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Manual physical therapy as a novel treatment modality for Autism spectrum disorder – A pilot study

Shyam Jungade



Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) fall under neurodevelopmental disorders and are characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. The current available treatments aim at functional rehabilitation with resultant partial improvement in few and the persistent handicap in rest of them. Manual physical therapy or manual manipulation therapy has the basis in structural rehabilitation of the patient and has been proposed to act by both peripheral and central mechanisms.

Case presentation

To study improvement in different components of ASD by manual physical therapy, the therapy comprised of soft tissue therapy, in the form of myofascial release (MFR) of deep fascia of leg and foot muscles. The child with ASD, treated by manual physical therapy had global improvement in all the deficits.


This is probably first case of autism reported to have almost complete symptom resolution, with any single form of treatment and this form of therapy holds promise in integrative and holistic management of the patient.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2019-02-25
Accepted: 2019-05-31
Published Online: 2020-03-31

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