Spinal manipulation, also called spinal manipulative therapy or manual therapy, combines moving and jolting joints, massage, exercise, and physical therapy. It’s designed to relieve pressure on joints, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve function. It’s often used to treat back, neck, shoulder, and headache pain.
The goal of spinal manipulation is to reduce pain in and restore function to mechanical disorders of the spinal column. Spinal manipulation has been shown to be most effective when coupled with active treatments, such as stretching and exercise, as well as lifestyle modifications. Spinal manipulation has been shown to be safe and effective for certain forms of acute onset neck and back pain, as well as for longer lasting or recurring musculoskeletal disorders.