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Spinal Manipulation

Things you must know

DC Physio Clondalkin/Lucan are experts in spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments. This is an intervention performed on the spinal articulations which has advantageous therapeutic effect such as pain relief and restoration of normal movement.

Spinal manipulation and adjustments are extremely beneficial in reducing pain and improving mobility. Patients often experience rapid reduction in their pain or dysfunction.

At DC Physiotherapy Clondalkin/Lucan, we are certified to do Cervical Manipulations, Thoracic Spine Manipulations, Lumbar Manipulations, SIJ Manipulations, Acromio Clavicular Manipulations, Glenohumeral Manipulations, Radial Head Manipulations, Wrist Manipulations, Fibula Manipulations, Tibio-Talar Manipulations, Navicular Manipulations and Talo-Navicular Manipulations.

Spinal Manipulations have been shown to reduce pain and improve functional outcomes. Manipulations of the spine and other areas are well researched, and their efficacy published in many peer-reviewed journal articles.

Spinal Manipulation

What is Spinal Manipulation

Spinal Manipulation is a technique that uses hands or a device for applying controlled thrust to your spinal joints. Thrust can move your joints more efficiently with varied force. Spinal Mobilization, however, doesn’t involve the thrust. In fact, force application is applied within the natural motion range of the joint.

Spinal Physiotherapists are responsible for Spinal Manipulation. However, other licensed professionals such as sports therapists and physician can also do spinal manipulations.

According to National Health Interview Survey in 2012, Spinal Manipulation is the most prevalent treatment among children and adults in the USA.

Spinal Manipulation: Why Do People Use It?

Among US adults, about 67% of people use osteopathic manipulation for treating any specific health condition. According to NHIS, however, 54% of adults use it for wellness purposes.

Some common purposes for this chiropractic approach are:

  • 5% of adults used it to have better concentration and memory
  • 11% of adults used it to improve their immune systems
  • 16% of adults used it for better energy
  • 25% of adults use it for overall body health such as wellness of spirit, body and mind
  • 43% of adults used spinal manipulation for disease prevention or general wellness

NHIS research reports positive user experience among people undergoing spinal manipulation. It reduces spinal pain.

Who Uses Spinal Manipulation

The number of US adults using chiropractor treatments has increased between 2012 to 2017. NHIS data showed a 1.2% increase in Physiotherapy treatment trend in these years. However, no difference was seen in the children ratio among these years. In 2012, 3.5% of children were visiting the Physiotherapist and 3.4% in 2017.

According to the national survey by CDC:

  • Adults with 45-64 years of age visit the chiropractor more often than adults with 28-44 years of age.
  • Women visit the Physiotherapist more than men.
  • Older children (12-17 years old) are more likely to see Physiotherapist than young ones with 4-11 years of age.
  • The chances for the boys and girls to visit the Physiotherapist are the same.

Why should you go for spinal manipulation?

For Chronic Pain in Lower-Back

Spinal Manipulation is the best treatment in treating low-back pain despite the availability of several other medicines. In clinical guidelines in 2017, the American College of Physicians recommended spinal manipulation to help people get relief from acute or chronic pain in the lower back. For instance:

  • Research in 2010 indicated that spinal manipulation helps get immediate and short-term relief from acute pain in the lower back and neck compared to placebo. However, this studied combined the results of physical therapy, medication and massage.
  • A review of 26 studies arranged in 2011 indicated that spinal manipulation and other approaches, such as physical therapy, can relieve chronic low-back pain. However, it has a minimum effect on the pain.
  • According to an NCCIH study, the best dose for people with chronic back pain is twelve sessions of spinal manipulation.
  • A 2014 study featuring 110 people concluded that people become less sensitive to stimuli immediately after getting the spinal manipulation than after sham manipulation. However, both groups had similar pain intensity after a couple of weeks.
  • According to a systematic review of AHRQ, spinal manipulation is better than sham manipulation or placebo for short term and medium-term effects. However, evidence strength was low. Besides, there was no much difference in spinal manipulation and sham manipulation, attention control, and placebo when it comes to short-term pain. However, spinal manipulation was more effective on short term pain than long term pain. The standard of evidence was considered low for short-term effects and moderate for intermediate-term outcomes.

For acute pain in the lower back:

Spinal manipulation has some limitations for acute pain in the lower back.

  • According to a research review of 20 studies in 2012, spinal manipulation is not adequate for acute pain in the lower back. This is true, especially when spinal manipulation was compared to sham manipulation or mixed with other approaches. However, spinal manipulation is the safest option than different treatment approaches.
  • A study conducted in 2015 with 220 people indicated no difference in the effects of spinal manipulation and standard care in treating acute low-back pain.
  • On the other hand, a study funded by NCCIH in 2015 concluded that spinal manipulation is suitable for short term relief from acute and sub-acute pain in the lower back than standard care. Moreover, the study concluded that manual thrust manipulation results in greater short term relief from pain than mechanical-assisted manipulation.
  • In 2017, a study analyzed 1700 different participants under 15 controlled trials. According to this study, spinal manipulation helps to improve the functions and acute pain in the lower back.
  • Another study conducted in 2018 with 750 active-duty US Veterans with pain in the lower back. This study found that chiropractic care with standard care can help relieve pain better than those undergoing only general medical maintenance.

For Neck Pain:

  • NCCIH funded a study in 2012 with 272 acute neck pain patients. According to this study, home exercises or spinal manipulation are more effective in the long term and short term.
  • Another review from 51 patients indicated that spinal manipulation is significantly less effective in getting short-term relief from chronic or acuter pain in the neck.

For Sciatica:

Sciatica is pain that radiates from the sciatic nerve, controlling the lower leg and knee and black muscles. Besides, it also characterizes the pain in the thigh, foot sole and lower leg.

  • A 2015 research review indicated that spinal manipulation is not common for sciatica treatment. However, the studies used in the review have some limitations.
  • Another study was conducted with 192 people having leg pain and back pain in 2014. This study indicated that spinal manipulation with exercise and personal instruction is more effective than exercise and personal instructions alone. However, similar pain intensity was observed in both groups after a year.

For other complaints:

  • Researchers have also studied the effects of spinal manipulation for treating bedwetting, infant colic, COPD, ear infection in children, and fibromyalgia. However, there is no proper evidence to treat these issues with spinal manipulation.
  • Studies indicated that spinal manipulation couldn’t relieve menstrual pain, hypertension and asthma.

Experience and credibility of practitioners are important in applying spinal manipulation. If you’re taking the services of an experienced and licensed chiropractor, spinal manipulation is safe.

However, there may be some side effects of spinal manipulation. These side effects include a temporary boost in pain, stiffness, or muscle soreness.

Some infrequent but serious complications may also occur due to spinal manipulation—for instance, delays in diagnosis of severe medical conditions or death.