What are joint manipulations?

A joint manipulation is a sudden thrust or movement of a small size performed at a high speed at the end of range of a joint in a way that the patient is not able to prevent the movement unlike with joint mobilisations.

Manipulation is frequently performed at the intervertebral joints but can be performed at other joints too.

Joint manipulations can be very effective treatment methods though there is considerable risk when carrying out manipulations if the technique is poor or it is carried out inappropriately. All our physiotherapists who carry out joint manipulations are fully trained in manipulative skills.

What are the manipulation techniques?

There are several different types of manipulation including:

  • Cervical transverse thrust
  • Cervical rotation
  • Thoracic rotation
  • Thoracic posteroanterior rotation
  • Lumbar rotation

What conditions can joint manipulations treat?

Your physiotherapist will carry out a full subjective and objective assessment to determine what your problem is and provide a personalised treatment programme based on your symptoms. Your physiotherapist will decide whether joint manipulation is appropriate or not.

Joint manipulation is often used alongside other treatment methods such as exercises.

There are two main reasons you would manipulate a joint:

  1. If there is a stiff pain-free joint that has been mobilised to the full range possible
  2. If there is a joint that has been acutely locked such as a cervical apophyseal joint

When should joint manipulation be avoided?

There are several contraindications for joint manipulation including:

  • Verterbral artery insufficiency
  • Rheumatoid arthritis of the C1-2 joints (upper cervical spine)
  • Spondylolistehsis
  • Pregnancy (last trimester)
  • Recent whiplash
  • Hemophilia
  • Acute nerve root compression
  • Children whose epiphyseal plates aren’t closed
  • Unstable joints

What are the benefits of joint manipulations?

Joint manipulations aim to improve your joint movement and assist with:

  • Decreased stiffness
  • Increased range of movement
  • Decreased pain

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 joint manipulations or any of our other treatments, or would like to book an assessment please call 01245 830280 or e-mail: infofarrellphysiotherapy@gmail.com.