Mulligan Techniques In Physical Therapy

Assessing neck motion

Exploring the Science and Benefits of Mulligan Therapy in Physical Therapy


Physical Therapy is a branch of healthcare that uses various techniques and tools to help people recover from injuries, manage chronic conditions, reduce pain, and prevent further damage. Mulligan Therapy is an important technique used by physical therapists to restore joint mobility and reduce pain with manual therapy.

What Is Mulligan Treatment?

Mulligan Therapy is a type of manual therapy developed by Brian Mulligan, a New Zealand physical therapist. This treatment uses specific hands-on techniques to reduce pain and restore joint mobility in the body. It can be used on any joint or muscle group but is most commonly applied to the spine, shoulders, hips, and knees. The technique involves taking a particular body part through its full range of motion in order to assess its mobility and identify areas of restriction or pain. The therapist then applies a gentle sustained pressure to the area, which allows the joint to move more freely and reduces pain.

The Science Behind Mulligan Therapy

Mulligan Therapy is based on the principles of neuroscience, biomechanics, and manual therapy. It utilizes a combination of techniques such as soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, and muscle energy techniques to reduce pain and restore joint mobility. Research has shown that Mulligan Therapy is effective in reducing musculoskeletal pain and improving range of motion.

Benefits and Uses of Mulligan Therapy in Physical Therapy

Mulligan Therapy can be used to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain, shoulder pain, lower back pain, and knee pain. It can also be used to treat sports injuries, postural imbalances, and chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. The technique is particularly effective in restoring joint mobility and improving range of motion.

The Mulligan Therapy Procedure

Mulligan Therapy is a hands-on treatment that requires the physical therapist to use sustained pressure on the patient’s body in order to restore joint mobility. The procedure begins with a detailed assessment of the affected area, followed by the application of a gentle sustained pressure to the area. The intensity and duration of this pressure are adjusted according to the patient’s needs and tolerance.

Risks and Side Effects

Mulligan Therapy is generally considered to be a safe and effective treatment. However, it may cause temporary discomfort in the affected area. Patients should inform their physical therapist of any pain or discomfort they experience during treatment.

Comparisons with Other Techniques

Mulligan Therapy is similar to other manual therapy techniques such as joint manipulation and mobilization. These techniques are designed to reduce pain and restore joint mobility. However, Mulligan Therapy is less invasive than other techniques and is often used for chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.


Mulligan Therapy is a highly effective manual therapy technique utilized for treating musculoskeletal conditions like neck and knee pain. Not only is it less invasive compared to other techniques, but it also offers exceptional pain relief. With its gentle yet impactful approach, Mulligan Therapy stands as a valuable tool in the realm of musculoskeletal care.