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Author: Richard Symister

Bodywork: The Benefits of Joint Manipulation

Sometimes, you just got to get past skin and muscle and get right to the bone. We are talking about the joint, where bone meets bone, at the knee, shoulder, spine, and throughout your entire body. These joints should be well-lubricated, demonstrate adequate rolling and gliding,  and should do so without pain or restriction.

However, following an acute or chronic injury, microtrauma, prolonged immobility (e.g. being in a cast), or healing from an injury or surgery, your joints can build up scar tissue, develop spurs, can lose space, and become dry and stuck.

This is where joint manipulation comes in. We are literally, as the name implies, taking the joint through some gentle, graded movements, manipulating them into new positions to:

  • Increase synovial fluid (joint lubrication)
  • Decrease both joint and muscular pain
  • Increase joint  movement
  • Provides low-level joint feedback for future, more intense loading and activity

We have absolutely fantastic results using joint manipulation for the following conditions:

  • Chronic ankle sprains
  • Poor knee joint mobility
  • Hip pain, hip weakness, and immobility
  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Upper back pain, tension, and headaches
  • Painful and frozen shoulder 
  • Acute and chronic stiff necks 

Watch this video of how we use joint manipulation in combination with other techniques to assist with Angela’s frozen shoulder mobility. 

Joint manipulation can be used on almost anyone, from the weekend warrior to the multisport athlete, although there are some precautions and contraindications your therapist should explain prior to application. 

We often show clients how to use simple tools such as lacrosse balls, foam rollers, and bands to complement the joint manipulation techniques we use in the studio.

Check out our BODYWORK page and see what you could use to help you heal, move and evolve. In combination with other modalities, joint manipulation is an excellent modality to add to your training toolbox. 

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