The biggest reason clinicians use manual therapy is to help restore pain-free functional movement faster. Have you noticed the other benefits, particularly when using the Mulligan Concept and symptom-free Mobilization with Movement?
I certainly have! Here are my top 5.
1. Increased compliance with home exercise programs
If you can use a Mobilization With Movement to enable your patient to move without symptoms, especially when that particular movement means a lot to them, it opens up their ears to whatever else you have to say! Especially if the follow-up exercise is a way they can produce the same effect as the MWM you just performed together, gaining compliance is easy! Even when you may not have a perfect self-MWM as a follow-up exercise, being able to eliminate someone’s symptoms fosters confidence in everything else you recommend thereafter. The patient will be all ears to other advice you give once you have demonstrated to them in a very real and practical way that you can help them turn off their symptoms.
2. Improved rapport with your patients
As soon as you begin working with your patient and they realize that they are an important piece in their rehabilitation, your relationship strengthens. When performing MWM’s, you are constantly asking your patient how it feels and what pressure or force feels better/worse, etc. Patients soon appreciate more deeply the effect that the treatment is having on their function, and they start paying attention and tuning in more to their movement patterns and what feels good and what doesn’t. They become more educated in their own condition! Furthermore, when the movement you ask them to do is exactly the movement they have been complaining about, they understand that you have been paying attention to their story. They also understand that how they react is an important part of what you decide to do next! They are invested!
3. Improved self-perception of their problem
Many patients, especially those who have had a problem for any length of time, feel frustrated and lose hope in regaining their function. Combining manual therapy with their exact functional movement they are struggling to achieve can have significant positive effects on their perception of their problem. If patients learn that it is still possible for them to move without pain, the perception of their prognosis improves dramatically in a conscious way. Subconsciously, every pain-free repetition they perform is extinguishing a learned pain response, changing that plastic nervous system right before your eyes.
4. Decreased dependence on healthcare
One of the biggest benefits of the Mulligan Concept is the ability to teach your patients ways of performing Mobilizations With Movement on their own. If they can take away their own symptoms, then if these symptoms ever return, they have the tools to address them immediately. Once taught, the use of Self MWM’s or the use of tape to facilitate a positive input and quicker return to symptom-free movement are not forgotten and can be reapplied again and again if necessary. Furthermore, many patients pass these ideas on to their friends and family as well.
5. Improved clinician understanding of your patient’s problem
If you can make a significant within treatment change with your patient, and this carries over into the next treatment, your understanding of your patient’s problem improves. Their prognosis improves. These are the patients you want to treat, and the ones you can have the biggest effect on. In some settings, this can be extremely valuable for triage. Furthermore, many Mobilizations With Movement help with differential diagnosis and can help you discover and emphasize the most effective treatment faster when considering multiple possible sources.
While manual therapy is rarely the only treatment you use within a session, and the Mulligan Concept may only be one piece of that, its value cannot be overstated. Mobilization With Movement is a fantastic manual therapy procedure to restore pain-free function. The Mulligan Concept can be the gateway to you and your patient understanding their problem, and the most efficient means to remedy it.