Spinal manipulation is a type of manual therapy performed on the joints in the spine to relieve pain, fix alignment issues, and improve mobility. Manipulative treatment of this kind has been around since 400 BC. Today, chiropractors practice different spinal manipulation techniques to treat ailments such as:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
How Does Spinal Manipulation Chiropractic Care Work?
Chiropractors use their hands or adjustment tools to apply a controlled amount of force to the joints of the spine. It’s called “high-velocity, low amplitude thrusts,” meaning quick, short thrusts of force. The amount of force applied is customized to the treatment area and the patient’s comfort level. The thrusts often cause an audible “crack” in the joint, similar to the sound of cracking knuckles. This noise is natural, indicating a release within the joint. While the cracking sound of spinal manipulation can be intimidating, most patients experience immediate relief after treatment.
Is Spinal Manipulation Right for You?
Spinal Manipulation is one of the most used chiropractic techniques to treat pain because it is safe and effective. Other treatment options like physical therapy, exercise, and massage therapy are also available to chiropractic patients. Before treatments begin, our chiropractors will assess your symptoms to determine if spinal manipulation is right for you.
Spinal Manipulation for Neck Pain Chiropractic Care
Millions of people suffer from neck pain every year, be it chronic (recurrent) or injury related. Spinal manipulation is one-way people find relief from neck pain and stiffness. Chiropractors often practice spinal manipulation if the neck pain is the result of dysfunctions in surrounding muscles, joints, ligaments, tissue, and cervical discs (image). Cervical discs live between the vertebrae in the neck. Their primary purpose is to absorb shock and allow the neck to carry varying amounts of stress. There is a variety of treatment positions for neck pain spinal manipulation face-down, face-up, or in a seated position. Treatment position is based on the chiropractor’s assessment and the patient’s comfort level. Different techniques are especially beneficial in unique cases where the patient was in an auto accident, where certain positions are more comfortable than others.
Relieve Headaches with Spinal Manipulation
Spinal manipulation is often used to treat chronic headaches. Chiropractors will conduct an assessment to determine the underlying cause of a person’s headaches. If the cause appears to be tension or neck related, the chiropractor may recommend spinal manipulation as a treatment option. This would include manual thrusts to the cervical spine (neck) and thoracic spine (upper back) to relieve muscle tension and ease nerve pressure, reducing the intensity and frequency of headaches.
Back Pain Relief with Spinal Manipulation
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek chiropractic care. Eight in 10 people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Spinal manipulation is a safe and successful treatment option for back pain. Manual thrusts are applied to the dysfunctional joints along the spine with the goal to restore function and alleviate pain.
Thoracic Manipulation to Treat Shoulder Pain
People often seek chiropractic care for shoulder pain. Most treatment options are applied directly to the injured shoulder, but that’s not the case for spinal manipulation. Instead, chiropractors apply manual thrusts to the thoracic spine (upper and middle back) to treat shoulder pain and dysfunction. The thoracic spine impacts shoulder mobility and range of motion. Manual thrusts on the thoracic spine correct shoulder stability and improves range of motion to reduce shoulder pain.