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Joint Manipulation

What is Joint Manipulation?

Market Harborough Physiotherapy Joint ManipulationThe method of joint manipulation is usually used on synovial joints. This includes most of the types of movable joints in the human body that can cause pain.

Joint manipulation is a technique to mobilize a joint in order to aid the treatment and recovery of an injury. The objective of joint manipulations is to increase the range of motion and mobility of the injured joint. The technique uses a controlled, small, isolated impulse on the target joint. The joint is usually placed at the end of its movement, and the manipulation gives an extra stretch to the soft tissues adjacent to the joint. This may produce a pop or clicking noise as a small suction pressure within the joint is released. This is normal. It is not a painful technique and in fact usually provides instant relief. Effectively, this frees any adhesions or restricted joints by gapping them and encouraging better movement. It also has a useful secondary effect of relieving pain.

what are the benefits of Joint Manipulation?

The clinical effects of joint manipulation have been shown to include:

• Temporary relief of musculoskeletal pain.

• Shortened time to recover from acute injury.

• Full range of motion restored

• Release of endorphins which are natural pain relievers

• Less irritating than repeated movements into pain

• Unlocked trapped joints

• Reduction of protective muscle spasm.

What is the ‘CLICK’ in a Joint Manipulation?

Joint manipulation is typically associated with the production of an audible ‘clicking’ or ‘popping’ sound. This sound is believed to be produced as some of the gases that are dissolved in the synovial fluid leaving the solution creating a bubble or cavity. This gas bubble, thought to be mainly carbon dioxide, rapidly collapses upon itself, resulting in a ‘clicking’ sound.

At Market Harborough Physio we use manipulation of part of a treatment package. Joint manipulation is not used on every patient and only where appropriate, depending on the patient’s condition.