Neck manipulation blog

Spinal Manipulation not effective treatment for organ dysfunction

New study finds that spinal manipulation is not an effective treatment for organ dysfunction.

Have you been told by your osteopath or chiropractor that they could do an adjustment or manipulation of your spine to help you or your children with migraines, hypertension, menstrual pain, childhood asthma or infantile colic? Then this blog may interest you and change your opinion regarding spinal manipulation.

In February 2021 a Global Summit of international scientists met in Canada and conducted a systematic review of the literature to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of Spinal Manual Therapy (SMT) for the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of non-musculoskeletal disorders.

“The treatment of non-musculoskeletal disorders has a long tradition among chiropractors and osteopaths. This tradition is based on two foundational concepts. The first concept implies that spinal dysfunctions, or subluxations, can have a negative effect on the body’s innate ability to heal itself, and that these dysfunctions can be rectified through SMT. The second concept proposes that spinal dysfunction can negatively impact the autonomic nervous system, which in turn may cause disease including organ dysfunctions. Some argue that they may influence the autonomic nervous system and thereby improve physiologic function by correcting spinal dysfunctions through SMT” (Côté, et al. 2021).

Spinal manipulation image for blog

These researchers found 3874 citations. Of those, the eligibility of 32 articles was evaluated at the Global Summit and 16 articles were included in their systematic review. From all these articles, they only included six randomized controlled trials with acceptable or high methodological quality (534 participants). These trials investigated the efficacy or effectiveness of SMT for the management of infantile colic, childhood asthma, hypertension, primary dysmenorrhea, and migraine.

Their conclusion…

“We found no evidence of an effect of SMT for the management of non-musculoskeletal disorders including infantile colic, childhood asthma, hypertension, primary dysmenorrhea, and migraine. This finding challenges the validity of the theory that treating spinal dysfunctions with SMT has a physiological effect on organs and their function. Governments, payers, regulators, educators, and clinicians should consider this evidence when developing policies about the use and reimbursement of SMT for non-musculoskeletal disorders” (Côté, et al. 2021).

Our Conclusion…

Previous to this systematic review, osteopath and chiropractor that follow the evidence were already aware that spinal manipulation is not an effective treatment for organ dysfunction. If you suffer from any of the conditions listed above, we recommend that you check with your health practitioner for better treatment alternatives.

At Kingscliff Osteopathy we use spinal manipulation for some musculoskeletal conditions such as back and neck pain, but never for the treatment of organs or their function. Spinal manipulation can be an effective way to help some people with pain and joint function, but it is not indicated for everyone, and we never do it to infants or elderly, as there are more risks than benefits. We also respect your preferences (not everyone likes manipulations or adjustments) and offer a range of manual therapy techniques including joint mobilisations and Muscle Energy Techniques to help recover from your injuries.

Do you have any questions or doubts regarding spinal manipulation? Please, do not hesitate to contact us via the CONTACT FORM or call the clinic and ask to talk to your osteopath.

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