On this page

What is Spinal Manipulation?

Spinal manipulation is a manual therapy technique involving a fast, yet precise thrust to a vertebral (spinal) joint by a highly skilled and trained PEAK Chiropractic or Physiotherapy practitioner. Spinal manipulation has been shown to improve spinal joint range of motion and reduce the sense of pain through the area administered. It is one of the various techniques used by our practitioners to improve our patients function.

How Does Spinal Manipulation Work?

Spinal manipulation is a passive treatment method where a vertebral (spinal) joint is moved between the normal range of motion and the limits of it’s anatomical range using a high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) thrust. The thrust often results in an audible “pop” as the practitioner uses their hands to apply a controlled, sudden force whilst the joint has been placed in a specific position of tension.

Physiological Effects of Spinal Manipulation

Effects of spinal manipulation on the body:

Physical gapping of the joint space to increase range of motion.

After a spinal manipulation there is an increase in the space between each joint which allows for more physical range of movement within the manipulated joint.

Reduces the sensation of pain

Spinal manipulation has a fascinating effect on certain neurological pathways which results in a decreased sense of pain in the treated area.

The “pop”

Spinal joints are enclosed spaces filled with synovial fluid (for lubrication). As you move throughout the day pressure changes within the joint cause small gas bubbles in the fluid. When a spinal manipulation is performed the “pop” or “cavitation” is just the audible release of these bubbles.

Spinal Manipulation Benefits

Spinal manipulation is a well-received practice within the professional sporting world with athletes such as Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and Kelly Slater utilising the benefits of Spinal Manipulation to improve their physical capabilities when it comes to their profession.

Benefits include:

  • Increased joint movement
  • Renewed flexibility
  • Reduced pain, particularly in the back area
  • Enhanced and expedited rehabilitation
  • Enhanced and expedited rehabilitation

When to Use Spinal Manipulation

Spinal Manipulation is a treatment method used to treat a range of conditions. Some of the main conditions PEAK practitioners will use spinal manipulation to treat include:

Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common complaints our patients will present with. Often low back pain will come hand in hand with low back tenderness and stiffness. Spinal Manipulations work towards decreasing the stiffness and pain in this area.

Neck Pain and Headaches

Headaches are a common condition that patients suffer. Headaches are common, BUT are not normal. Spinal Manipulation relieves headaches by addressing possible musculoskeletal dysfunctions that may be a factor to your headache.

Spinal Manipulation vs Chiropractic Care

What is the difference between Spinal Manipulation vs Chiropractic adjustment?

Nothing! The two terms are referring to exactly the same treatment method. The only slight difference is that Chiropractors have various methods to perform an adjustment using either their hands or sometimes via instrument assisted methods. These include an ‘Activator’ or ‘Drop Piece’ which are considered lower force methods of spinal manipulation.

Related Services

  • Chiropractic
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Massage Therapy

Get started — Book an appointment today

Make an appointment

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions

Spinal Manipulation is beneficial for those seeking relief from neck and low back pain. It is also used effectively as an adjunct to exercise programs to help our patients work towards full function.

Yes, Spinal Manipulation therapy is part of Chiropractic and Physiotherapy scope of practice and is covered under the respective Health Fund categories.

Like any therapy, the probability of side effects following Spinal Manipulation is low. Although most people respond positively to spinal manipulation, some people may experience slight discomfort after a manipulation better described as tenderness. More serious complications are extremely rare. One study noted the incidence of “serious adverse reactions” to be one in 250 million manipulations (4).

Our locations

Hawthorne

PEAK Hawthorne opened in 2012 and was extended and renovated in 2020. You see the same team whether we see you at Hawthorne or one of our other clinics.  Hawthorne offers private treatment rooms and a spacious exercise area incorporating the latest equipment and technology, unrestricted single level access and off-street parking. We also provide HICAPS for real-time private health claiming.

Our locations

New Farm

PEAK New Farm opened in August 2019. You see the same team whether we see you at New Farm or one of our other clinics. New Farm offers private treatment rooms and a spacious exercise area incorporating the latest equipment and technology, unrestricted single level access and off-street parking. We also provide HICAPS for real-time private health claiming.

Hawthorne

Address
5/171 Riding Road,
Hawthorne, QLD, 4171
Get Directions
Opening Hours -
6 days per week
  • Monday - Friday: 6:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Saturday: 6:00 am - 2:00 pm

To make a booking outside of business hours, please use our form by clicking here.

New Farm

Address
1/15 Lamington Street,
New Farm, QLD, 4005
Get Directions
Opening Hours -
6 days per week
  • Monday - Thursday: 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Friday - Saturday: 7:00 am - 1:00 pm

To make a booking outside of business hours, please use our form by clicking here.