation, massage and injection. 10. izd. London: Bailliere Tindall.
  • Jull, G., Moore, A., Fallam D., Lewis, J., McCarthy, C. & Streling, M., 2015. Grieve's Modern Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, 4th ed. Edinburgh: Elsevier.
  • Schiffter, R. & Harms, E., 2009. Connective tissue massage. Suttgart: Thieme.
  • Olson, K., 2016. Manual physical therapy of the spine 2nd ed. Missouri: Elsevier.
Recommended references:  
Study obligations: 50% obligatory attendance at lectures
100% obligatory attendance at seminars
submitted and presented seminar work
Assessment methods:
Written exam is a condition for accession to practical exam.
Practical exam.