3 top questions about joint mobilization answered

July 26, 2022

For patients with stiff joints that are painful to move, even the simplest household tasks can become difficult. Whether it is due to conditions such as osteoarthritis or from a previous injury, roughly 1 in 4 adults in the United States suffers from joint-related pain and stiffness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Thankfully, many of the common causes of joint stiffness can be treated with physical therapy. Physical therapists use a number of proven methods to help reduce joint pain and stiffness. Among these methods, one of the most commonly used to treat stiff joints is joint mobilization. Joint mobilization is used by therapists to help patients move joints that a patient has difficulty moving on their own.

What is joint mobilization?

If you have never visited a physical therapist before, you may not have heard of joint mobilization. It is one of the most common methods that physical therapists use to help patients just like you to improve their mobility. 

Here are three questions you may have about joint mobilization therapy and how it can help you.

  1. How is joint mobilization performed? — During this kind of therapy, a physical therapist manually moves a joint with their hands, gently working it through a natural level of resistance. These motions stretch and strengthen the tissue surrounding the bone, which helps reduce pain and increase range of motion.
  1. What conditions can benefit from joint mobilization? — Any patient suffering from joint stiffness or pain can benefit from this kind of physical therapy. Manual mobilization is often used to treat conditions such as:
  • Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Rotator cuff tears and sprains.
  • Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder).
  • Tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow.
  • Ankle and wrist sprains.
  1. Does joint mobilization hurt? This physical therapy procedure is almost always pain-free. Sometimes, a therapist may need to employ a quick or sudden movement to induce a pop in the joints, which some patients might find temporarily uncomfortable. But this is used to help loosen stiff joints and relieve pain in the long run.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for joint mobilization therapy

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and who can help you address the cause of your stiff or painful joints. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.