Mobilizing the Stiff Hand: Combining Theory and Evidence to Improve Clinical Outcomes Academic Article uri icon


  • UNLABELLED: The purpose of this narrative review is to provide a clinically reasonable guide to intervention choices, by combining a sound understanding of theory with available research evidence. The pathology of contracture formation is presented within the context of tissue repair. The soft tissue response to stress is explained and the optimal "dose" of treatment is discussed. The evidence behind the use of exercise, joint mobilization, continuous passive motion, casting motion to mobilize stiffness, and mobilizing splinting is examined. Recommendations regarding treatment implementation and future research needs are highlighted. The importance of mobilizing splinting and exercise as treatment modalities in the management of joint contracture is demonstrated. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 5.

publication date

  • October 2010