Joints that become compressed, locked, or fixated reduce your ability to move effortlessly and generally results in some level of pain. Any joint that is not moving properly will have a negative effect on surrounding soft tissue (muscles and tendons). What tends to happen is that muscles surrounding the joint tighten thus causing pain and further restricting movement.
There are multiple reasons for your joints to have problems but the most common are:
- Poor Posture
- Poor Nutrition
Joint mobilization properly applied helps to release these compressed, locked, or fixated joints and relax the surrounding muscles and tendons. Joint mobilizations should not be confused with Chiropractic adjustments since they are applied in a much gentler fashion.
Joint mobilization consists of small passive movements, usually applied as a series of gentle stretches in a smooth, rhythmic fashion to the individual joints. It involves moving the joints in such a way that a small movement of the actual bone surfaces takes place. In this way, joint mobilization improves mobility in areas that currently have less than normal movement. Tight muscles, stiff ligaments, or problems in the joints themselves may cause the decreased movement. If pain is associated with this decreased movement, loosening up the structure that causes the restriction can often relieve the pain.
Joint mobilization can help in relieving pain and releasing tension from areas such as the head, neck, ankles, feet, pelvis, wrists, ribs, and spine. It is widely used to in the treatment of sports related injuries. Joint mobilization has also proven to be effective in treating movement impairment in physically challenged and the elderly. It is especially effective in the treatment of arthritic joints. In addition, certain stretching and strengthening exercises are performed to prevent the pain from returning. Patients are also taught how to prevent the pain from re-occurring.