Spinecare Topics

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Spinal Manipulation

Spinal manipulation is used to a spinal segment and the surrounding soft (periarticular) tissues.  Chiropractors/chiropractic physicians are well trained and experienced in the art of spinal manipulation.  Spinal manipulation requires care­ful application of manipulative forces utilizing the bones as levers in order to place the de­sired motion into the joint, disc level and periarticular tissues.  The resulting forces influence the axis of rotation and other movement patterns of restricted (hypomobile) joints.  Proper joint and soft tissue motion is essential for proper alignment and healing of tissue.  The absence of proper joint movement may lead to the development of restrictive tissue, which can limit joint and soft tissue movement.  Spinal joint manipulation influences neurological input from the densely innervated joint linings and surrounding joint tissues, thus influencing muscle firing patterns around the spine, autonomic function and modulating of pain thresholds.  The physician makes the determination as to what joints may benefit by the use of manipulation.  The examination may include diagnostic imaging and palpatory assessment of the quality of the joint play (joint movement).  Spinal regions or segments with abnormal resistive barriers to motion or joint play can often be detected. 

Spinal joint manipulation may be associated with regional and more distant physiological effects. The relationship between structure and function in the human body influences health and disease.

Joint manipulation is used to help promote optimum tissue repair during the various stages of healing.  Tissues tend to recover and remodel consistent with the stresses placed upon them during the healing process.  Some movement is required for the tissues to heal strong and flexible.  Restoration of spinal movement is important so that they may withstand the physical loads placed upon them.  During spinal care, numerous methods are used to lessen pain, reduce extent of injury, aid in remodeling of granulation tissue, break adhesions as they develop prevent chronic joint stiffness and/or to limit the possibility of developing a chronic pain syndrome.  Adequate joint mobility is required to help sustain nutritional and fluid exchange in joint tissues as well as the intervertebral disc of the spine. Spinal manipulation is most effective when it is used in combination with rehabilitative exercise and maintenance of proper posture.  This process greatly influences the health of joint cartilage. Increasing joint stiffness leads to global stiffness and accelerated degeneration of joint tissues.

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