Roughly 31 million people in the United States live with lower back pain. Unfortunately, many of them are choosing the wrong methods to deal with their discomfort. Pain killers may seem like a good option, but often times the relief is only temporary. This is especially true for those who have been living with pain for a number of months or years.
What is Spinal Manipulation?
Also referred to as spinal manipulation therapy, spinal manipulation is the process of using the hands or a tool to apply force to a joint in the spine and can be combined with or exclusively include exercise, massage, and physical therapy.
As the patient lays on a flat surface, the practitioner jolts, presses, or exercises joints to deliver the same relief you may feel when “cracking” or “popping” your back.
Commonly performed is the high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust technique in which a quick, sudden force is applied after the joint is positioned correctly. For individuals needing gentler adjustment, other options are available as well.
The result is a significant remission of pain in the back, neck, head, and other areas. It can occur in the form of exercise, massage, or physical therapy and leads to improved physical function and mobility.
Why Spinal Manipulation?
Changing your mattress, applying heat, and taking pain killers may seem effective for a short time, but spinal manipulation works just as well as conventional methods and can provide long-term relief. A 2010 report in the Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality also equated the therapy’s effectiveness with that of medication.
Living with Back Pain
One of the most common health concerns, back pain affects millions of people. However, its commonplace occurrence may be a hindrance to getting professional help.
Many sufferers point out the lower back as an area of particular concern, with pain lasting days or even years. This delicate area can be difficult to treat without the help of a trained practitioner.
Although spinal manipulation is a very safe and noninvasive procedure, the applied pressure during the procedure may cause soreness and tiredness afterwards, which usually subsides within a day or two.
In extremely rare cases, cauda equina syndrome (CES) may occur. This is when the lower part of the spinal canal narrows and causes pinched nerves. However, It is unknown if there is any connection between spinal manipulation and CES.
Come in for a free discovery visit or give us a call at (385) 236-3065!
AJ Ludlow is a Doctor of Physical Therapy serving the Provo/Orem area and specializing in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and injuries.