Understanding Spinal Manipulation Therapy And How It Can Help With Lower Back Pain

Posted on: 29 July 2015


One of the basic chiropractic techniques is spinal manipulation therapy. This is the technique that many people think of when they think of chiropractors. It involves the chiropractor positioning someone before delivering a quick motion that results in a crunch or popping sound. Here's what's going on and how it can help you with your lower back pain.

Managing Lower Back Pain with Manual Therapies

There are many ways to deal with back pain. Many techniques require medication or surgery. However, there are a whole slew of non-invasive, physical techniques for dealing with back pain, mobilization, and rehabilitation. Spinal manipulation therapy falls into that physical group.

However, SMT isn't just one technique; it's a collective title for several techniques. These techniques, and others like them, usually fall under the category of manual therapies.

It All Starts With Your Range of Motion

The goal of spinal manipulation techniques is to restore your range of motion while also relieving you of some or all of your pain. When a chiropractor employs spinal manipulation techniques, he or she will move you to the far end of your range of motion. That far end can represent a place where your pain physically stops you from moving further. It can also represent a psychological limit.

For example, you may fear that your lower back pain will increase to a point you can't handle, but you've never actually tried to turn or bend to that point. The chiropractor will slowly move you, while slowly increasing your range until you get to that far point.

This part of the process will help to free up clustered nerves and increase flexibility. It will also serve to stretch your muscles. All of this will allow you to reach the outer limits of your range of motion. Once there, the chiropractor will apply that sudden thrust to the necessary joint or joints.

That thrust creates the cracking noise. That cracking noise is not a bone or anything like that, it's cavitation.

One Part of a Larger Process

Spinal manipulation therapy can loosen you up, relieve your lower back pain, and restore your range of motion. Just remember that SMT is not a cure, it's an aid to your overall pain mitigation and healing regimen.

In addition, SMT is not the limit of what a trained chiropractor can do for you. There are other techniques a chiropractor can and will employ to help you deal with your lower back pain. SMT is the one that people are most familiar with, even though it's very much a mystery to the uninitiated.

Media will have you believing that sharp thrust and popping noise will free you of all that ails you. Just know that it's no miracle cure, but it's definitely a viable means of dealing with lower back and other joint or soft tissue related pains.