Joint Manipulation is a high-velocity low amplitude thrusting maneuver that aims to achieve a therapeutic effect. This technique pushes the joint in specific directions and depths to stretch the joint and surrounding tissue. Therapists perform this passive technique on skeletal joints to induce relief of musculoskeletal pain and restore joint function. It is often associated with the production of ‘pop’ or ‘click’ sound.
What is Joint Manipulation?
How does it work?
Joint manipulation works by:
- Releasing pinched joint capsules
- Reflexively relaxing tight muscles
- Unbuckling mechanically locked joint segments
The ‘pop’ or ‘click’ sound produced from the technique helps reduce pressure within the joint cavity. It may also correct spinal alignment. It helps with muscle relaxation, joint lubrication, removes scar tissues in and around the joint and restores joint range of motion. The patient feels rapid pain relief as the technique has a physiological effect on the nervous system.
What conditions does it help?
Joint manipulation can have positive effects on almost any joint in the body. It can help relieve:
- Neck pain
- Upper back and lower back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Knee pain
- Hip pain
- TMJ dysfunction
- Sacroiliac joint pain
Does it hurt? What should I feel?
Joint manipulations do not usually hurt. You may experience slight discomfort while the technique is being performed, but that is usually followed by relief in pain. If it is your first time having a joint manipulated, you may feel slight discomfort or tenderness for a few hours after. This soreness is usually referred to as ‘treatment soreness’ and can feel ‘like you worked out’. It should resolve within 24hours.