Topics in Spinal Manipulation

Topics in spinal manipulation include discussions which compare the similarities and differences between chiropractic techniques such as Spinal Manipulationand Spinal Mobilization.

Spinal manipulation involves a series of techniques in which a chiropractor, osteopathic physician, or other healthcare practitioner uses pressure to ease the joints and vertebra of the back into their proper position. If the vertebra is not in its proper alignment, then certain structures may be "fixed" - stuck in place and unable to move. This structural instability may cause pain and pressure on the nerves, causing pain around the affected structures. This pain may also radiate away from these painful and "stuck" areas, to affect the extremities of the body (arms and legs). Certain therapies, such as anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy, may help this problem somewhat, but a person's symptoms may continue if you do not get at the source of the problem.



If you have neck pain or back pain, the source of the problem may be a vertebra that is out of alignment, with respect to the ones above and below it. These misalignments may or may not be obvious for the doctors to see on medical imaging tests such as X-Rays. X-Rays are better for detecting things such as arthritis and major breaks in the bones. Practitioners such as chiropractors and osteopaths are trained to detect vertebral misalignments, also known as vertebral subluxation in chiropractic jargon, using their ears, eyes, and hands.

A chiropractor may feel for vertebral misalignments by putting his hands on the body and feeling along the possibly affected levels of the spine. If vertebras are found that are out of alignment, they may be eased back into space using rapid thrusts or more gentle ways using specialized instruments and the chiropractor table.

Spinal Manipulation Adjustment Techniques: Many of the practices and techniques in chiropractic medicine predate those of modern medicine. As such, there are over 100 adjustment techniques that have been developed across countries and schools of chiropractic medicine. In mainstream chiropractic medicine, there are about 10 mainstream techniques that are universally practiced.

Chiropractic adjustments are designed to restore joint function and the movement of the motion segments of the spine. Each motion segment is composed of two adjacent vertebral bodies and the intervertebral disc and facet joints that connect them. As the joint dislocations and dislocated vertebral positions are corrected, inflammation should be decreased and your back should enjoy more fluid motion.

The back will be brought back into proper alignment using the talented hands of the therapist, the use of leverage with the chiropractic table, and through the usage of specialized pieces of equipment. Some chiropractic approaches are more gentle (spinal mobilization) while others use more explosive forceful movements (spinal manipulation).

Spinal Manipulation: Other names for spinal manipulation include the Diversified Technique or the High-velocity, Low-amplitude (HVLA) Thrust. With the HVLA technique, the chiropractor will use the leverage of gravity and the chiropractic table to apply rapid short thrusts to the spine to force the affected elements back into their proper position. During these explosive movements, you may feel a shifting of parts of your spine and an audible pop. This experience may be frightening at first, but you are not at risk of injury and it will not be painful. The audible "crack" or "pop" is caused by the release of gases that are the product of the movements of the joints.

Spinal Mobilization: Spinal Mobilizations are also known as Low-Force or Gentle Chiropractic Techniques: Due to certain medical conditions, injuries, and bone density conditions (such as osteoporosis) it may be determined that some people's bodies are simply too delicate for traditional forceful chiropractic techniques. Also, some patients may want to follow the advice of their doctors who recommend against such aggressive maneuvers which may traumatize the nerve fibers of the back. For whatever reason a person needs or chooses to go the rout of more gentle therapy, spinal mobilization may be a useful alternative that achieves the same end results (lower back pain relief).