Joint mobilisations are techniques which help to free-up stiff, restricted or painful joints. There are various methods of applying these techniques and virtually all the joints in the body can be mobilised. Joint mobilisations are oscillatory movements and as such are quite different to joint manipulations (see below).
Acupuncture (Western Medical Acupuncture)
There are two main types of acupuncture: Western medical acupuncture and Chinese acupuncture. I have studied and treat with the Western acupuncture which is based on the modern understanding of anatomy, physiology and neurology. I use it mainly for conditions involving pain, muscle spasm or tissue healing.
This is used to support the natural process of tissue healing. As time passes after an injury, the body's rate of healing slows down. Ultrasound treatment delivers energy to the tissues which when absorbed can help re-invigorate the tissue healing process.
Electrotherapies such as interferential, TENS and Russian Stimulation (BMAC) are therapies which results from nerves. This can range from helping to calm down overactive nerves or stimulating underactive nerves/muscles.
There are various taping methods possible. Some tapes are non-stretch and can be used for support while others are dynamic and can be used to encourage changes in muscle recruitment or movement patterns.
Soft Tissue Release
This is a targeted manual stretch technique designed to work on muscle and connective tissues. Applied manually it can stretch tissues in a way that cannot be achieved in ordinary stretches.
Trigger Point Release
"Trigger points" are areas within a muscle which can refer pain to other areas and are typically very tender in their own right. Trigger point release, or neuromuscular technique (NMT) can ben used to encourage a trigger point to settle.
Muscle Energy Techniques
This includes techniques such as "post isometric relaxation" and "reciprocal inhibition" which are different methods used to help restore better balanced muscle function.
Therapeutic exercises are essential to help encourage the body to continue progressing. Therapeutic exercises can cover strength, stretches, movement correction and nerve mobilisation. Therapeutic exercises are progressively made more demanding as the body continues to adapt.
This is a technique which aims to re-invigorate the body's natural healing process. Used mostly for ligaments which are still causing trouble a long time after initial injury.
This is a soft tissue releasing method which focuses on the connective tissues which can develop adhesions.
Orthotics (shoe inserts)
Orthotics are not typically my first choice for treating a problem because I prefer to have the body maximise it's own potential for improved movement and healing first, but in some cases orthotics can be useful if a plateau has been reached. In many cases I successfully show people how to wean themselves off orthotics that had previously been prescribed for a condition and might no longer be needed.
These are techniques which very specifically isolate a joint and then take it quickly and briefly to its full range and just beyond. These techniques are mostly associated with osteopaths and "joint cracking" but are also used here in some situations. I generally use these techniques only when assessment shows a stuck joint to be the problem.
Posture correction is perhaps the most important item in this list. The body's anatomy is designed to work in a certain way. If posture is poor, then the body has to work in ways it is not designed to. Treatment can help, but correction of the postural faults is essential. Posture correction also ties in with therapeutic exercises (above) which are used to help address muscle imbalances from poor posture, and indeed help resolve the postural faults at the same time.
Advice, tips and education
There are often useful things which can be done at home. Advice can cover what to do and what not to do. Advice might also be given regards the use of heat or icing and the use of any creams. Understanding the problem, cure or prevention is also a key element to help you get more from your treatment plan.