Manual Therapy

The manual therapist is a specialized physical therapist who has completed a 3-year master’s degree after physical therapy training. As a result, the manual therapist has developed more knowledge and skills in the area of pain in the spine and other joints in the body.
What is manual therapy?

The manual therapist is an expert in examining and or limitations to and around joints. The goal is to increase joint mobility and thus decrease pain. Examples of complaints that this treats pain conditions and can treat include pain or restrictions in the neck, back, shoulder and headaches.

What does a manual therapist do?

The manual therapist uses techniques with the goal of helping you move better with less pain. In addition, the manual therapist supplements this treatment with exercises and advice on exercise. The effect of manual therapy is often immediate.

When manual therapy?

In daily life, pain can result from restrictions in the joints or spine. Treatment by a manual therapist can then produce a sharp reduction in pain and an improvement in mobility.

The manual therapist can treat the following complaints:

  • Head and neck pain with poor movement of the spine
  • Neck and shoulder complaints with radiation to the arms
  • High back pain, including in combination with rib and chest pain
  • Low back pain, also with radiation to the legs
  • Headaches due to muscle tension and stiffness in the neck
  • Certain forms of dizziness
  • Hip complaints
  • Pain and stiffness in the shoulder

More information can be found here: Dutch manual therapy association.

Manual therapy at VMfsio

Our manual therapists are all Master of Science graduates, which enables them to properly interpret and apply the latest scientific information during their treatment. Their treatment average is lower than average within physical therapy.


You can visit a manual therapist for treatment without a doctor’s referral. Health insurance reimburses treatment of certain chronic conditions from basic insurance starting from the 20th treatment. For non-chronic complaints, you need supplemental insurance to receive reimbursement.


At a screening or intake, our manual therapist will examine whether he can help you with this technique. Good to know: the result of treatment also depends on your own efforts.

Manual therapists

Physical / manual therapist :
Maarten Melief, MSc

Maarten Melief

Physical / manual therapist :
Robert Vlek, MSc

Robert Stain

Physical / manual therapist :
Bouke Hepkema, MSc

Bouke Hepkema - manual therapist

Physical / manual therapist :
Marten Elzinga, MSc

Marten Elzinga Physiotherapist

Physical / manual therapist :
Pepijn Schalkwijk

Pepijn Schalkwijk physical therapist

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