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Spinal manipulation, also known as spinal manipulative therapy, is the technique used by chiropractors to treat pain. But what does it mean and how does it work?

When a chiropractor adjusts a patient’s spine, they use their hands to apply a controlled thrust. It’s a force of a specific magnitude or degree that is applied in a specific direction. The goal is to realign the spine to optimize the body’s natural healing process.

The amount of force applied by the chiropractor may vary, but the thrusting motions move the joint more than it would on its own.

Spinal Manipulation

It’s worth noting that spinal manipulation is different from spinal mobilization. The latter does not involve a thrust. Instead, it is performed within a joint’s natural range of motion and can be controlled by the patient.

Most spinal manipulations are done by chiropractors. However, other licensed professionals including osteopathic physicians and physical therapists are also able to do spinal manipulations.

According to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey or NHIS, spinal manipulation is one of the most common complementary health approaches used by adults and children in the United States. The reasons for using spinal manipulation vary widely among patients. Among the US adults who used chiropractic care for spinal manipulation, about 67 percent used it to treat a specific health condition. Around 53 percent used it for wellness, the NHIS found.

Spinal Adjustments

Spinal adjustments for general wellness or disease prevention are very common, with 43 percent of patients using it for this purpose. Having a healthy spine can prevent a lot of problems down the line. 25 percent of patients used spinal manipulation for holistic purposes, wanting to heal their mind, body, and spirit.

Around 16 percent of patients wanted to use spinal manipulation to improve their energy, while 11 percent used it for better immune function. 5 percent of patients used it to improve memory or concentration.

According to the NHIS authors, people reported positive experiences and reduced pain as a result of receiving spinal manipulation. Chiropractors are trained to deliver effective spinal adjustments. Many people visit chiropractors to treat pain. Chiropractic care is a great way to treat pain naturally because it uses methods that don’t involve medications or surgery.

Spinal manipulation can be used to help patients suffering from sciatica, lower back pain, neck pain, headaches, and other conditions. Those who haven’t been to a chiropractor’s clinic before might be hesitant to try spinal adjustments—but these adjustments are perfectly safe. Chiropractors deliver millions of adjustments every year. A trained and licensed practitioner knows how to perform spinal adjustments in a way that is safe and beneficial for their patients.

Patients are intimidated by the cracking or popping noises made during spinal adjustment. But the truth is that these sounds are only made by air bubbles being released from between joints. In fact, after an adjustment, people tend to feel more relaxed and comfortable.

Serious complications associated with spinal manipulation are very rare. The most common side effects of spinal adjustments include temporary muscle soreness and stiffness.

Patients who need some relief from their pain can turn to chiropractors for a good spinal adjustment. Visit a chiropractic clinic today and learn more about the benefits of spinal manipulation.

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