Can spinal manipulation actually help you with back pain? The simple answer is yes. Spinal manipulation, also called manual therapy or manipulative therapy, is a technique that combines physical therapy, massage, and exercise to treat back conditions. The chiropractor uses their hand to apply gentle and controlled thrusts on your spine. The amount of pressure will vary depending on the condition you want to treat. Only licensed practitioners should perform spinal manipulation, as one wrong move can injure the patient.
Chiropractic Manipulation Techniques
A chiropractor will adjust the treatments to meet your specific needs. Usually, a treatment plan can involve a mixture of forceful and gentle adjustments. Most of the time, the treatment will last about 6 to 10 weeks. Visiting a chiropractor, such as Brad Kern, allows you to have more information on what the treatment plan will look like. With that said, the common techniques are highlighted below.
High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Thrust (Spinal Manipulation)
This is the most used chiropractic technique. Spinal manipulation usually produces a pop sound because the chiropractor applies a sudden but controlled force to your joints.
Low-Force or Gentle Chiropractic Techniques (Spinal Mobilization)
This technique is more gentle than spinal manipulation. Certain conditions like osteoporosis or a patient’s comfort, preference, and size may necessitate a gentler approach. This is where spinal mobilization comes in. The technique is more delicate as it doesn’t involve sudden forceful thrusts. Patients who prefer a mild approach will find this technique more accommodating.
Is the Treatment Safe?
Spinal manipulation is a safe procedure as long as you visit a trained and licensed practitioner. This technique is delicate as it involves applying pressure to the joints. A qualified person will know the right amount of pressure to apply and t which body part. However, if you have spinal cancer, severe osteoporosis, an unstable spine, or high stroke risk, this isn’t the treatment for you. You risk causing further damage to your bones with this method of treatment.
What Are Some of the Conditions That Spinal Manipulation Treats?
Some of the conditions that spinal manipulation can treat include:
- Low-back pain: If you suffer from chronic back pain that affects your daily activities like sleeping, standing, and walking, consider spinal manipulation. The treatment can help alleviate that pain.
- Neck pain: Spinal manipulation can reduce acute neck pain, and mobilization can alleviate chronic neck pain.
- Headaches: Spinal manipulation also helps people suffering from cervicogenic headaches. The treatment can reduce the intensity and frequency of the headaches.
- Sciatica: The sciatic nerve controls muscles in the lower leg and back of the knee. The nerve also gives feeling to part of the leg, back of the thigh, and the sole. Spinal manipulation can help reduce the pain associated with sciatica.
When considering this treatment, talk to your chiropractor first. Ask if the techniques used are effective for the condition you’re suffering from. You should also ask how many sessions you’ll need and when you can expect to see progress. Although each patient’s case is different, a licensed chiropractor will offer better insight than your friends or colleagues.