How Joint Mobilization Works
Joint mobilization is a manual therapy technique used by chiropractors to increase movement and reduce pain around the joints throughout the body. It is often recommended for people who have fixated joints and limited range of motion. If your chiropractor has suggested this type of therapy for you, it can be helpful to understand what it is and how it works.
What Causes Fixated Joints?
Over time, your joints can lose their mobility and limit your range of movement. You may notice that certain areas feel stiff or unable to move to the same degree as in the past. This is called fixated joints, and they can result from age, stress, and lifestyle habits such as incorrect posture. Once they become fixated, they are often painful and can cause pain in the surrounding muscles.
Joint mobilization is often recommended for fixated joints because it frees up the joint to allow better movement. The procedure can also relax the muscles near the joint to reduce pain. It can improve your posture because you can move more freely; it may also decrease edema in the area.
What Happens with Joint Mobilization?
The technique features very small movements often accomplished with multiple stretches that are performed gently and in a smooth motion. The process results in a tiny movement of the bone surface to improve mobility in the area. The joints, ligaments, or muscles are loosened up to reduce the pain and restricted movement. There are five different grades of joint mobilization and each one has a different goal in the area to be treated.
The chiropractor will also use stretching exercises as well as strengthening movements to prevent the pain and stiffness from returning. Patients will receive instruction on how to reduce the chances that the problem will occur.
Who Benefits from Joint Mobilization?
Many people, both young and old can enjoy the benefits of decreased pain and improved mobility that joint mobilization provides. Athletes use it to relieve pain caused by sports injuries. It is often used in people with limited physical activity such as seniors or the physically challenged. It can help with chronic conditions such as arthritis or acute pain caused from injury. Joints that have reduced motion from scar tissue can see improvement with this procedure.
Joint mobilization can be performed on many areas of the body. It is often used on the neck, spine, and pelvis and can be performed on the feet, ankles, wrists, and ribs. This is a safe procedure that is only performed after a full assessment of the patient has been done. The process is completed slowly, and the patient can speak up if they feel any additional pain to stop the mobilization. This process is actually a very gentle treatment that can result in immediate improvements.
Joint mobilization is just one technique that chiropractors use to help you achieve the freedom of movement that you want along with a reduction of pain that often accompanies the restriction. If you have any concerns or questions about this procedure, you should talk to your chiropractor to help put your mind at ease.