What is the difference between a manipulation and a mobilisation?
A manipulation is a high velocity end range technique. This means that there needs to be a lot more skill when the health professional is delivering the treatment. Mobilisation techniques differ in that they move the joint through their range and don’t stretch the joint beyond its end range. Physiotherapists mobilise joints and become acquainted with this technique quite early in their undergraduate training.
Mobilisation is used to reduce the patient’s symptoms. Ideally, mobilisation would be a treatment of choice for anyone that initially comes into the practice who is suffering from symptoms. Whilst a manipulation is an end treatment progression.
Can all Physiotherapists perform a manipulation?
A manipulation is a technique that all Physios are trained to do, but not every Physio is comfortable in performing. Training and experience come in to play to determine a therapists level of comfort when performing this. If you require a Physio that does this treatment, make sure you clarify this with the practice’s receptionist before booking the appointment. Choose a Physio that practices manipulations regularly and is comfortable doing this as part of the treatment.
When can a manipulation be of use?
Manipulation is a technique that is beneficial to the client as it can have an immediate effect on the way joints move, helping to reduce the patient’s symptoms. Following a manipulation, there can be a reduction in joint stiffness and also a small endorphin release.
Why do we hear a pop when a joint is manipulated?
There is a theory as to why we hear a ‘pop’ noise. The ‘pop’ is thought to come from a process called cavitation where the gasses of the joint become compressed and form a bubble that under pressure is released from the joint causing the sound. This release of gas will also cause a reduction of the contents in the joint space and may be associated with the extra movement and feeling of freedom.