In the field of physical therapy, many physical therapists have been using the same techniques and methods for several years to treat their patients. Because these techniques have been used for many years with proven results, most therapists are resistive to change and would rather not use any new methods. This is definitely not true for the Mulligan Concept, a new physical therapy technique created by Brian Mulligan in the 1990s. Although many physical therapy practices have been slow to incorporate the Mulligan Concept, those who have report very positive results in the improvement of a patient’s condition.
The Mulligan technique is a treatment for musculoskeletal injuries and employs the concept of mobilizations with movement and is especially useful for treating neck pain, back pain, and injuries to the upper and lower extremities. This concept works by diagnosing and treating positional faults in the joints. By placing the joint into its proper alignment and having patients perform movements that caused the pain initially, therapists can see if positional joints are actually the issue. Once the therapist holds the join in its proper alignment, the patient is asked to repeat those movements and is able to regain full and pain-free movement.
One of the main differences between traditional physical therapy and the Mulligan concept is that the Mulligan concept is more functional and active. In traditional physical therapy, many patients are treated while they are sitting or standing, so they may feel good during treatment but when they move the pain may resume. Mulligan techniques are done in weight-bearing positions and is more functional, meaning that those movements in any situation will be painless. In addition, it can take several visits to a physical therapist to correct a problem whereas the Mulligan concept can help resolve an injury with one visit. In addition, a lot of the Mulligan techniques can be done at home, making self treatment for patients a lot easier.