manual joint therapy, physical therapy joint mobilization treatment on knee

How do physical therapists use joint mobilization treatments?

What is joint mobilization?

Joint mobilization is a hands-on or manual therapy technique that physical therapists use to increase the range of motion of restricted joints to improve mobility. Typically, physical therapists will apply pressure to the joint while simultaneously with passive movements to help mobilize the joint. The overall goal of joint mobilization therapy is to help reduce pain, improve strength, and increase range of motion.

What conditions benefit from joint mobilization treatment?

Joint mobilization is a standard manual physical therapy treatment that many physical therapists use to help alleviate the symptoms of both acute and chronic conditions. 

Studies show that joint mobilization therapy has helped treat the following conditions:

  • Arthritis 
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Wrist Sprains
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder Sprains and Rotator Cuff Tears
  • Neck Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Joint Inflammation
  • Osteoarthritis 

People who struggle with chronic or acute joint pain can benefit from joint mobilization therapy, an effective all-natural pain reduction treatment that can help improve mobility, reduce tension, and relieve pain.

knee joint with inflammation

What are the different types of joint mobilization?

There are three joint mobilization techniques, all of which utilize different pressure levels, movement speeds, and joint manipulation types. When administering joint mobilization therapy, a physical therapist will adjust the frequency, amplitude, and direction of joint motion based on your specific pain level and condition. 

Studies show that joint mobilization therapy has helped treat the following conditions:

  • Oscillatory joint mobilization utilizes gentle, soft pressure on the joint with slow joint movements to improve mobility. 
  • Sustained joint mobilization pulls the joint for more extended, fixed periods to stretch the surrounding muscle, improve flexibility, and reduce the compression of the joint. 
  • Manipulation is a more intense form of joint mobilization therapy. Physical therapists apply rapid thrusting movements with more force to release the pressure of tight joints, reduce stiffness, and improve mobility. 

Benefits of Joint Mobilization

Research has indicated that the benefits of joint mobilization treatments can vary among patients, and the effectiveness of joint mobilization may be short-term; however, studies show that patients who suffer from chronic or acute pain and joint stiffness have benefited from joint mobilization treatments. Overall, joint mobilization treatments are a common practice for physical therapists. It is a hands-on, all-natural pain reduction treatment that improves mobility and restores joint function.