Manual manipulation

Patients diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition will likely be recommended to undergo conservative nonsurgical 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, practitioners will often perform a manual manipulation, or “adjustment.” This procedure involves using the hands to flex, mobilize, and/or adjust a section of the spine in order to correct alignment issues, with the goal being to relieve pain, stiffness, swelling, or other symptoms. For spine conditions that cause certain components of the spine to misalign and compress nervous tissue, spinal manipulation can potentially provide temporary decompression and relief from symptoms of nerve compression.

What can I expect?

When you visit your chiropractor for manual manipulation, you should not expect pain from a properly performed procedure. 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 compression 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. Some 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, these symptoms can be relieved.

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 doctor about finding a new method of treatment for your condition. Other conservative therapies include physical therapy, medication, epidural steroid injections, massage, restorative yoga and weight management programs. Many patients find success by working to design a comprehensive personalized treatment plan with the right combination of treatments. Although it is a last-resort option, spine surgery may be recommended if other treatments have been exhausted without bringing the relief necessary for a good quality of life.

If you are recommended to undergo spine surgery to treat a spine condition, please contact the dedicated team at Laser Spine Institute. We offer a safer and effective outpatient alternative to traditional open back surgery.^ Reach out today to learn about the benefits you can experience with our minimally invasive spine surgery.

Find out if you’re a potential candidate for one of our procedures by asking for your free MRI or CT scan review today.*