October 29, 2019

Mulligan Techniques at Imagine PT


Imagine PT

Read Time

5 minutes

What is the mulligan concept?

The Mulligan concept is a form of manual therapy that is used in order to decrease pain and increase range of a desired motion. Mulligan techniques involve natural apophyseal glides (NAGS), sustained natural apophyseal glides (SNAGS) and mobilizations with movement (MWM). The techniques involve an accessory glide to the joint as the joint goes through the range either passively or actively. Overpressure is added by our skilled physical therapist at the end range of motion. Depending on the joint, a range of 3-10 repetitions are performed. The repetitions need to be pain free and the end result should be decreased pain and/or increased motion with the movement.  According to the creator of the technique, Brian Mulligan of New Zealand, if the results of the Mulligan are of such and the previous limitation is improved, this is considered “Bloody good!” Common pathologies which may warrant Mulligan techniques include pain from an inflammatory or non-inflammatory event, loss of motion due to arthritis, post-surgical loss of motion, head and neck aches, dizziness, jaw pain and/or restriction, and ligament sprains. 


Is it too good to be true?

There is a plethora of research on this technique and its comparison to other forms of treatment. One research study completed in March 2019, evaluated 16 previous studies over the past decade that were evaluating the effectiveness of Mulligan’s mobilization on pain and disability of peripheral joints. Mulligan mobilization was found to be statistically significant in terms of reducing pain compared to sham treatments, passive treatments, no treatment and other manual therapy treatments. The Mulligan techniques were also found to have greater success in reducing disability as compared to sham treatments, passive treatments and no treatments.  Mulligan techniques are not only beneficial for the joints of your arms and legs, but they are also valuable for treating pain and disability in the spine. Low back pain and neck pain are increasingly prevalent, with approximately 60-80% of people experiencing back pain at some point in their life. Mulligan techniques for the back have demonstrated improvements in pain, reduction of numbness/tingling in legs and improved range of motion compared to conventional physical therapy treatment. 

Based on the abundance of positive research and in-person observations of patient’s improvements, Imagine Physical Therapy has adopted the Mulligan concept as an integral part of their care. Imagine strives to provide care that is both evidenced based and personalized to the individual’s needs. With the vast number of Mulligan techniques available and performed at Imagine, there is certainly one that is worth a try for you.  

For all of your physical therapy questions, concerns, or to schedule an appointment, contact our team at Imagine Physical Therapy today!