Spinal manipulation is a specialized procedure performed to restore spinal alignment, decrease pressure and improve function among other benefits. There are numerous manipulation techniques designed to meet the need of different patients. A professional NFL player would likely be adjusted differently than a 60 year old female. They have different body types and structure. Like wise a child or infant is also manipulated differently than a adult would be. Manipulation treatments can be applied to any joint in the body, not only the spine. While there are newer techniques that are being developed all of the time, there are some that have been successful for decades.
Chiropractors are the premier specialist that perform manipulation/adjustments. No other healthcare provider has the education or experience of the spinal manipulation and radiology than that of a Chiropractor. Spinal manipulation taught in chiropractic college is not a weekend seminar or a couple of classes taught as a elective. It’s interesting that a number of years ago the medical community and therapist didn’t think much of manipulation/adjusting of the spine or any other joint. Today, manipulation is taught in seminars and weekend classes all across America to PT’s and some medical providers. It has taken sometime but they now see the benefits of manipulation or as they call it manual therapy. I view this as a good thing because they have realized that all of the chiropractic patients couldn’t be wrong, some one million adjustments performed each day by Chiropractors. There are some states that allow physical therapist to perform manipulations, and other states that do not allow physical therapist to manipulate any joint. Our office sees patients from other offices where someone other than a chiropractor manipulated a patient and that person was in more pain than before. There have been a number of patients that have gone to the E.R. after a manipulation performed by someone other than a chiropractor and in Arkansas one person was fined 10000.00 for performing a manipulation that ended up hurting a patient.
Some manipulation techniques use special tools, tables and different parts of the hands or legs. The chiropractic student has to perform hundreds of each technique in front of a staff doctor before graduating college. Many of my own instructors were the same doctors that wrote the book on that particular technique they taught. Several of my own staff doctors were both doctors of medicine and chiropractic.
What can a adjustment do and not do. It can reduce numbness, headaches, neck/back pain, shoulder/ankle pain,etc., increase performance, prevent injury and increase range of motion. What can manipulation not do? It does not cure cancer, asthma, tumors, MS, CP, polio, TB, diabetes and so on. However, we do treat patients with these conditions and it does help the patient deal with their symptoms. I have many patients with asthma that I treat, not because it cures the asthma but it does help them breath. The same is true for my MS patients. Some of them can walk and some can not, but the physical stretching of the soft tissues and manipulation of the joints helps increase their mobility, decreases tension/contracture and improve the ease of motion.
I have recently watched some video clips of “other” healthcare providers tout that manipulation only works if “they” perform the procedure and do it “their” way. I guess that is a marketing strategy, but the truth is no other healthcare provider has the education of the manipulation techniques better than a chiropractor. Chiropractic education can cost twice as much as a therapist and can take much longer to complete.
Funny how at one time they said it didn’t work, now they are wanting to do it and claim only they can do it correctly. The spinal adjustment is an amazing event that has helped millions of people every year feel great. Every NFL team uses Chiropractors as most professional sports teams do around the world. I guess the greatest form of praise is imitation. I even have several physical therapist come to my office for spinal manipulation. Either way, I am glad that the medical community has seen the light and while not every chiropractor is perfect, neither is the medical doctor or therapist. The spinal adjustment is a powerful procedure that has changed the lives of so many people.
So check out your local chiropractor for neck and back pain, headaches, shoulder and ankle injuries, there is no one more specialized for manipulation treatments.