What is joint manipulation?

Joint manipulation is a passive therapeutic technique used to restore the full joint mobility in a single forceful movement. It utilizes high velocity and low amplitude thrusting maneuvers, and is usually aimed at one or more ‘target’ synovial joints to increase the range of motion, improve function, and reduce nerve irritation.

Characteristically associated with the “click” or “pop” sound, this phenomenon is known as cavitation. The applied force used in joint manipulation deforms the joint capsules and intra-articular tissues, lowering the pressure within the joint cavity. It also separates the articular surfaces of the joint. The clicking sound results when a bubble or cavity is created, rapidly collapsing upon itself in the low pressure environment as some of the gases dissolves in the synovial fluid.

How does joint manipulation work?

A typical joint manipulation session will include an assessment of the affected area and treatment consideration. This treatment is usually applied on joints in the body ranging from the spine, legs, hip, shoulders, arms, hands, and etc. Joint manipulation techniques are applied with quick thrust movements and in order to ensure that the patient is under maximum relaxation, patients might be requested to be under anesthesia during the treatment.

Oftentimes, the practitioner utilizes a wide range of manual techniques, including:

  • Moving joints gradually through a range of different positions intended to reduce tension within a joint
  • Stretching or pulling muscles in a certain direction, intended to improve range of movement and strengthen the muscle
  • Sharp and short thrusts applied to the spine, intended to improve range of movement and remove joint restrictions
  • Releasing pinched joint capsules

Why should i do joint manipulation?

Some clinical effects of joint manipulation have been proven to provide:

  • Improved joint range of motion
  • Relief of musculoskeletal pain
  • Unlocking of joints (for example, acute back sprains, stiff neck, etc.)
  • Physiological effects on the central nervous system

This technique can be practiced on patients with hypomobile or painful joints, and there are no limitations to which joints can be manipulated. All joints can be treated, even though the most popular treatment is often applied to the spine.

Ready to Experience Joint Manipulation with Our Experts at TAP?

We have a team of skilled sports physicians who are more than proficient in joint manipulation to help you to restore a free range of motion as well as reduce pain. Our techniques are effective even when certain techniques are applied gently. We practice a customer-first approach here at TAP, so you can make sure that your comfort is our top priority during a joint manipulation session.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our sports physicians, and let us address your problems. Your pain-free lifestyle can become a reality with us at TAP!