Sometimes, a joint can become irritated, swollen, or misaligned as a result of injury, stress, poor posture, repetitive movement, or even as a result of age-related wear and tear. When this happens, the joint may not move correctly and become stiff and painful. Nearby structures including muscles, tendons, and ligaments may become tense or injured as a compensatory effect of trying to support or stabilize the injured joint. This can lead to muscle weakness or even impingement and damage to nearby nerves.
Joint mobilization isn’t appropriate for all patients, and our skilled and experienced physical therapists can determine if it’s right for you or a loved one. Specific conditions which our physical therapy team successfully manage with joint mobilizations include:
Joint issues are often the hidden underlying factors driving other types of injuries and ailments including muscle strains, ligament damage, and bursitis, so this is why we strongly encourage you to consult with a Austin, TX physical therapist with any type of acute or chronic dysfunction. Your joints could be contributing to your pain without you even realizing it!
You have hundreds of joints in your body, which come in a variety of types and sizes (such as a “hinge joint” in your elbow, a “ball and socket joint” in your hip, or a “saddle joint” in your thumb). Joints, formed by the articulating surfaces of two or more bones, depend on a combination of both stability and mobility in order to help you function efficiently and comfortably. Importantly, joints are supported by a wide variety of physiological structures including capsules, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscle fibers, all of which can become injured and potentially benefit from physical therapy services, including joint mobilization.
The specific type, magnitude, speed, and frequency of joint mobilization performed depends on several factors, including the goal of treatment, the type of joint being targeted, and even your own unique anatomy. The benefits of joint mobilizations include pain reduction, improved range of motion, and improved quality of joint movement itself (known as arthrokinematics).