Spinal manipulation is a specialised form of manual therapy, used by Osteopaths, Chiropractors and some Physiotherapists, with a view to treat musculoskeletal pain and disability. This therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment option in the management of various musculoskeletal disorders, and can be used in collaboration with other techniques such as soft tissue massage and stretching, mobilisation, dry needling, and kinesio-taping. Home-based rehabilitation is a crucial part of recovery, and should never be overlooked.
What actually happens as a result of spinal manipulation? Many will be fixated on the click that may occur, but the reason why it is such an effective treatment technique is deep rooted. Spinal manipulation has a significant neurophysiological effect on various body systems, and can:-
#1 help to modulate pain
#2 enhance the interaction between the peripheral and central nervous system, helping reduce central sensitisation
#3 impact the muscular reflexogenic response in allowing muscle spasm to dissipate
#4 help modulate visceral function
#5 reduce pain threshold levels
Of course, more research is needed across many areas in science, and spinal manipulation is no exception. However, spinal manipulation has many benefits, and should not be viewed as solely improving mobility at a segmental level. The click you hear can be a by-product of the technique, and should not be the focus of the treatment, and definitely not an indicator of whether the outcome is successful or not.