Manual therapy is a widely used term to describe things such as massage, joint mobilization, and joint manipulation—basically anytime a provider uses their hands to help you.
How does it help? It often helps reduce pain, improve motion, and can even increase muscle activation. If we can improve all of these things it will allow you to get more out of your exercise and have less pain while doing it. Ultimately its just one strategy to move you towards your goal of returning to the life you enjoy.
How long does it last? The effects of manual therapy are often short term and must be combined with some kind of active treatment such as strengthening in order to get lasting results.