Elbow Mobilizations

Original Editor - David Drinkard

Top Contributors - David Drinkard, Laura Ritchie and Richard Benes  

 Elbow Mobilizations

Elbow Distraction:

[1]


For this technique, the patient is positioned supine on a mat with the elbow flexed to 90 degrees and by the patient's side. The upper arm is stabilized with the non-mobilizing hand. The mobilizing hand grabs the patient's wrist and provides a superior-directed force toward the ceiling, creating distraction at the elbow joint that promotes joint play necessary for elbow flexion. This technique can also be performed with the elbow in more extension as a mobilization to promote elbow extension or an anterior capsular stretch.

Anterior glide:

- With the patient positioned in prone and the shoulder abducted to 90 degrees, the operator stabilizes the distal humerus with the stabilizing hand. The mobilizing hand is placed over the olecranon process. The mobilization involves a force directly through the line of the ulna toward the floor, moving the ulna in an anterior direction. This technique is often used for increasing elbow flexion.

[2]

Distal radial glide (on ulna)

- Patient positioned supine with arm at the side, forearm in neutral. The distal humerus is stabilized by one hand. The mobilizing hand is placed along the distal radius just proximal to the thumb. The mobilization occurs as the therapist pulls on the distal radius. This technique is often used to promote elbow extension by distraction the radiohumeral joint.

Humeroradial Approximation:

- With the patient lying supine on a mat and the elbow flexed perpendicular to the mat, the therapist grasps the humerus with the stabilizing hand. The mobilizing hand is placed around the patient's hand at the thumb. The mobilization is a downward-directed force through the radius and then pronated or supinated. This technique is useful for regaining pronation and supination range of motion

References

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  1. lauren haworth. PU2023 Elbow Mobilisations. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMVjoXg0zZg [Accessed 27 Sep 2013]
  2. daney20. 06 Mobilization to Increase Elbow Flexion Extension at the Humeroulnar Joint. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0nhfUDiCVA [Accessed 3 Apr 2015]