Injured joints can become very stiff and painful. Physiotherapists often treat joint problems with techniques called ‘mobilisations’. This simply means carefully moving the joint in a very specific way so as to decrease pain and increase range of movement. The physiotherapists working at Murphy Physiotherapy are, like many other therapy clinicians, trained according to the Maitland principles of joint mobilisation.
Jo Murphy has also trained extensively in osteopathic manipulation. Where appropriate, this form of manipulation can be extremely effective for treating a wide range of joint disorders. Osteopathic techniques offer a safe way of manipulating joints. By positioning the joint in the middle of the available range of movement, treatment is generally more comfortable than the other types of manipulation that require a joint to be placed in an end of range position. Not only is this kind of manipulation more comfortable but, by not forcing the joint as far as it can go, damage to the surrounding soft tissue is avoided. When a joint is manipulated, you often hear a ‘click’ or ‘pop’, this is called ‘cavitation’ and is caused by the momentary formation of gas bubbles inside the joint. Even if a manipulated joint does not ‘click’, the results are often very good, because the joint capsule receives a full therapeutic stretch and this leads to improved joint movement.
Whilst manipulation is not suitable for all clients, it can be very useful when used in an appropriate and sensitive manner. Jo Murphy has undertaken a wide range of osteopathic courses to acquire these techniques and continuously updates her skills. We appreciate that these techniques are not always acceptable and some clients have a fear of manipulation. Fortunately there are lots of alternative techniques that can yield equally effective results including Muscle Energy Techniques, Positional Release and Soft Tissue Techniques.
We often combine several different techniques to gain a better result than can be achieved by any one approach alone. Furthermore, by adding carefully selected rehabilitation exercises, the process of recovery is hastened and the risk of recurrent injury significantly reduced.