If your physiotherapist feels it is appropriate, they may suggest that they provide peripheral joint mobilisations (peripheral joints are those joints not in the area of the spine, for example the shoulder, knee or ankle).
This may be included as part of a rehabilitation programme including a home exercise plan.
When the joints are very stiff, it is occasionally helpful to move individual joints in a series of small repetitive movements.
Manual therapy includes techniques that glide joints in a rhythmic manner, gap joint surfaces and/or use muscle contractions to loosen joints.
The effects of treatment can be short lived and it is important that you do the exercises, given to you by your physiotherapist, to compliment the manual therapy treatment.
Manual therapy can help to reduce restrictive muscle spasm and increase lubrication of the joints. Some mobilisations are done using direct pressure of the hands and fingers on the joints. Some are done by assisting the body’s usual movements such as bending, straightening and rotating.
Is it safe?
Yes, it is safe when recommended following a thorough verbal and physical assessment by your physiotherapist. There are some conditions and situations where peripheral joint mobilisations may not be appropriate. During assessment your physiotherapist is ensuring that any treatment offered is safe for your condition, taking into consideration all other aspects of your general health.
Does it hurt?
Joint mobilisations can sometimes be quite uncomfortable. Keep your physiotherapist informed throughout so that they can gauge treatment at an appropriate level that you are able to tolerate. We will never do any treatment without your informed consent.