What Is Mobilization With Movement?

This is a great technique used while someone is in physical therapy. Mobilization with movement is very similar to that of joint mobilizations… just with movement. Most people understand the global motions our joints perform. They know the joint moves in a certain direction. There are muscles, ligaments, and certain structures involved to allow this to happen. However, unknown to most, is the arthokinimatics of the joint. Each joint structure is different from the contact between two bones to the number of muscles acting on a joint. Within that joint are small accessory motions going on to allow the motion we see outside the body to occur.

Following injury the joint can lose the ability to perform those smaller motions. The two motions in question are a “roll” and “slide”. Depending on the joint structure and function will determine which way the roll and slide occur. After injury these movements don’t always return or work based on damage and scar tissue. This can result in painful motion or limited motion entirely.

Mobilization with Movement is a technique performed by a physical therapist to restore these accessory motions. A technique that is hard to do to one’s own body. We use straps or our hands to mobilize the joint while also moving through a certain range. This will help mobilize the joint at different positions. Once these motions are restored one can start to stretch and strengthen the appropriate muscles to build upon the new found motion from the mobilizations. 

Dr. Tyler uses a technique called mobilization with movement to help reduce hip pain and improve function on a patient.
Animated image of finger joints and how the internal joint mechanics works