At The Physiotherapy Partners we offer a wide range of services to treat a range of conditions but there is often confusion between mobilisation, manipulation and massage and how they can each be of benefit.

Mobilisation is a very commonly used hands on technique that aims to address joint stiffness, pain and work towards restoring normal pain free movement. Mobilisations are carried out on stiff spinal or peripheral joints and are performed as small, rhythmic, gentle movements and stretches. Although mobilisations are primarily used to treat joint conditions, they have also been seen to be very effective in the treatment of muscular or nerve injuries too. Mobilisations are also beneficial when used in conjunction with other treatments such as muscle stabilising techniques and exercise. A thorough preliminary physical assessment by a physiotherapist will determine whether this is the most appropriate technique for your particular issue.

Manipulation is an advanced type of mobilisation characterised by a small but sudden high velocity, thrust or movement performed at the end of the joint range. Mobilisation is most commonly carried out on the neck or back (although it can be carried out on other joints too) and is often accompanied by a crackling or popping sound which indicates the release of pressure in the joint. Research has shown manipulation to be very effective when treating pain, particularly if used alongside other therapies such as mobilisations, acupuncture and exercise programs. Any manipulative procedure must only be performed by a fully qualified and experienced physiotherapist and only after a thorough physical examination and assessment of medical history.

Massage is a hands on treatment comprising soft tissue mobilisation. Pressure ranging from a light touch to force is applied to muscles, ligaments or tendons. The motions applied do not cause joints to change position or move which differentiates massage from both mobilisation and manipulation. Depth and pressure can be tailored to your specific needs and so massage can form part of your rehabilitation or ongoing maintenance. Massage can also be for reducing soreness and tautness caused by physical activity, reducing risk of injury, minimising tension or pain, maintaining or improving flexibility or simply for relaxation.

To find out how any of these treatments could benefit you, get in touch  with The Physiotherapy Partners now to speak with one of our qualified physiotherapists today. We have appointments available across our three Midlands based clinics at times to suit you.


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