Joint Mobilizations

Joint mobilization is manual therapy intended to improve and increase range of motion, induce relaxation, mobilize or manipulate soft tissue and joints, modulate pain, and reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation or restriction. Techniques may include manual traction, massage, mobilization / manipulation, and passive range of motion.

Joint mobilization techniques can be particularly beneficial to improve motion and decrease pain in the joint itself, rather than in the surrounding tissues.  There are many different types of joints in the body with varying degrees of movement.

The following picture illustrates familiar joints in the body. The ball and socket joints of the shoulder and hip are two of the most mobile joints in the body, whereas the hinge joints of the knee and elbow are relatively stable joints. Knowledge of the joint type and the way it moves guides the selection of a joint mobilization direction.

One example of this is that when you lift your arm up the ball portion of the socket joint of your shoulder glides slightly downward. This downward motion is important to allow for full motion as you elevate your arm overhead. If this glide is limited, our therapist may provided gentle pressure on your shoulder down toward your feet while they elevate your arm to restore this motion.

Physical therapists are trained to look at the whole body and interactions between various structures of the body. They constantly assess and reassess to determine the main issue and adjust their treatment strategy accordingly. y technique.

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