Principles of Joint Mobilization

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PTA 270

       Course Name: Principles of Joint Mobilization

       Credits: 2 (2 lecture; 1 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

PTA 210 and PTA 207 with minimum grade of C in all courses; PTA 261 or concurrent enrollment; concurrent enrollment in PTA 220, PTA 230 (or licensed PTA).

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces knowledge of peripheral joint mobilization.  Content includes theory and practice of peripheral joint mobilization, and associated soft tissue mobilization as suitable for the Physical Therapist Assistant.  Focus of lecture and laboratory sessions is on anatomy, reasoning, and treatment techniques.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student is able to:

  1. Describe in detail the anatomical relationships of the major joints studied.
  2. Determine the amount of joint play (accessory motion) available in the selected joint.
  3. Implement a treatment plan utilizing selected mobilization techniques.
  4. Monitoring the patient’s response to treatment during and after treatment as indicated.
  5. Define and describe joint mobilization and its effects as applied to the peripheral joints.
  6. Describe the role of joint mobilization in the total patient treatment plan.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Basic concepts of connective and soft tissue mobilization, and joint mobilization; indications, contraindications and precautions.
  2. Role of PTA
    1. Scope of practice in Illinois
    2. APTA position statement
  3. Types of manual therapy
    1. Joint mobilization-peripheral joints with active and passive non-thrust grades I and II
    2. Mobilization with Movement-Mulligan
    3. Self-mobilization
    4. Muscle energy
    5. Myofacial release
  4. Joint anatomy specific to each joint addressed in the course including but not limited to:
    1. Shoulder
    2. Elbow
    3. Wrist
    4. Hand/fingers joints
    5. Hip
    6. Knee
    7. Ankle
    8. Joints of the foot
  5. Assessment of status of and application of manual treatment technique to each body area addressed in the course including but not limited to:
    1. Shoulder
    2. Elbow
    3. Wrist
    4. Hand/finger joints
    5. Hip
    6. Knee
    7. Ankle
    8. Joints of the foot
  6. Description of the effects of treatment and the expected outcomes of joint mobilization and associated soft tissue mobilization.
  7. Definitions of specific terminology used in assessment of joints and joint mobilization treatments, connective tissue and connective tissue mobilization treatments.
  8. Effects of manual therapy on the patient as a whole.
  9. Description of adjunct therapy and home programs associated with mobilization treatments.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Combination of lecture and demonstration in laboratory setting.  Students will obtain experience in joint mobilization techniques through hands on practice of skills.


Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Attend 2 hours of lecture/lab each week.
  2. Complete all assigned readings on time.
  3. Each student is required to participate in all classroom and laboratory activities.
  4. Take required written exams/quizzes.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. Kisner, C. and Colby, L., Therapeutic Exercise Foundations and Techniques, 6th Ed., Philadelphia; F. A. Davis Co., 2007.
  2. Selected handouts provided by instructor.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

May vary with individual instructor but should include:

  1. Unit exams and a comprehensive final exam and lab practical exams.
    Lab Practicals
    1. All students must successfully pass each practical exam with a minimum score of 70% in order to continue in the physical therapist assistant program.  Each student will be afforded the opportunity to take a make-up practical exam in the event of a failing score on a first attempt. The average of both attempts must meet the minimum passing score requirements for each practical exam.
    2. There will be no rounding-up of grades earned.
  2. Written assignments
  3. Lecture and lab attendance, class participation and professional attitude and behavior.

XI.   Other Course Information

Attendance is mandatory for all scheduled lecture and laboratory sessions.  Students will only be excused from class or laboratory if notice of a planned absence is given prior to class and approved by the course instructor.  Unexcused absences due to emergency situations will be evaluated on a case by case bases.

Make-up exams and quizzes will only be allowed if approved by the instructor prior to the exam or quiz.  Make-up exams and quizzes will generally have different questions than the original exams or quizzes and will tend to be more difficult since the student will have more time to prepare.  Students who inform the instructor in advance (at the beginning of the semester) of an intended absence for a MAJOR religious observance will not be penalized.  However, instructors are not responsible for teaching material again and missed work, exams or quizzes must be made up either in advance or immediately following the intended absence.

Exam and quizzes will be based on assigned readings and material covered in lecture and laboratory sessions.

Cellular phones and pagers will not be allowed in class during exams or quizzes.  They will be allowed in class at other times, but only with non-audible signals. No camera functions are allowed at any time in the classroom or laboratory. No photo, video or digital images of students, faculty, or equipment are to be taken or sent at any time for any reason unless expressed permission is received from the instructor.

Lab clothes are required for all laboratory sessions.  Lab clothes include shorts and tee shirt.  Female students should also wear an athletic bra or bathing suit top for shoulder laboratory sessions.

Students are responsible for cleaning lab after laboratory sessions.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services.  To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements.  The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.



If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.