Joint mobilisation is a gentle hands-on physiotherapy technique used to improve the range of movement of a joint to decrease joint stiffness and pain. The technique involves the physiotherapist applying pressure and making small movements in an oscillating manner on the joints.
Your Physiotherapist will be skilled in the assessment of your body and be able to determine which joints are stiff. They may get you to actively move the joint or passively move it by providing external force. Any joint can be mobilised, there are some precautions, which your Physiotherapist will be able to identify.
Joint Mobilisation involves a number of different techniques. They are named after the therapists who first described the techniques. Three common techniques used are Maitland, McKenzie and Mulligan. These three techniques are backed by large amounts of research. At Peakhurst Physio we incorporate all three of these techniques into our therapies.
Joint mobilisation works by providing an external force on a joint and moving it through either its natural or an accessory (unnatural) range. There are five grades to joint mobilisations:
G1- Very gentle working from 0-25% range of motion.
G2- Large amplitude working from 0-50% range of motion.
G3- Deeper large amplitude working from 25%-100% range of motion.
G4- Low amplitude working in the last 25% range of motion.
G5- Manipulation, or “cracking” joint.
Joint mobilisation works by:
- Stretching joint structures to improve range of motion and quality of movement.
- Increasing blood flow and synovial (joint) fluid production.
- Desensitising the neuroreceptors within a joint to decrease pain.
Joint mobilisation is particularly effective when treating spinal pain and stiffness. There are many differing techniques that your Physiotherapist can use depending on your level of pain or your level of stiffness.
- Frozen shoulder
- Neck and back pain and stiffness
- Post fracture
- Post operatively
- Sports injuries
- Joint replacement
- Joint sprains