Mulligan technique manual therapy
Mulligan technique is a new, safe and effective trend in manual therapy developed by Brian Mulligan, a physical therapist from New Zealand. The main feature is the use of painless methods of joint mobilization to eliminate their dysfunction and, accordingly, the pain of movement. Nowadays it is actively used by various specialists in practice, from physiotherapists and orthopedists to sports doctors and chiropractors.
The Mulligan Approach includes several different methods, with movement mobilization (MWM) at the center. The method is based on the astute observation that by mobilizing a joint in a specific, often perpendicular to the plane of motion of the joint, while the patient is actively moving that joint, it is possible to restore full motion in the joint.
■ Pain in left arm and leg. Clinical case.
Features of Mulligan's manual therapy
One of the unique features of Mulligan's concept is the use of pain-free techniques, that is, we move all the time from pain to its reduction and disappearance. This feature makes the method not only effective but also safe and functional. In this way the mechanics of the joint is improved, pain is reduced and its normal function is restored. The applied corrective force is always small - the minimum necessary.
What body parts and regions is it used for? For all places where there are joints, i.e. we are not only talking about the spine and large joints, but also numerous joint dysfunctions of the extremities, knees, elbows, feet, hands and even the temporomandibular joints. It works especially well in treating conditions associated with joint dysfunction, such as stiffness and pain with movement in them.
Evidence-based medicine method
The undoubted merit of the Mulligan concept is the numerous studies and clinical trials that have confirmed its effectiveness in treating musculoskeletal disorders. A systematic review of the literature has shown that this approach is an effective treatment for a variety of musculoskeletal disorders, including neck, lower back, and shoulder pain.
Mulligan therapy in Sports
Another big area of application of mobilizations with movement and other techniques is the elimination of joint dysfunction and related pain in athletes, which undoubtedly has a positive effect not only on their health, but also improves athletic performance. It should be noted here that athletes have plenty of reversible joint dysfunctions and stiffness, given the intensity of their activities. Many professional sports teams and athletes use these methods as part of their injury prevention and treatment programs.
As already mentioned Mulligan therapy is very popular with many professionals, recently more and more used by osteopathic manual therapists because it is safe and quite easy to apply. The techniques used in Mulligan's concept are gentle, painless and non-invasive, can be easily incorporated into various treatment plans, and are well-suited for self-exercise under the supervision of a specialist.
The approach besides mobilization with movement also includes several other methods, such as mobilization of the facet joints of the spine in the plane of these joints, the phenomenon of pain relief by compression of the joints in a certain way, a detailed system of taping to maintain the achieved joint correction and as mentioned - a system of recommended self-mobilization exercises, automobilizations. An issue that is actively being studied, including by me, is the possibility of combinations with other methods, such as nerve mobilization.
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