Back Pain Doctor
Spinal manipulation is a useful tool for many who suffer from various types of pain. Many individuals prefer spinal adjustments as an alternative form of pain treatment to medication when dealing with back pain, neck pain, and headaches. Historically healthcare providers have believed that spinal manipulation serves solely as a great tool for pain management. However over the years more studies have suggested that spinal manipulation may have more of a neurophysiological effect than previously thought.
What is spinal manipulation?
Spinal manipulation also known as “spinal manipulative therapy” is a therapy used by chiropractors, physical therapist, and osteopathic physicians to help relieve pain, improve range of motion, and physical well being. Forms of manipulative therapy have been used for years, dating back to 2700 B.C. in China and 1500 B.C. in Greece. Practitioners provide this therapy by using their hands or a device to apply skillful force to a specific area of the body. The amount of force applied, and the type of manipulation used is dependent on the therapy and severity of the injury.
What does the science say?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (https://nccih.nih.gov/health/pain/spinemanipulation.htm), studies have shown that spinal manipulation is a great treatment option for pain relief. Studies have suggested that complementary health therapies such as spinal adjustments provide greater benefit in managing back pain because it manages whole body wellness. Many studies have been performed on the benefits of spinal adjustments as a pain management tool. However, recent research has been published suggesting that spinal manipulation may provide more benefits than just pain relief.
A recent study published in Brain Sciences (https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3425/7/1/2/htm) measured the electrical activity in the arms and legs before, during, and after a chiropractic spinal adjustment. Researchers found that these individuals had an increase in cortical drive post spinal adjustment. This means that individuals had an increase in strength post chiropractic adjustment. This study suggests that this may be especially helpful for individuals who have lost muscle tone or recovering from cases of muscle degradation such as a stroke or orthopedic operations. In addition, sport performers may also be interested in these new findings as spinal manipulation may help in muscle strength and recovery.
Why it matters
Research is showing that spinal manipulation does more than just treat pain. It can increase your cortical drive, which helps make you stronger. For individuals who are interested in living an active lifestyle, spinal manipulation may not only help manage pain, but also increase your strength. Though one spinal adjustment may not make you the weight lifting champion of the world, having increased strength from a day-to-day standpoint can improve your quality of life.
Research continues to show that spinal manipulation is not only helpful for pain management, but may also provide additional benefits for the entire body. While spinal adjustments are a powerful tool for decreasing pain, it also increases range of motion, increases body function, and improves strength. If you are a sports performer, or recovering from a condition that has caused muscle degradation, consider seeing the chiropractor Shawnee KS offers who can offer the proper therapy and care to help increase your strength.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at LifeWorks for their insight about spinal manipulation and alternative medicine.