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Joint Mobilization


When a joint's mobility is impaired secondary to trauma or prolonged immobilization, the structure and function of the region can change. Cartilage nutrition starts to decrease within the joint, and adjacent joints begin to move excessively to compensate for the hypomobile joint. These adjacent joints begin to break down due to excessive use. Muscles surrounding the stiff joint lose their ability to contract and relax sufficiently and become tight.

Our Therapist utilizes skilled, specific hands-on techniques, including but not limited to joint mobilization, which can be used to diagnose and treat soft tissue and joint structures for the purpose of modulating pain, increasing range of motion, reducing or eliminating inflammation, inducing relaxation, improving contractile and non-contractile tissue repair, extensibility and stability, and restoring function.

Joint mobilizations consist of small passive movements (oscillations) applied as a series of gentle stretches in a smooth, rhythmic fashion. Specific joint mobilizations can be incorporated into a patient's treatment plan to optimize overall outcomes in the case of adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) for example.

Effects of Joint Mobilization

• Improved joint mobility: Adhesions and thickened contractures are loosened.
• Improved joint nutrition: Oscillations create synovial fluid movement, improving nutrient exchange.
• Decreased muscle spasms and tension: Extensibility and strength of articular tissues is restored.
• Decreased pain: Stimulation of mechanoreceptors inhibits transmission of pain impulses to higher brain centers.