1. Joint manipulation and joint mobilisation
Joint manipulation and mobilisation both refer to manual techniques where the therapist will move your joints to restore movement in them, however they are quite different. Mobilisation is provided within available range of the joint, usually at the end of range, and the force is generally applied slowly. These techniques are generally aimed at stretching the capsule or ligaments around a joint. Manipulation (often termed “cracking”) is where the joint is moved at a high velocity but low amplitude at the END of a joints range, to increase it. The “crack” which is heard is thought to be the bursting of a gas bubble in the joint from the vacuum created. Essentially this technique produces a rapid distraction of the joint surfaces. While all physiotherapists can apply both techniques in most body parts, only Masters Level (senior physiotherapists) or Osteopaths are qualified to perform cervical (neck) manipulation.