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What Happens During Spinal Manipulation?

Could going to the chiropractor be the solution for headaches and backaches? Yes! Spinal manipulation, also known as manual therapy, combines moving joints, manual, exercise, and physical therapy.

It relieves pressure on the joints, reduces inflammation, and improves overall nerve function. It is often used to treat back, neck, shoulder, and headache pain.

Let’s look at what happens during a spinal manipulation appointment at Impact Medical Sun City Center.

What Can Spinal Manipulation Treat?

A chiropractic adjustment is a standard therapeutic treatment for neck, upper to mid-back, and lower back pain. The objective of chiropractic treatment is to reduce the subluxation, or slight misalignment of the vertebrae while increasing the range of motion, reducing nerve irritability, and improving overall function.

Chiropractic spinal adjustments typically involve a high velocity, low amplitude thrust to any misaligned vertebrae.

Spinal manipulation can treat chronic pain, including:

Low-Back Pain

Spinal manipulation is one of several non-drug approaches that can be used to treat acute and chronic low-back pain. It can lead to small improvements in both pain and overall function. Function refers to how low-back pain affects various aspects of people’s lives, such as walking, standing, sleeping, and doing everyday tasks.

Neck Pain

Spinal manipulation can be helpful for neck pain, and both manipulation and mobilization can be helpful for chronic neck pain.


Spinal manipulation may reduce the frequency and intensity of cervicogenic headaches or head pain that originated from a problem in the neck.


Sciatica is pain that is caused by the sciatic nerve, which controls the muscles in the back of the knee and lower leg. This nerve also provides feeling to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the bottom of the foot.

Other Problems

Some research has investigated the effect of spinal manipulation on conditions outside of musculoskeletal problems. Some conditions like high blood pressure and menstrual cramps have shown some benefits of spinal manipulation.

What Does Spinal Manipulation Involve?

There are over 100 types of spinal adjustments that are used by chiropractors. Some use force and twisting like in spinal manipulation while other techniques are gentler such as spinal mobilization.

Practitioners use ice and heat therapy, electric stimulation, traction, and ultrasound for deep tissue heating.

Most procedures are done on a padded adjustable table. Parts of the table can be dropped and moved as an adjustment is done, adding different forces to the movement.

In spinal manipulation, a chiropractor uses their hands to apply a controlled force to a specific joint. You may hear a popping noise, like when you crack your knuckles.

During spinal mobilization, chiropractors use less forceful thrusts and more stretching techniques.

Does Spinal Manipulation Work?

Spinal manipulation is effective in easing chronic neck and back pain, as well as treating headaches and migraines.

Not everyone will respond well to chiropractic adjustments. A lot depends on your situation or pain. If your symptoms don’t begin to improve over several weeks of adjustments, chiropractic care may not be the best option for you.

Are Spinal Adjustments Safe?

Spinal adjustments are safe when performed by a trained and licensed chiropractor. Serious complications from manipulation can be rare but can include herniated discs, compressed nerves, and even a stroke. But remember, these are very rare.

Some people should avoid spinal adjustments, including people who have a high risk of stroke, severe osteoporosis, spinal cancer, or an unstable spine.

Sun City Center Chiropractic Care

If you have chronic back or neck pain, you may benefit from a chiropractic adjustment and spinal manipulation at Impact Medical Sun City Center. Our chiropractors can help you live pain-free and improve your overall well-being.

Ready to try chiropractic care? Call Impact Medical Sun City Center today at (813) 938-5195!