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What is Maitland Technique?

Manual therapy in physical therapy is defined as the use of hands to cure or heal with a therapeutic intent. A wide range of techniques uses manual therapeutic methods to treat, manage and prevent many pathologies and dysfunctions. Maitland technique at Back To Health Physical and Occupational Therapy is also used similarly by the physiotherapists to provide relief in many physical dysfunctions. This technique works through many mechanisms involving neurological, psychological and physiological conditions.

As manual therapy is one of the most common methods used by physical therapists in the management of joint, tissue and movement dysfunctions, there are several approaches used in the clinical practice. One of the most common and simplest forms of manual therapy approach was introduced by the Maitland school. The method was then named after Geoffrey Maitland, who was the pioneer of musculoskeletal physiotherapy.

According to International Maitland Teachers Association, “The Maitland Concept of Manipulative Physiotherapy [as it became to be known], emphasizes a specific way of thinking, continuous evaluation and assessment and the art of manipulative physiotherapy (know when, how and which techniques to perform, and adapt these to the individual Patient) and a total commitment to the patient.”

Maitland technique in Brooklyn is applied on peripheral joints as well as on spinal joints. Although they differ from each other in technical terms and effects, the main approach always remains the same. This technique can also be used as a smart tool for approaching an initial assessment to recognize the type and origin of different movement disorders. After the initial assessment, the physiotherapists decide on the direction of mobilization, desired effect (pain relief or stiffness alleviating), therapy initiating position, the method of application and the expected physiological response. Further, the therapists will also decide on how this method of treatment can be extended and progressed to acquire maximum benefits.

Maitland technique is most commonly used to treat spine disorders. As this manual therapy technique uses active as well as passive mobilization of joints to relieve pain and stiffness in the spine, Maitland concept can be classified into five grades;

Grade 1 – Small movements of the spine performed within the spines resistance

Grade 2 – Larger movements of the spine but still performed within the spines resistance

Grade 3 – Large movements of the spine performed into the spines resistance

Grade 4 – A small movement of the spine performed into the spines resistance

Grade 5 – A high-velocity movement performed into the spines resistance

When the stiff, problematic joints are manipulated with different manual movements, the stiffness of the joints reduces enabling them to move more freely. This increases the ease of movements and also helps in reducing the pain.

It is not only the spine that is manipulated using this technique. Maitland technique in Brooklyn is also used to mobilize different peripheral joints. Anyhow, all peripheral joints cannot be mobilized using this technique due to different anatomical positions they acquire. Here are a few examples of joint mobilizations that can be approached by Maitland technique;

  • Wrist/Hand Mobilizations
  • Elbow Mobilizations
  • Hip Mobilizations
  • Knee Mobilizations
  • Ankle/Foot Mobilizations
  • Spinal Manipulation
  • Shoulder Mobilizations
  • Cervicothoracic Manipulation

If you are affected with one of the above joint challenges and are looking for a way to relieve pain and regain your functions, Maitland technique performed by the therapists at Back To Health Physical and Occupational Therapy will assist you on the way to recovery. Call us at 888-312-5764 to schedule your appointment at one of our four facilities in South Brooklyn.

03/11/2018