Joint Capsule mobilization is essential in helping patients with joint restrictions improve their mobility. The more consistently the patient can work on capsular mobilization between visits and after discharge, the sooner they can obtain good results. Here is an example of a Self-Mulligan Mobilization with Movement (SMWM) for improving extension using a SuperBand.
Typically, for self-hip mobilizations, most individuals over 140 lbs. of body weight will likely want to use a SuperBand with a 100 lb rating, whereas individuals less than 140 lbs may prefer a SuperBand with a 65 lb rating. It can vary on the size of the individual, skill level and goals for treatment.
Start by securing the SuperBand to a heavy table or object using a loop-through technique. Then place band around patient’s thigh as high up into the groin as possible without aggravating any sensitive anatomy. The patient will use their hand to grab the band while they move away obtaining the intensity of pull they are looking for during the technique. The patient must be taught safety as these bands can really pull them off balance. Clear the area of any potential dangers.
Once in the half-kneeling position with front foot a little more forward than normal, the patient can begin to oscillate forward into a deeper lunge until a stretch is felt in anterolateral thigh. Although the person has to be active in maintaining the lunge position, always remind the patient to “let go” of any tension in that involved hip/leg to allow the band to laterally distract them internally as much as possible. This is more of a feeling, than an actual occurrence, but it makes a big difference for success of the technique. SMWMs can be very effective in improving the patient’s subjective response to that movement position or direction. Whether its effective because of any actual capsular elongation or more just mechanoreceptor/proprioception response, is unclear, but studies have shown that patients can improve and really love these techniques.