10 Surprising Advantages of Spinal Manipulation That You Never Knew Before!

Spinal Manipulation: An Alternative Treatment for Chronic Pain

Every single day, countless individuals suffer from chronic pain without any hope of relief. Some turn to traditional medications, while others undergo expensive surgeries that can cause more pain than before. However, there is another option that patients can try: spinal manipulation. This therapy can offer an alternative treatment for back, neck, shoulder, and even head pain when traditional therapies have failed.

What is Spinal Manipulation?

Spinal manipulation, also known as spinal manipulative therapy, combines the moving and jolting of joints with massage, exercise, and physical therapy. The objective of the therapy is to relieve pressure on joints and muscles, improve nerve function, and reduce pain and inflammation. Spinal manipulation is usually performed in a licensed physician or chiropractor’s office and is used to treat a variety of conditions such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and headaches. Some chiropractors believe that it can also help with other disorders such as menstrual pain and sinus problems.

Does It Work?

When discussing the success of spinal manipulation, there are two camps of people: those who believe it works and those who believe it is ineffective and dangerous. While there are only a few studies on spinal manipulation, a 2007 study found that it was moderately effective in easing chronic pain in the lower back lasting four or more weeks. Other studies have also shown that it is effective in treating pain in the neck. However, some studies have shown that spinal manipulation may result in mild to moderate adverse effects. It is important to note that the incidences of these adverse effects are unknown due to poor reporting. Ultimately, your experience will dictate what you think about the treatment should you choose to try it to help relieve your pain.

Is Spinal Manipulation Safe?

When spinal manipulation is performed by a physician who is both trained and licensed to perform the procedures, it is considered safe. However, like any treatment, there are risks and the potential for serious complications. Some of the most serious complications include herniated disks, compressed nerves, and, in some cases, a stroke or even death. Spinal manipulation is not recommended for everyone. People who have severe osteoporosis, are at risk for stroke, suffer from spinal cancer, or have an unstable spine should not undergo spinal manipulative therapy, as they are at even greater risk of potentially dangerous complications.

The Benefits of Spinal Manipulation

Despite the controversy surrounding spinal manipulation, there are many benefits that can make it worth considering.

Pain Relief

The most obvious benefit is pain relief. Spinal manipulation can almost instantly relieve some or all of the pain you are experiencing in your lower back, back, neck, head, and shoulders. Some patients have even reported being pain-free in as little as one visit to the chiropractor.

Improved Flexibility

Spinal manipulation can also help you improve your flexibility. If used along with exercise, you can strengthen your core muscles and improve your movement in your back, shoulders, and neck. This will give you better flexibility and help you feel better at the same time.

Prevention of Surgery

If you have explored all your options to stop your pain and your only alternative is surgery, then you may want to consider spinal manipulation as an alternative before you set foot into an operating room. In some cases, the therapy can reduce or eliminate your symptoms, preventing you from having to go under the knife.

Reduced Dependence on Drugs

Finally, using spinal manipulation can help you reduce your dependence on prescription and over-the-counter pain medication. These medications often dull your mind, harm your internal organs, and can even leave you hopelessly addicted to them in the process. Spinal manipulation can help you reduce your pain symptoms, thereby reducing your need to take those prescription pain pills in the first place. Once you stop taking those pain pills, you will begin to feel better as you won’t be in pain or in a fog because of the medication.


Spinal manipulation remains a controversial treatment, but for those of you that are in chronic pain and do not want to undergo surgery that may or may not even work, it could be the answer to your pain problem. Before undergoing the therapy, however, be sure you talk with your doctor and chiropractor to see if it is right for you in order to minimize the risks associated with the treatment. Take control of your pain today and give spinal manipulation a try.

Featured photo credit: Alisha Vargas via flickr.com

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