At Cork Physical Therapy, we take great care in ensuring that spinal manipulative therapy are slow and gentle manipulation techniques to treat carefully diagnosed conditions. These movements can loosen and move the spinal bones and joint structures that may be causing low back pain, or pain throughout the spine and pelvis.
Manipulative Therapy For Back Pain
Manipulative therapy is based on the theory that your spinal health is central to your overall health. It relies on spinal manipulation to increase a joint’s range of motion. Manipulation techniques range from massage and twisting or slow pressing on the head, shoulder, back, or hips. If you have tight or spasming muscles, supplamentry techniques may be used to relax your muscles before manipulating the spine. Such techniques include massage, heat, ultrasound, or faradic (EMS).
What Happens In A Manipulative Therapy Session?
Your manipulative therapist will take a full history. We then give you a thorough physical examination and assessment, looking for changes in muscle tension and skin tone, and for any restriction of the normal range of movement of the spine and other joints. The examination may include taking your blood pressure and testing your spinal reflexes. A diagnosis is then made and fully explained to you, and a treatment plan offered to solve these restrictions.
In general, treatments usually consisit of hands on work, such as massage, stretching, Muscle Energy Techniques (METs) and spinal Manipulation. Once these retrictions have been released instant relief can be felt.
Why Is Manipulation Needed?
Our spine is made up of vertebrae, in between each of these vertebrae are intervetebral discs, which are the shock absorbers in our spines and take all the compressive and weight-bearing forces. Each vetebrae attaches to the one above and below via joints called FACET JOINTS. These joints are non-weight-bearing joints.
Day to day the body and spine experiences “wear and tear”. This can be more severe in some people, depending on occupation, way of life or family history. “Wear and tear” causes the space between the vetebrae to narrow and become closer together. This causes compression on the discs and the facet joints to move closer together, and in most cases lock-up. These facet joints can also lock-up if muscles are very tight.
Every single muscle has an origin and an insertion. Both these points of muscle originate and insert onto bones. As muscles are contractile tissue, when they tighten it can cause the bones to which they are attached to move out of position and lock-up. It is when this happens that it restricts range of motion and causes pain for which manipulation can correct.