If you have been referred to a physiotherapist by your doctor, then you may find that something called physiotherapy instrument mobilisation, or PIM, is recommended. This is nothing new, but it is not the sort of procedure that is offered everywhere. A good general physiotherapist should at least have a good working knowledge of what PIM is and to answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, read on to discover the basics you need to know about PIM.
How Was PIM Developed?
The entire concept that PIM is based on complies with a tried-and-tested approach to standard articular physiotherapy techniques as well as approaches to osteopathy. These include, for example, Kaltenborn's Nordic orthopaedic methodology, as well as other long-established techniques, such as Maitland's combined movements, for instance. By taking these concepts of bodily mobilisation with an in-depth knowledge of positional faults, so the pioneers of PIM were able to combine them with osteopathic up-slope and down-slope methods. In other words, the entire mobilisation technique was based on earlier evidence-based theories which were subsequently combined.
What Happens With PIM?
The approach taken with PIM makes use of mobilisation techniques for a patient's spinal and peripheral joints. This is conducted with a mechanical instrument which offers just the right amount of pressure from its internal spring. In other words, the physiotherapist would no longer provide back or joint manipulation by hand. Although the system is, therefore, mechanised to a degree, PIM is administered according to established physiotherapeutic principles. The idea is that PIM should follow the physiotherapy model for both spinal and joint mobilisation to a very close degree.
How Is PIM Assessed?
The assessment process associated with PIM makes use of physiotherapy palpation skills as well as neural tension testing. It is through this assessment that it is possible for the physiotherapist to offer greater reliability and specificity with their treatment. For many, this means that PIM has a greater degree of patient safety than many of the manual techniques on offer.
To Whom Is PIM Suited?
PIM is suited to a wide range of physiotherapy patients. It is known to be particularly effective with patients who suffer from joint stiffness which results in pain. Because the force load applied to joints is set in a measurable way, it can be highly effective for people with weak bones or joints because the problem of too much pressure being applied by hand is avoided.
For more information, contact your local general physiotherapy clinic.