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A self-administered shoulder mobilization
Continuing Education2 Credits

Joint Mobilizations: Upper Body (Self-administered)

Self-administered joint mobilizations for the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, shoulder, and elbow joints. Addressing arms fall, scapula elevates, cervical dysfunction, thoracic mobility, and lumbar/SI joints. Joint mobilizations and traction techniques for upper extremity and upper body dysfunction.

Course Description: Self-administered Joint Mobilizations for the Upper Body

This course describes self-administered joint mobilization techniques for the upper body (also referred to as joint mobility techniques, joint mobilisations, joint mobs, joint mob, or mobz). The upper body joint mobilization techniques included in this course are intended for the shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint), elbow joint (humeroulnar joint, ulnohumeral or trochlear joint), proximal radioulnar joint, sternocostal joints, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine.

Joint mobilization techniques are recommended for joints assessed as stiff and should not be considered solely as treatment for addressing chronic pain. The intent is to increase joint mobility and regain optimal upper body movement. Unlike manual therapy, self-administered techniques have the advantage of inclusion in therapeutic exercise programs, corrective exercise programs, home exercise programs, and continued self-management routines. In addition to improving mobility and arthrokinematics motion, research has demonstrated that addressing joint stiffness may have an immediate effect on assessed muscle weakness, improving muscle activity, and muscle strength during functional activity.

The joint mobilization techniques in this course may be particularly beneficial for improving the quality of motion of those individuals exhibiting poor posture, upper body dysfunction, rounded shoulder posture, thoracic kyphosis, and forward head posture. As well as, treatment for chronic pain and specific joint issues such as shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, recovery from rotator cuff tears and upper body muscle strains, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), hand pain, etc. Sports medicine professionals (personal trainers, fitness instructors, physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, etc.) should consider adding these exercises to their repertoire to improve the outcomes of their integrated exercise programs and therapeutic (rehabilitation) interventions.

For additional self-administered joint mobilization techniques check out:

For manual therapy versions of the techniques in this course check out:


Research Corner Summary

Self-administered Joint Mobilization Protocol

Shoulder Mobilization

Elbow Mobilization

Thorax and Lumbar Spine Self-administered Mobilizations


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