Manual physical therapy can help with any number of joint complications, including those in the hands, feet, elbows, hips, neck, and spine. At the Cooper Bone and Joint Institute, our specially trained therapists offer you the latest in physical therapy options, including manual therapy.

Manual therapy, or mobilization, is a type of hands-on physical therapy. The term "mobilization" deals with the soft tissue encapsulating a joint or muscle that may become restricted due to chronic postural changes, repetitive motions, trauma, or post-immobilization from surgery. These soft tissues around the bone and joints need to be stretched in order to restore range of motion. Tightness in joints can restrict the flow of blood, lymph nodes and nerve signals in the area. Manual therapy may also promote proper restoration of joint function after an injury.

Restoring Range of Motion

Range of motion is the ability to move a joint, such as the elbow, at the normal extent without pain. In the case of the elbow, you would be able to totally extend your forearm and then bend the elbow all the way. If you are unable to perform this task easily and without pain, you have restricted range of motion.

Range of motion problems typically develop after injury. Ligaments may be torn, bursa may move out of place, or a bone may be broken or displaced. Range of motion is closely related to quality of life. If an elbow does not bend properly, it would be difficult to perform daily tasks, such as cleaning, cooking, and opening doors.