Spinal manipulation (or spinal adjustment) is a therapeutic positioning and motion performed on the spinal column. Spinal manipulation has roots in traditional medicine and has been used for thousands of years by many civilizations. It is now most commonly provided by a professional chiropractor or osteopath.
Some of the side effects of spinal manipulation are usually described as mild to moderate. Some of the side effects reported include: some local discomfort, headache, lack of energy, or a ‘general’ discomfort. Strangely enough, certain methods of spinal adjustment have been reported to relieve headaches, especially some types of migraine pain.
When the body under goes a ‘shift’ in the structure, even a positive one that spinal manipulation achieves, there is almost always an ‘adjustment’ period while your body gets used to being in the right configuration again. While many chiropractors and osteopaths chalk these side effect up to the ‘cost of getting better’, We at Spine and Disc disagree. We use all the latest therapies at our disposal to make these side effects as small or nonexistent as possible. Our LiteCure™ Class IV Laser Therapy is a good example of just one therapy that can abate these side effects.
The effects of spinal manipulation have been shown to include:
- Temporary relief of musculoskeletal pain
- Lower pain in general
- Better tolerance of pain
- Better muscle strength
- Greater range of motion
Spinal manipulation is the applying of controlled force to the spine in a way that moves it beyond the normal range of motion. It is also that same use of controlled force to help replace a vertebrae or joint back into the place it was meant to be in.
The reasons a joint or spine can become out of proper alignment can vary from causes like hip surgery, trauma or over time by a seemingly minor cause as one leg a bit longer than the other to making a wrong movement and not seeking immediate care. One thing that is usually upon agreed by all medical providers is, the nearer to the time of the initial displacement of a joint or spine that spinal adjustment is sought, the higher chance of success and the least amount of adjusting that would have to be ultimately done.
Evidence indicates that spinal manipulation can provide mild-to-moderate relief from low-back pain in particular. In one study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine that kept track of the long-term effects in more than six hundred people with low-back pain, results suggested that chiropractic care involving spinal manipulation was at least as effective as traditional medical care. Spinal adjustment is a treatment filled with conflicting opinions and studies. Reviews have concluded that spinal manipulation is relatively safe when performed by a trained and licensed practitioner. In other studies members of the medical community went on record stating that spinal adjustment is an appropriate treatment for certain conditions marked by symptoms of back pain.
It has been hypothesized that nervous system effects of spinal manipulation can lower both systolic and diastolic pressure. When spinal manipulations are, there is a change in the balance of central nervous system excitatory and inhibitory responses, thus resulting in a change to the nervous system and auditory processing. Many patients, using spinal manipulation in the thoracic region, have noticed a marked improvement in their hearing almost immediately. Spinal manipulation has even been shown effective in weight loss management. Doctors have also been known to rely on spinal manipulation for asthma management! All the benefits of spinal adjustments have not been fully explored, but this exploration should be done slowly and safely.
Spinal manipulation is most effective if it is used in combination with muscle therapy, Spinal Decompression, Laser Pain Therapy and the other Keys to Spinal Healing. Also a continued program of maintenance of proper posture, home and in-office exercises and stretching, proper work and home ergonomics and with the continued use of supplements and hydration will also pay off in less pain and a more active life for the patient. Spinal manipulation is more of an art than other treatments as a great deal depends on the skill of the doctor. That is one reason we are in so much demand.