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Chiropractic Manipulation for The Cervical Spine

Chiropractic treatment is an alternative medical profession that focuses on evaluation, management and or treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially when believed it is a cause for other medical conditions of the nervous system. Cervical manipulation is a common technique used in chiropractic care with many patients experiencing pain in the neck, upper back, and or shoulder/arm as well as other forms of pain such as headaches, either chronic or mild. Just like sacroiliac dysfunction treatment, cervical manipulation is also considered a preliminary form of care for many other spinal conditions. It is important to know application of this type of care is best only after a full diagnosis, including a physical examination, a review of the patient’s, family and medical history. Other diagnostic tools may include tests resulting from the process. These might include: CT scans, X-rays, MRI, EMG/NCV and laboratory blood and urine examination among others. Cervical manipulation aims at but not limited to the following: restoring proper function of the spinal cord at the head and neck regions, reducing pain, and or improving mobility. There are two common manipulation approaches for cervical spine complaints. These are: The traditional chiropractic manipulation, sometimes called the high-velocity technique. The other technique is the cervical mobilization, which is at times referred to as the low-velocity. The latter method involves manipulating the joint in a relative range of motion. Theoretically cervical spine manipulation slightly differs from its mobilization. During manipulation of the spine, the speed of vertebral joint movement does not allow resistance. Spinal mobilization on the other hand is applied slowly and often the patient may can pause and or resist adjustment. Even though there are varied opinions on these, it is hard to tell between which of the two is the better technique as their application differ from one patient to another depending on the chiropractor’s preferred techniques, the patient’s comfort, and the patient’s response to any one method of treatment, the patient’s condition and the chiropractor’s diagnosis of the condition. A chiropractic professional might also apply adjunctive treatment to the cervical spinal condition. Some of these include: typical massage, use of therapeutic heat and/or cold, nutritional and exercises among others. While we lay much emphasis on chiropractic treatment, some medical reports indicate other healthcare providers also use similar methods of adjustment and adjunctive therapy in alleviating cervical spinal pain. Other methods include the “long lever” and “short- lever” techniques. The first one moves many vertebral articulations simultaneously while the latter involve a low energy thrust directed at a particular position of the vertebra. Due to the proximity of the vertebral artery to the lateral cervical matriculations, extra caution should be taken by the chiropractor during manipulation. It is believed that stroke may be prompted as a result of mechanical compression and or excessive traction of the arterial walls. Some injuries on the vascular walls however occur as a result of medical conditions that perhaps were not discovered at the time of cervical manipulation. Some professionals also argue there could be a coincidence between manipulation and the onset of brain-stem syndrome. Others medical practitioners also suggest vertebral ischemia might as well begin with subclinical injury to the tunica intima or the tunica media. Also, gradual symptoms may begin to show when a thrombus or a progressive dissection forms or moves to the basilar, internal carotid, or posterior cerebral arteries. They also propagate that acute arterial dissection might begin unexpectedly even after successive cervical manipulations. These notions are backed up by the observation children without known systemic or vascular pathology who get the cervical manipulations sometimes have subsequent brain infarctions in the “vertebrobasilar” artery distribution.

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