The Mulligan Concept was developed by a physical therapist from New Zealand named Brian Mulligan. The practice involves manual therapy techniques designed to relieve pain and increase range of motion and is often used to treat conditions including neck and back pain, shoulder pain/impingement, ankle sprains, tennis elbow and cerviogenic headaches and dizziness. Also known as Mobilization with Movement, the Mulligan Concept uses the benefit of passive mobilization and adds active movement to produce the desired range of motion and degree of pain relief. Not every physical therapy clinic will have a therapist trained in this manual therapy technique so you may need to search around until you find someone certified to teach the concept.
The Mulligan Concept involves weight baring techniques, using patient feedback and functional movement to diagnose and correct positional faults and restore patients to normal pain fee function. By helping the body and its joints function in a more normal biomechanically efficient manner, therapists that practice the Mulligan Concept can help patients with shoulder pain, tennis elbow and back stiffness. The goal behind Mulligan techniques is both an increase in range of motion and the relief of pain. Using kneading and manipulation of muscle techniques, joint mobilization and joint manipulation a Mulligan practitioner can help patients return to normal pain free function faster.
Proponents of Mulligan techniques claim that signs and symptoms are improved and that the use of manual therapy highlights the value of movement in maintaining health and strength of collagenous, muscular and bony tissue. The improvement of signs is associated with pain being the principle signal of mal-aligned joints. Pain is a sign that treatment is not working and a clear indication that the technique should be changed. With the Mulligan Concept the relief of pain from a mechanical amendment is the signal that the objective has been achieved. These clear signals allow therapists to provide more efficient and targeted care for back pain, ankle sprains and reduced movement in the shoulders.
Physical therapy can’t guarantee results but some techniques provide a better chance of healing when it comes to specific injuries and debilitating conditions. Mulligan methods have been cited for improving conditions including back pain, shoulder pain, ankle sprains and tennis elbow and should be considered as an option for relieving pain and returning normal range of motion. If you are interested in pursuing this course of therapy find a therapist certified to perform mobilizations with movement.