Spinal Joint Mobilization | Physical Therapy | PT Effect

Focused, One-on-One Physical Therapy Treatment

Spinal Joint Mobilization

No Medications. No Painful Injections.

Return to living your life normally and free of pain. Our Doctors of Physical Therapy use spinal joint mobilization, as well as other physical therapy techniques, designed to reduce your pain, increase your range of motion and mobility, and get you back to doing what you love most.

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Flexing the elbow
Flexing the elbow

Techniques that can help

What Is Spinal Joint Mobilization?

Spinal joint mobilization is a physical therapy technique that is used to decrease pain and improve mobility in the spine and lower back. Spinal joint mobilization is a manual physical therapy technique, which means that your physical therapist would apply manual pressure to the joints within your spine.

What Are the Spinal Joints?

The joints involved in spinal joint mobilization include the entire spine, from the lower back all the way up to the neck and the neck. Spinal joint mobilization often targets the vertebrae in the spine and neck.

Our Treatment Method

What Are Spinal Joint Mobilization Techniques?

Spinal joint mobilization techniques are physical therapy techniques in which your physical therapist applies pressure or force on a certain part of your body in a specific direction. In this case, your physical therapist would either put pressure on a targeted part of your spine or twist your spine in a targeted direction in order to relieve pain and increase your range of motion.

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Woman training on a physical therapy bike
Woman training on a physical therapy bike

Experience Joint Pain Relief

What Are the Benefits of Spinal Joint Mobilization?

The benefits of spinal joint mobilization include pain reduction, increased mobility, and improved range of motion.

Who Benefits from Spinal Joint Mobilization?

Spinal joint mobilization is a physical therapy technique best suited to those who are experiencing pain, stiffness, or loss of range of motion due to an injury or surgery. If bones were fractured or there’s a risk of fracture, then other physical therapy techniques may be better suited to treat your pain.

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Optimize Joint Mobility

What Is Spinal Joint Mobilization Grading?

There are different levels of spinal joint mobilization, called grades. Each grade has a different purpose in treatment and which grade is used depends on your specific needs, pain, stiffness, range of motion, and mobility.

What Are the Spinal Joint Mobilization Grades?

There are five total grades of spinal joint mobilization, each of which involves a different type of joint mobilization.

Grade I

Spinal Joint Mobilization

Grade I of spinal joint mobilization involves small movements that are performed entirely within the current resistance of the spine.

Grade II

Spinal Joint Mobilization

In Grade II spinal joint mobilization, the movements are larger but are still performed completely within the spine’s current resistance.

Grade III

Spinal Joint Mobilization

At Grade III, the motions start to push against the spine’s resistance. At this grade, movements are large and begin to push further than the spine’s current resistance.

Grade IV

Spinal Joint Mobilization

Grade IV is similar to Grade III in that the movements push against the spine’s resistance. However, in Grade IV, the movements are small rather than large.

Grade V

Spinal Joint Mobilization

Grade V spinal joint mobilization is also performed into the resistance of the spine but is characterized by a high-velocity movement.

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Manual Therapy

How We Achieve A Better Diagnosis with Less Discomfort

What is manual therapy? Manual therapy is a method physical therapy that involves the therapist feeling exactly how your body reacts to specific movement and exercises. A lot of pain and discomfort comes from lack of mobility or a small range of motion. Through simple movements and exercises, we're able to get your body used to these motions again, reducing or completely removing your pain.

Manual therapy includes a detailed biomechanical assessment. This means that your therapist will watch and feel how you move in order to make the most accurate diagnosis possible. This leads to faster recovery times and improved outcomes.

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Benefits of Manual Therapy

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More accurate diagnoses and understanding of pain

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Less discomfort and pain during treatment

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Therapist can feel where there is tension and mobility issues

The best of the best

Meet Our Specialist

Dr. Mark Shulman

Dr. Mark Shulman

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), FAAOMPT, COMT, CSCS

Dr. Mark Shulman, DPT, FAAOMPT, COMT, CSCS has worked in Physical Therapy since 2005 when he started as a Physical Therapy Aide in an Outpatient clinic. Since then he has continued to progress his practice and gain experiences in multiple treatment settings. Dr. Shulman started “The Physical Therapy Effect” to continue his goal of providing quality one on one care to the patients he works with.

Mark studied Physical Therapy at Northeastern University in Boston Massachusetts where he graduated Magna Cum laude with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2010. While completing his degree in Physical Therapy, Dr. Shulman also earned his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Credentials from the NSCA. He has taken multiple advanced training courses to become a Certified Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapist through North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy. Dr. Shulman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy. He is also currently a Credentialed Clinical Instructor through the America Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Mark maintains an active membership in the American Physical Therapy Association, American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists and National Strength and Conditioning Association.

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Convenient Downtown Location

State-of-the-Art Office

We’ve been a part of the Little Italy community for over 6 years. Our office features top-of-the-line equipment to get you the results you expect.

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Fitness Center

Take The First Step

Ready to become painfree?

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Step one:

Call or message us to
book your appointment

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Step two:

We’ll work with you to
get you painfree again

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Step three:

Regain your freedom &
pain free lifestyle

Mark Shulman

Dr. Mark Shulman

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), FAAOMPT, COMT, CSCS


Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists.

Mark Shulman

Dr. Allison McKay

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), PRPC


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Contact Information

(619) 544-1055


Fax: (619) 544-1056

The Physical Therapy Effect

1601 Kettner Blvd Suite 11
San Diego, CA 92101