The initial effects of a Mulligan's mobilization with movement technique on dorsiflexion and pain in subacute ankle sprains

Man Ther. 2004 May;9(2):77-82. doi: 10.1016/S1356-689X(03)00101-2.


Physiotherapists frequently use manipulative therapy techniques to treat dysfunction and pain resulting from ankle sprain. This study investigated whether a Mulligan's mobilization with movement (MWM) technique improves talocrural dorsiflexion, a major impairment following ankle sprain, and relieves pain in subacute populations. Fourteen subjects with subacute grade II lateral ankle sprains served as their own control in a repeated measures, double-blind randomized controlled trial that measured the initial effects of the MWM treatment on weight bearing dorsiflexion and pressure and thermal pain threshold. The subacute ankle sprain group studied displayed deficits in dorsiflexion and local pressure pain threshold in the symptomatic ankle. Significant improvements in dorsiflexion occurred initially post-MWM ( F(2,26) = 7.82, P = 0.002 ), but no significant changes in pressure or thermal pain threshold were observed after the treatment condition. Results indicate that the MWM treatment for ankle dorsiflexion has a mechanical rather than hypoalgesic effect in subacute ankle sprains. The mechanism by which this occurs requires investigation if we are to better understand the role of manipulative therapy in ankle sprain management.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries / complications
  • Ankle Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / etiology
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Joint Instability / therapy*
  • Lateral Ligament, Ankle / injuries*
  • Lateral Ligament, Ankle / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Orthopedic / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Recovery of Function
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sprains and Strains / complications
  • Sprains and Strains / rehabilitation*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome