Soft tissue or joint mobilization is one of the many techniques that are used to help restore function to a joint when it is unable to move freely.
Dysfunction of a joint might come from any number of causes that would require a Universal Home Care worker to apply joint and soft tissue mobilization. When a joint's range of motion becomes limited and it is unable to move, the surrounding tissue begins to degrade. This makes recovery more and more difficult, so often the first step in a joint motion recovery is to stimulate those tissues to become functional again.
This is achieved by having a therapist manually stimulate the tissue that surrounds the joint. What happens after an injury when a joint is stationary for too long is that the fascia that surrounds the muscles and joints begins to shrink, tighten and restrict movement.
The manual stimulation that a Universal Home Care clinician applies to an immobilized joint may seem very slight. All that is required is a very small, but very precise pressure applied in the right way to help let the joint move freely. Over time, these treatments help to destroy the adhesions that are forcing the fascia to hold everything in a tight and closed position. As that happens and range of motion is restored, more exercise can be undertaken that will help to strengthen the underlying structures around the joint, such as the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Exercise is the cornerstone of physical therapy, but in many cases where the illness or condition has caused long term damage, other supplemental therapies are required to get the joint to the point where exercise becomes useful and possible. Universal Home Care clinicians will employ methodologies like soft tissue mobilization to help get the patient ready to take the next step in physical rehabilitation.