Spinal Manipulation for Pain Relief


What Is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic is a health profession that focuses on controlled force to a spinal joint. A trained specialist (chiropractor) aligns the musculoskeletal structure (especially the spine) through hands-on manipulation, which improves physical function and spinal motion. Many people experience reduced pain symptoms, including inflammation and muscle tension, with chiropractic care.

What is spinal manipulation?

Spinal manipulation, or spinal manipulative therapy, is the mainstay of chiropractic care and involves a therapeutic movement of the spine from a sudden thrust to a spinal joint located between two vertebrae. As the joint moves beyond its normal range, a popping or cracking sound is often heard. This is due to dissolved gas being released from the synovial fluid of the joint.

Typically, a chiropractor performs spinal manipulations; however, it may also be received from a physician therapist, medical physician, or osteopathic physician. Spinal manipulation is frequently performed in conjunction with stretching, physical activity, lifestyle modifications, and other therapies.

Benefits of spinal manipulation

Spinal manipulation can improve range of motion, reduce nerve irritability, and improve physical function. Other benefits of spinal manipulation include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Reduced back and neck pain
  • Restored function of the spinal column
  • Lowered pain from musculoskeletal disorders
  • Unlocking of stuck spinal joints
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Corrected spinal misalignment
  • Freeing trapped joint folds
  • Stimulation of the nervous system
  • Reduced muscle tension

Risks of spinal manipulation

Spinal manipulation is typically safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional; however, serious complications can occur. Although rare, a stroke can occur following neck manipulation, a disc may become herniated, or nerves may be compressed. Spinal manipulation should be avoided for those with severe osteoporosis, spinal cancer, an unstable spine, or a high risk of stroke.