SPINAL MANIPULATION

 

 

The fundamentals of spinal manipulation are based on anatomic and physiologic principles, and the improvements patients experience might as well account for its feasibility. The hypothetical reasons why spinal manipulation works to relieve pain are as follows:

  • It restores the mobility and flexibility of facet joints: The articulations between one vertebra and the other is called a facet joint. Sometimes they experience inflammation, and swelling which causes muscle spasms and limitations in flexibility and movement. Some chiropractic techniques improve the reactive contractions and help regain the normal functioning of facet joints.

  • Repositioning of discs and bulging material: Herniated discs, bulging discs, and pinched nerves are a common cause of back pain. Chiropractic therapies create a negative pressure inside the disc which helps to bring back the bulging or herniated material.

  • Reducing muscle tension: Pressure applied during a chiropractic session improves muscle tension. The latter is sometimes the sole reason for acute back pain, especially when it is the result of daily stress and poor posture.

  • Breaking fibrous adhesions around the spine: Sometimes, fibrous adhesions and scar tissue forms around the spine or a herniated disc, which results in pain around the adjacent vertebrae. Spinal manipulation uses passive stretches and other maneuvers to reduce movement limitations caused by spinal adhesions.

  • Neurophysiological effects: There are certain nerves that carry an inhibitory signal to reduce the sensation of pain when it is too much and too prolonged. Spinal manipulation is thought to induce changes in the nervous system by increasing inhibitory reflexes that reduce the sensation of pain.

  • Other possible reasons why it works: Asides from these hypothetical mechanisms of action, chiropractic therapy also works by relying on its high-touch nature. The growing patient-clinician relationship, which builds over repeated visits, the empowerment, enthusiasm and reassurance patients feel after leaving the chiropractic’s room, and their conviction that spinal manipulation will help, all contribute to patients’ satisfaction with the treatment. All of these have a powerful effect by relaxing muscles and releasing neurotransmitters to inhibit the sensation of pain.