Chiropractors believe that the health of the musculoskeletal system, primarily based on the proper alignment of the spine, is the basis for the body’s overall wellbeing. They believe that neural problems resulting from misaligned vertebrae, intervertebral discs, and facet joints can cause a variety of visceral ailments.
Chiropractors use spinal manipulation to adjust or reposition subluxations in the spinal anatomy – with the goal of realigning the spine and promoting full-body health. Neck manipulation is a common chiropractic treatment for patients who suffer from cervical spine pain, though the safety of neck manipulation has been widely questioned. As a patient, you have the freedom to choose what type of spinal care is right for you, so it almost goes without saying that you should make sure any treatment you receive is completely safe.
Methods of Neck Manipulation
- Manual neck manipulation – Manual manipulation is used to align herniated discs, bulging discs, or shifted vertebrae in the cervical region of the spine. The chiropractor may use a variety of methods, such as twisting, stretching, or palpation. Ideally, once the spinal anatomy is realigned, the pain of neural pressure will be temporarily eliminated.
- Traction – Traction devices, like decompression tables, are sometimes used by chiropractors. Some tables rely on inversion, suction, or stretching and try to use this pressure to pull protruding bones or discs back into place.
Risks of Neck Manipulation
There are some risks that have been associated with spinal manipulation. These include stroke, death, paralysis, nerve damage, and fractures. You should also keep in mind that neck manipulation does not heal or remove damaged spinal anatomy, but only moves the components back into place temporarily.
Do Your Research
As with any healthcare professional that you choose to administer treatment, you should always do thorough research into their qualifications, background, and training. Before you choose a chiropractor, check to see what certifications he or she has received. Does the chiropractor belong to any professional organizations? Can the chiropractor provide patient references, or are there patient reviews available on the Internet? Remember that you’re in charge of your own health and you deserve to know the potential benefits and risks of any treatment you receive.