A Visual Aid to Maitland's Oscillatory Mobilizations
Written by Joey Masri, PT, DPT
Maitland's oscillatory mobilizations are a hands-on intervention used by physical therapists and many other practitioners in order to address muscle spasm, decrease pain, and increase a joint's range of motion.
This technique is made up of different grades which are selected depending on the desired therapeutic effect. They are as follows:
- Grade 1 - small amplitude movement at the beginning of the available range of motion
- Grade 2 - large amplitude movement within the available range of motion
- Grade 3 - large amplitude movement that reaches the end range of motion
- Grade 4 - small amplitude movement at the end range of motion
- Grade 5*** - small amplitude and high velocity thrust at end range and into a restriction
*** advanced technique that requires specialized training and practice ***
The following video demonstrates how a group of stacked sponges can assist in visualizing each grade in Maitland's technique.
If you are a student or a clinician simply trying to improve your technique, remember that repetition on many body types and various joints is the key to improvement! Oscillation speed is initially performed to a person's tolerance but is also typically quicker than demonstrated in the video below (aim for 2-3 oscillations/sec):