Spinal manipulations are a manual technique that as the name suggests focuses on manipulations of the vertebrae or spine. 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. 
Many therapeutic disciplines use spinal manipulations as part of their treatment, including osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists. While chiropractors sometimes refer to spinal manipulation as an "adjustment" or part of an adjustment, the term spinal manipulation is easier to define, more precise, and more widely used worldwide. 

What is spinal manipulation? 

Spinal manipulation is the application of a force (a quick, shallow thrust) to spinal joints that moves the target joint or nearby joints slightly beyond their normal range of movement. The goal of spinal manipulation is to reduce pain in and restore function to mechanical disorders of the spinal column. 

Who’s qualified to do this? 

At Fire & Earth, Tanya and Amy have been on the Spinal Manipulation and Mobilisation masterclass with the renowned John Gibbons (the Bodymaster Method). John specialises in teaching techniques to enable therapists to restore movement and remove pain from patients who previously believed that painkillers and surgery were their only choice. 
John believes in treating the whole person, not just the symptoms, and that there are better ways to remove pain and increase mobility without resorting to drugs and invasive therapies. This mirrors our way of thinking at Fire & Earth. Tanya and Amy are experienced with thoracic, lumbar, and some sacroiliac joint moves, which helps to complement existing client treatments. 

Is spinal manipulation safe? 

Spinal manipulation has been shown to be safe and effective for certain forms of neck and back pain and for longer-lasting or recurring musculoskeletal disorders. Fire & Earth therapists are trained to identify any serious underlying conditions that might preclude spinal manipulation even manual therapy in any form. During an assessment, if it becomes apparent that the client is not suitable for treatment then we would refer them to a more appropriate medical specialist. 

Does spinal manipulation hurt? 

There is little to no pain involved in manipulations. The client may feel pops and cracks but should not feel any intense pain. Typically, if they weren't in pain before the manipulation, they wouldn't be after. Some clients do experience some mild soreness or minor aches after a visit. 

How does spinal manipulation help? 

There are several benefits of spinal manipulation including Helping minimise migraines and neck-related headaches, improving posture, reducing pain, and improving the range of motion of the spine and other joints. 

What should the client do after the treatment? 

When these things are changed, there is often a release of toxins by the body. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out these toxins, allowing the body to heal. Drinking lots of water after treatment will also nourish the discs between the vertebrae, keeping the spine healthy and flexible. If the client doesn't drink enough water the ligaments can lose elasticity and strength due to dehydration. This can leave them feeling sore or worse. Clients should try to avoid sitting down for a long period straight after a treatment – and try to sleep with the body in a sensible position rather than twisted up like a pretzel! 

What should I do if I’m curious about this? 

If you’re experiencing aches and pains, book in to see one of our therapists for an assessment and treatment. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a massage therapist, get in touch today for an informal chat. 
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