When a joint is degenerate or inflamed it can become stiff and have restricted movement as a result. Joint mobilisation techniques aim to restore a normal range of pain-free joint movement by applying a gentle oscillatory force to the joint in question. Almost every restriction in movement can be regained by a direct joint mobilisation technique performed by an experienced musculoskeletal physiotherapist.
Manipulation is a more direct technique which often produces a sharp ‘crack’ or ‘pop’ in a joint and is only performed by Chartered Physiotherapists who have completed extensive post-graduate training in its application. It is effective in treating both spinal and peripheral joints, often in conjunction with some other form of physiotherapy treatment, for example, massage or an exercise programme.