My physical therapist has talked about using passive joint mobilization to treat my sprained ankle. What is passive joint mobilization, and how does it work?

Passive joint mobilization is a technique commonly used by physical therapists to reduce pain and improve movement in an injured joint. Passive means the movements are done by an outside force, usually by the therapist. Joint mobilizationrefers to a gentle movement of the surfaces of the injured joint. To help with your sprained ankle, the therapist will probably hold your ankle steady with one hand and lightly glide the joint surfaces of the ankle with the other.

The goal is to get the joint to move normally--and with less pain. The gentle movements help lubricate the surfaces of the joint. Muscles around the ankle relax, and pain is eased. This helps regain normal movement in your ankle joint.