Joint manipulation is one of the most common ways to help patients feel less pain and has a wider range of motion. Joint manipulation, which is sometimes called “manual therapy,” uses many different techniques to help patients. Joint manipulation is thought to be a safe procedure, with only minor side effects like headaches, mild pain that spreads to other parts of the body, and local pain.
Reasons Why Your Joints Don’t Work Right
Joint problems can be caused by many things, such as:
• Underuse: People who have been stuck in a wheelchair or bed for a long time may hurt their joints and feel a lot of pain because they haven’t used them.
• Overuse: Either for a short time with a lot of work or for a long time with constant work.
• Natural joint dysfunction: Joints naturally wear down over time, but that doesn’t make the process any less painful, inconvenient, or harmful. Joint manipulation can help fix problems with joints that happen naturally.
• Trauma: This can come from an injury, an accident, or stress over a long time.
• Post-op: problems that come up after an operation, whether they are related or not.
Different Ways to Move a Joint
There are several ways to move (mobilize) the joints in the body. Most of the names of these mobilization techniques come from the clinicians who came up with them and tested them on patients.
Examples Of Some Techniques Are:
• STM (Soft Tissue Mobilization)
• Manual therapy by Mulligan or mobilization with movement
• Neural Tension Mobilization (a special way to move nerves. Graded Mobilizations are ways to move slowly with different amplitudes)
• Manipulation (a fast, low-amplitude thrust at or near the end of the joint’s range of motion)
What Makes Joints Pop?
Joints are the places in your body where two bones meet and move together. A smooth layer of hyaline cartilage covers the ends of each bone in a joint. This cartilage makes it possible for the surfaces of the joints to move smoothly over each other. If the cartilage is damaged, it can hurt and make it hard to move.
Because synovial fluid acts as a lubricant for the joints, it causes nitrogen bubbles to form in the joints over time. Bubbles like these can build up in the spaces between joints, making them feel tight. When this happens, you can “crack” the joint to loosen it and let the gas out of the bubbles.
What’s The Source Of The Pop?
Cells make up your body. These cells “breathe” by turning food into energy and getting rid of waste. Carbon dioxide gas is one waste product of cellular respiration. Normally, this gas moves to your blood and gets carried out of the body when you breathe.
Small pockets of gas can sometimes get stuck in your joints. When the joint moves, the pressure around it changes, causing these gas pockets to grow and shrink. This growing and shrinking are called cavitation. When that gas is suddenly let out of a joint by moving it by hand, the joint pops.
Manipulation checks give these internal analyses a chance to happen when treatments fail. In addition to testing how well the manipulation worked, they give the researcher a second, correlational way to test how likely the hypothesis is, even if the manipulation didn’t work.
Pain can be relieved quickly through manipulation. Evidence-based medicine shows that skilled therapeutic interventions and education are often needed together for the manipulation to have long-term benefits. When done correctly, gently, and quickly, a physical therapist’s manipulation can make a big difference in treating pain and increasing the range of motion.