Joint mobilization is a
type of passive movement of a skeletal joint. It is usually aimed at
a 'target' synovial joint with the aim of increasing mobility of the
joint and relieving pain. When applied to the spine, it is known as
Mobilization is a
manual therapy intervention and is classified by five 'grades'
of motion, each of which describes the
range of motion of the target joint during the procedure.
Roman numerals are generally used in labeling the grades of
motion (i.e. Grades I to V). Grade V is the same as
manipulation. Grade V mobilization is what people typically
think of as Chiropractic adjustments.
The different grades of mobilization are believed to produce
selective activation of different
mechanoreceptors in the joint:How
Grade I - Activates Type I
mechanoreceptors with a low threshold and which respond to very
small increments of tension.
Activates cutaneous mechanoreceptors.
Oscillatory motion will selectively activate the dynamic, rapidly
adapting receptors, ie. Meissner's and Pacinian Corpuscles . The
former respond to the rate of skin indentation and the latter
respond to the acceleration and retraction of that indentation.
Grade II - Similar effect as Grade I.
By virtue of the large amplitude movement it will affect Type II
mechanoreceptors to a greater extent.
Grade III - Similar to Grade II.
Selectively activates more of the muscle and joint mechanoreceptors
as it goes into resistance, and less of the cutaneous ones as the
slack of the subcutaneous tissues is taken up.
Grade IV - Similar to Grade III.
With its more sustained movement at the end of range will activate
the static, slow adapting, Type I mechanoreceptors, whose resting
discharge rises in proportion to the degree of change in joint
Grade V - This is the same as