Richie investigates benefits of MWMs (Mobilisation With Movement) and self- MWM

A final year project by a Sports Rehabilitation and Athletic Therapy student at IT Carlow has provided such interesting findings that they will be published in a highly respected journal.

Richie Walsh produced the study on MWMs (Mobilisation With Movement) and self- MWM as a possible treatment and home exercise option for restricted hips, femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) and hip osteoarthritis (OA), as part of his final year in IT Carlow. The study has been published in the Manual Therapy Journal.

Richie Walsh


The study indicates that caudal MWMs improves internal rotation in a functional position. A loss of internal rotation is associated with hip pathologies. FAI is believed to be a precursor to hip OA. Preventing the loss of mobility may help reduce the effects of osteoarthritis and provides an important stepping-stone to further work in the area.

The Carlow native revealed that the purpose of his study was to investigate if MWM helps improve the internal rotation of the hip and also to see if the self-mobilisation, using a resistance band, improves rotation.

He discovered that therapist-induced MWMs produced a significant improvement in functional rotation using the functional rotation test, while the self-mobilisation findings, although not significant, were no different to the therapist-induced MWMs.

“This means that using MWMs can improve internal rotation of the hip and this key finding means that it could be used as an alternative treatment, for example while on a waiting list for surgery, and self-MWMs could be used as a home exercise”, explained Richie who pointed out that there are a number of benefits to this approach.

“The prevention of a loss of mobility may stop problems further down the line such as osteoarthritis, while home exercise means that patients have some control of managing their own treatment rather than simply waiting for surgery or their next visit to a therapist”, added Richie who is now doing a Research Masters in Dry Needling and Shockwave Therapy for Treatment of Trigger Points in Carlow.

The 34-year-old was delighted that his study will be published and is hoping that it will lead to further research in the area.

“I came up with the idea after attending the World Federation of Athletic Therapy and Training World (WFATT) Congress hosted by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM), ARTI on ‘The Sporting Hip, Groin and Hamstring: A Complete Picture’, which was held in Dublin in Sept 2014.” I got a good insight on the topic and decided there was a lot of potential in the subject of the hip groin and hamstring injury. It was interesting because there is a lot of interest in hip pathologies (FAI and hip OA) but not a lot of research had been done into the conservative treatment options for that area.

“I wasn’t really expecting it to be published but I decided to submit it as it was a novel study and hopefully it will be a stepping-stone for further work”, added Richie.

Richie’s study can be viewed in full on



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