Joint stiffness is a common occurrence after an injury. For example, the ankle joint can become inflexible and stiff one month after a fall. This is where manual therapy can help to unlock these joints. It involves careful assessment by the physiotherapist and using special skills and techniques to glide these joints free again. The patient is taught how to move the joints themselves as home exercises where possible. This self-therapy is useful to sustain the effect of manual therapy.
Sometimes joint stiffness can be due to tight muscles knots (i.e. trigger point). In such cases, the manual therapy will involve releasing these tight muscle spots using specific massage techniques.