The Mulligan Concept… We Like to Move it Move it!!

The last year has been a great year for PhysioDirect. Business has expanded, new clinics have opened, and the company branding has also been given a facelift. One of the other great features this year within the company has been the push to offer and fund training opportunities for its staff.

One of the most popular courses offered this year at one of our partner clinics Remedy House in Sheffield has been the 4 part series on ‘The Mulligan Concept’.

So.. What is the Mulligan Concept?

The Mulligan Concept is a popular form of manual therapy, first brought into practice by the charismatic New Zelander Brian Mulligan back in the 1970’s and 80’s. The Mulligan Concept centres around the idea of ‘Mobilisation With Movement’ (or MWM’s for short), where the therapist applies pressure over a joint whilst asking their patient to perform an active movement.

The Mulligan Concept has grown in popularity over the years. There are several reasons why I think it is such a popular treatment approach amongst both patients and therapists.

Firstly, the application of treatment; in order for it to be successful a technique must be pain free and feel comfortable. This all relies on the therapists handling skills, experience and communication.
The second reason why I feel this treatment method is so attractive; people can often notice quick improvements in a relatively short period of treatment time. For example, people can see a noticeable change in pain, with improved movement of a joint after only a few repetitions of a certain technique (compared to your typical 15 minutes plus of soft tissue/massage techniques).
Mulligan techniques are also a lot more transferable to how we actually use our bodies. Lets say you’re having trouble reaching the top shelf in the kitchen.. Techniques can be applied to ease this particular movement and therefore make it much more relevant straight away to your everyday life.

A Team Training Experience

Tim Ryan (PhysioDirect Clinical Manager) and Mr Brian Mulligan himself.
Tim Ryan (PhysioDirect Clinical Manager) and Mr Brian Mulligan himself.

Although the course was open to the general public, a keen interest was shown by many of the PhysioDirect team very early on. With PhysioDirect heavily subsidising places for staff, a good proportion of the places for the course were snapped up immediately. With a good number of our staff on the course, it was a great opportunity for lots of our team members that usually work in different clinics across the midlands a chance to meet and catch up (something usually reserved for the less than academic environment of the christmas party!).

The course tutor was friendly and helpful. With her guidance you could see how the slight changes in hand and body positions, subtitles in pressures applied along with good communication, could make a big difference in the outcome of your techniques. Everyone on the course worked well together, giving feedback on how things felt and differences noticed after each new technique was practiced. Overall there was a really positive feeling with everyone saying they took lots of useful handling skills back into their clinics after each part of the course.

The Benefits I’ve Found

I can honestly say I’ve found this training of great use in my everyday practice. The variety of techniques I’ve learned have given me lots more options when trying to help anyone that walks through my door. In particular I’ve noticed great results with certain types of low back pain, with excellent improvements in movement and pain in a short space of time. I’ve also found these techniques very easy to integrate into my existing practice alongside the active treatment methods that I normally like to use.

Don’t Just Take my Word for It! Here’s some thoughts from a few of our team members.

“The techniques have really helped my clients gain trust in my handling skills. I’ve found the techniques especially useful with stiff, painful shoulders and impingement type problems. I now use mobilisations with movement frequently in my daily practice.” – Anna Simmonds

“Following the 4 part Mulligan’s training course, it has allowed me to integrate a more gentle approach to treatment of both acute and chronic injuries as well as gaining quicker results in decreasing the pain levels of clients that I see. The Mulligan approach has added a further technique to the manual therapy based treatment that is used in my daily practice.” – Phil Rippon

So There you have it.. A great training opportunity offered by Physio Direct, taken up by many, with a great deal learned by all at the end of it. Hope you enjoyed reading, keep an eye out for the next article which should be up in a week or two!