What is Joint Mobilisation and Joint Manipulation?
Two frequents osteopathic forms of treatment are joint mobilisation and joint manipulation.
Joint mobilisation involves the smooth, progressive, and gentle working of a given joint through its full range of motion, which may entail its gradual increase from the restricted or virtually absent range resulting from an injury.
Joint manipulation involves the sudden release and functional realignment of a joint or set of joints previously restricted or even immobilised by an injury, by postural compression and/or muscle strain. Manipulation techniques involve a highly precise, swift and limited movement applied to a joint which may entail a “popping” sound as the joint releases.
We have selected the exercises we most frequently advise our patients to do and turned them into short video clips.
Does Joint Manipulation Hurt?
If joint manipulation is carried out by a trained practitioner, the latter will be aiming to apply minimal amplitude and force to the joint releasing movement – as such the joint release should not hurt, but the suddenness of the movement can be somewhat intimidating to a patient the first time round.
Most patients get rapidly use to joint manipulation, a few request that manipulation be withheld and other techniques used – their wish is by definition always respected.
However, it is fair to say that following the release of a joint, the inflammation that may preside over local tissue recovery can be a source of (marked) achiness for two-three days after treatment, which will then subside, the faster if the patient follows the advice and instructions provided by the osteopath.
Is Joint Manipulation Dangerous?
In incompetent and careless hands, joint manipulation could of course cause prejudice to the patient. However, in the hands of a trained osteopath, manipulation is applied both expertly and sparingly following a searching case history aiming at identifying any contra-indications to manipulation in the first place. Taking this into account, the risks involved are negligible.