Patients diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition will likely be recommended to undergo conservative, non-surgical treatment as an initial attempt to reduce the pain and symptoms caused by the spine condition. One of the most common forms of conservative treatment is manual manipulation from a chiropractor.
When you visit the chiropractor to treat your spine condition, you should expect your chiropractor to perform a manual manipulation, or “adjustment.” This procedure involves using the hands to flex, mobilize, and/or adjust a spinal joint in order to correct any abnormalities in the joint and relieve pain, stiffness, swelling, or other symptoms. For spine conditions that cause certain components of the spine to misalign and impact a nerve root, spinal manipulation is an effective way to realign the spine and decompress the nerve root without having to undergo surgery.
What can I expect?
When you visit your chiropractor for manual manipulation, the procedure typically causes no pain. Some patients experience minor stiffness or aches in the days after their appointment while the spine adjusts to the new alignment, but manual manipulation is often an effective — yet temporary — treatment for acute lower back pain, neck pain, and other common aches and pains. Your chiropractor may advise you to perform some hot/cold compress therapy at home after the adjustment to relieve any stiffness you may experience.
The reason your chiropractor will use manual manipulation, or adjustment, is to attempt to correct the function, motion, or alignment of one or more of your vertebrae. Chiropractors call the misalignment in the joints of your spine a vertebral subluxation. When your vertebrae become misaligned and exert pressure on the surrounding nerves, it can result in tingling, stiffness, weakness, and pain. By realigning the problematic vertebrae using manual manipulation, your chiropractor will seek to put these symptoms to rest.
Treatment beyond chiropractic manipulation
If you have been going to a chiropractor for over three months and you have not found any lasting pain relief from the manual manipulation, consult your physician about finding a new method of treatment for your condition. Your physician may recommend that you try other forms of conservative therapy, or your physician may recommend that you undergo surgery to treat your condition.
If you are recommended to undergo spine surgery to treat a spine condition, please contact our Care Team at Laser Spine Institute. We offer a safer, more effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. Call us today to learn about the benefits you can experience with our minimally invasive spine surgery.