What are joint mobilisations?

Joint mobilisations describe carefully moving the joint in a certain way to decrease pain and increase movement at that joint.

Mobilisation is a passive movement which can be applied to the spine or another joint and is an oscillatory movement which is in the control of the patient as you can prevent the movement if you want to.

Joint mobilisations can be applied at varying grades or intensities on what you are trying to achieve with treatment and the severity of the condition.

Grades of mobilisation:

G.D. Maitland described 4 grades of mobilisation which range from a gentle movement if there is a lot of tenderness and pain. The grade intensity will increase slowly until you have normal movement again. The grade of treatment is dependent on whether stiffness or pain is the main problem as painful joints will not tolerate a high grade.

  • Grade 1: small sized movement at the beginning of range
  • Grade 2: large sized movement within free range of movement but not moving into stiffness or resistance
  • Grade 3: Large sized movement up to the end of range of movement
  • Grade 4: small sized movement at the end of range of movement

What conditions can joint mobilisations treat?

Joint mobilisations are beneficial where there is pain and joint tightness, reducing the range of movement that should exist at a certain joint.

Your physiotherapist will carry out a detailed assessment to determine what condition you have and will create a treatment programme based on their findings.

Conditions that joint mobilisations can be used for include:

  • Any joint that is painful or stiff
  • Degenerated joints
  • After injury
  • After operation

When are joint mobilisations not indicated?

There are some cases where joint mobilisation is not indicated for treatment. Contraindications to joint mobilisation include:

  • Spinal cord compression
  • Fractures
  • Bony infection such as tuberculosis, osteomyelitis
  • Local malignancy
  • Caudaequina compression

What are the benefits of joint mobilisations?

Joint mobilisations aim to increase range of movement in a joint that may be painful or stiff.

Joint mobilisations can help with:

  • Reduced pain
  • Increased range of movement
  • Reduced stiffness
  • Increased flexibility

Why Farrell Physiotherapy?

We pride ourselves on providing excellent patient care ensuring you are always at the centre of what we do. We are committed to continuous education and development to make sure we are up to date with the latest practices and therefore you can feel confident you are getting the best possible advice and care when coming to Farrell Physiotherapy

If you would like to find out more about ultrasound or any of our other treatments, or would like to book an assessment please call 01245 615 051 or e-mail: infofarrellphysiotherapy@gmail.com