Mobilisation is the mainstay of any Physiotherapy treatment approach. It is the manual moving, stretching, lengthening and easing of all the tissues of the body.
Mobilisation is used by the physiotherapist to
- reduce pain
- increase range of motion
- reduce or eliminating soft tissue swelling, inflammation, or restriction
- induce relaxation and flexibility of tight tissues
- improve blood flow.
Mobilisation can be intertwined with manipulation. Manipulation can be defined as a more dramatic high-velocity movement across a joint or a deeper working of the soft tissues. It all comes down to definition!
Certainly, manipulation or ‘putting it back with a crack’ is not the sole preserve of the chiropractor, but neither is it necessarily the treatment of choice for every condition or patient. If your Physio deems it necessary and safe they will manipulate or ‘crack’, but it is not often necessary or preferred.
Further, any manipulation work should be part of a wider treatment plan to address why the area has become stuck or stiff. This is done by looking at the lengths, strengths and movement patterns of the muscles, ligaments and joints, as well as the controlling effects of the nervous system.