Manipulative Therapy is used in conjunction with the other modalities of treatment (i.e. physical therapy, dry needling, electrotherapy, heat, stretching, mobilisation, etc.) to treat injuries and issues related to the spine. Manipulative therapy involves techniques that can move and loosen the spinal bones and joint structures that may be causing pain throughout the spine or pelvis or referred symptoms into the arms or legs. Great care is taken to ensure that these techniques are done in a slow and gentle manner to reduce the stress and trauma on the body.
Why is spinal manipulation needed?
Manipulative therapy is based on the theory that your spinal health is central to your overall health. It can sometimes rely on spinal manipulation to increase a joint’s range of motion. Our spine is made up of vertebrae. Between these vertebrae are intervertebral discs which act as shock absorbers of the spine; they take all of the weight-bearing and compressive forces. Vertebrae are attached to one another via the facet joints; these are the non-weight-bearing joints of the spine.
On a daily basis, each of our spines experiences wear and tear. This can be more severe depending on the person, occupation, family history and level and type of activity. “Wear and tear” causes the disc space between the vertebrae to narrow over time. This causes compression on the discs and therefore results in the facets moving closer together; this can cause the facet joints to lock. These joints can also lock up if the surrounding muscles are very tight. Because muscles are contractile and both ends of a muscle attach to bone, when they tighten up, it can cause bones to move out of position and lock up. When this happens, restrictions in range of movement occur which can lead to loss of mobility and cause pain and discomfort. Manipulative therapy can help to correct this.