What Exactly Is Spine Manipulation?

11226049_sAs chiropractors, we are often asked, “what exactly is spine manipulation?” This question is often times followed by “is it painful?” It is true, the word manipulation, can cause one to raise their eye brows and grit their teeth, however, it is not near is scary as the word sounds. Spine manipulation (also referred as high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust) is a non-invasive, hands-on therapeutic intervention performed on the spinal joints by a trained chiropractor. By maneuvering joints back into their correct position, restoration or enhanced joint function is achieved in addition to minimizing joint inflammation and reducing pain. The manipulation often results in an audible “pop” (similar to when you crack your knuckles), as chiropractors use their hands to apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint while the body is in a specific position. Regular manipulations are important in order to “retrain” joints into their correct position.  While this is a holistic method of healthcare, only trained, licensed chiropractors should perform spine manipulations.

In regards to any pain that may occur during an adjustment, it is minimal. Often, the anticipation of the movement and fear of possible pain is far greater than any discomfort that is actually felt. However, depending on the amount of pain the patient is prior to the manipulation in can result in increased pain during the joint manipulation. Any real discomfort occurs after the adjustment has taken place. For this reason, chiropractors are trained to discern how many adjustments should be made on any one visit for treatment. The higher the recovery time, the less they will have a patient endure during one visit. The goal is pain relief, after all. However, the joints must be conformed to the correct position in order to achieve these goals. Applying ice after an adjustment is always encouraged and prescribed.

While there are hundreds of manipulation methods available, today’s chiropractors haven’t invented anything new. Forms of manipulative therapy have been used for thousands of years in many parts of the world, including Asia, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Norway. Writings from China dating back to 2700 B.C. and from Greece, dating back to 1500 B.C. show mention of manipulating the spine and legs to reduce back pain. The question one must really ask is whether chiropractic care is right for you or not. Those who suffer from joint pain should consider this as a viable, holistic approach to finding relief. However, people who have severe osteoporosis, high stroke risk, spinal cancer, or an unstable spine should refrain from spinal manipulation or adjustments. In addition, people who experience numbness, tingling, or loss of strength in an arm or leg should also avoid these treatments.

Find out if spinal manipulation or adjustments are right for you by calling Family Chiropractic & Wellness today for a consultation appointment at 812-373-3376.