Joint Pain and Stiffness are two common complaints that people come to Physiohaus to assess and treat. This week, the clinic assessed and treated pre-surgical hip osteoarthritis, a shoulder with excessive movement following trauma, a knee cap that dislocated (patellar dislocation) and a cervical and lumbar radiculopathy.

Joint pain and stiffness can occur in isolation or they can occur simultaneously, which means you can have joint stiffness and pain.

How Much Joint Movement is Normal?

For full and pain-free movement, your joints need to move freely in all directions that they were designed to. If they become locked or restricted in any particular direction, you may experience pain and/or stiffness.

Luckily, with the assistance of a skilled clinician who understands your joints, you can quickly and easily regain full joint range and pain-free movement. To achieve this, your physiotherapist will assess which of your joints are:

  • painful (with normal motion)
  • stiff
  • painful and stiff
  • hypermobile
  • painful and hypermobile

Joint mobilization treatment varies depending on the joint stiffness / hypermobility and the pain associated with moving your joint. Your skilled physiotherapist is trained to assess and treat your joint dysfunction effectively.

What are Joint Mobilization Techniques?

Joint mobilization techniques focus on attaining a normal range of pain-free joint motion. Nearly every restriction in movement can be regained by a specific joint technique performed by an experienced musculoskeletal physiotherapist. At Physiohaus, our Physiotherapists have post graduate manual therapy training, and our clinic has specific qualifications supported by CAMPT.

From our perspective at Physiohaus, it is also very important not to overstretch a joint to create hypermobility. Hypermobile joints require different treatment techniques when compared with a stiff joint.

For the best advice and an individual assessment please consult your physiotherapist.

Why do Joints Stiffen or Lock Up?

Joint stiffness or a locked joint can be associated with any joint, muscle, tendon and ligament injury. Joints can lock and become stuck in an open or closed position. Much like a door that doesn't quite fully swing open or close, it runs into something and it becomes stiff and/or painful.

Normally, a simple alignment or control issue has caused the joint to move in an awkward and unnatural direction. As a result, the joint treatment method used to correct your locked joints will vary depending upon your physiotherapist's diagnosis.

After a diligent assessment, your physiotherapist will discuss with you what techniques would be the most effective, safe and pain-free. Then, they'll quickly start fixing your problem.

Common Examples of Joint Mobilization & Pain Relief Techniques may include:

At Physiohaus, we understand that you may have a preference or interest in certain treatment methods. Our diverse skill-set allows for our treatment to align with your comfort level and treatment beliefs. Our treatment planning focuses on your goals in conjunction with modern manual therapy techniques.