Spinal Manipulative Treatments, Joint Manipulative Therapy or Adjustment

Spinal manipulation is defined by Wikipedia as:

“a therapeutic intervention performed on spinal articulations which are synovial joints. These    articulations in the spine that are amenable to spinal manipulative therapy include the z-    joints (zygapophyseal), the atlantooccipital , atlantoaxial lumbosacral, sacroiliac, costotransverse and costovertebral joints”.

All of these fancy words explain technically that the joints in which manipulation works on (synovial joints) usually when moved sufficiently make that “popping noise” such as when you move your knee, finger, neck or shoulder as example, it pops and it feels good giving an immediate relief of the tension in the joint that is felt. If one then desires to try to move the same joint again to make it pop, it takes time to build the air in the joint, back up to a level where it will pop again. Inside a synovial joint is a small pouch, filled with an oil like substance, or lubricating fluid (synovial fluid) and air that occupies the space between the joint cartilage surfaces. These surfaces when healthy move quite nicely and smoothly without pain. In a unhealthy joint or one that is injured one may have too little synovial fluid from lack of production or the joint may be fixated or stiff due to arthritis or muscle spasm, disallowing the joint to move. This decreases the movement and causes pain from irritation of nerves that supply the synovial joint and the surfaces of the joint. A healthy joint is a flexible joint. The irritation of the joint produces tension, pressure, lack of oxygen and other theoretical effects to the nerves called recurrent meningeal nerves of Luschka where I and others believe a lot of the pain emanates from synovial joints. The spinal disk is not a synovial articulation but in many ways functions similarly. The noise that one hears when moving a synovial joint is caused by cavitation similar to the noise that is seen when a glass with cold water is allowed to sit on a counter, it sweats and then later when one picks it up it pops due to the formation of weak bond with the counter from the sweating of the glass. The noise is nothing to fear but some patients do have this apprehension.
Action and clinical effects of spinal manipulation (Wikipedia) researched findings:

  • Temporary relief of musculoskeletal pain.
  • Shortened time to recover from acute back pain (RAND).
  • Temporary increase in passive range of motion (PROM).
  • Physiological effects on the central nervous system, probably at the segmental level.
  • Altered sensorineural integration.
  • No alteration of the position of the sacroiliac joint.
  • Side effects mild to moderate and may include: local discomfort, tiredness, or radiating discomfort.

I have been practicing spinal manipulation for many years and anecdotally I know it is a very effective method of treating musculoskeletal pain and injury. Here are some common questions asked below.

 If you have any questions for me, call and I will call you back time permitting and answer them for you.
Phone number is 817-274-2273, you may also text me questions to this number or 817-614-8022 or 817-274-2343 and I can text you back or phone you. Leave your name and the question. You may email me drfarleybrown@drfarleybrown.com with any questions.

  • Is it a cure all? No. There are many conditions it helps, but many false claims are made by manipulative practitioners and certainly many claims of its effectiveness on various conditions have not withstood the rigors of research. Many of these false claimers may really believe the things they say, and some may indeed be true. You as the patient need to use common sense and if you have feelings that a claim is too good to be true, it most likely is. If someone is trying to get you to “come in for a year”, or scaring you with “fear motivation”, “death from subluxation”, saying” you are going to be crippled” or other fear tactics. You need to run, not walk out of that clinic and ask your MD or DO which chiropractor to go to. They may not like it and some of them will not do so, but phrase is as “which chiropractor should I to go to?” “not should I go to a chiropractor or osteopath?”Most of the MDs and DO’s that I know are very good, reputable, opinionated but also very wise and can be a good source of information and referrals. They will have heard who are the ones to go to and will gladly (or maybe reluctantly) give advice on this subject.  I receive a large amount of medical referrals. The MD’s and DO’s all know I am going to tell the truth, plus I prescribe medications and speak their language which makes them comfortable with me.
  • Does it always work? No.
  • Does it work most of the time? Yes, it does achieve the goals most of the time.  
  • Does it work quickly? Yes, most of the time, the results are fairly quick to help with symptoms but it does often take numerous visits to achieve lasting benefits. It also is more effective when using other modalities such as physiotherapy, exercise, stretching and prescription medications. I realize that most chiropractors do not use or promote medications. I am different and believe both natural and traditional medicine, are complementary not opposed, and thus I use both systems to help my patients. I do know that if it can be done without exogenous chemicals (those from outside) such as prescription medications that is even better, because every drug has side effects.
  • Is spinal manipulation safe? Yes, it is very low risk, and each patient is screened for potential problems to alert me to any likelihood of injury. There are many patients that I choose not to manipulate for various reasons. If you go in for a back problem and they want to work on your neck or some other remote area of your body, unless it is justified, I always use the old adage, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and treat the area of the body and leave other perfectly functioning areas alone.
  • Do I have to keep coming back forever? No, it does feel good and helps many things, but the common myth about once you start, you have to keep on going, is just false. Some people choose to have the treatments as part of their life, as I do, but you do not have to do so.

We can help you with your pain with conservative and affective spinal manipulative treatments. If this is not the treatment I would suggest for you after a consultation and examination, there are many other treatments available here at my office from prescription medications, physiotherapy and specific exercise programs to help with back and neck injuries and pain. We will do what is best for you.

Call us today at 817-274-2343 for an immediate appointment