Spinal Mobilization Points to Consider
- Spinal mobilization is here to stay. Why? It’s an effective and efficient way to increase mobility, reduce pain and remediate faulty movements patterns when implemented strategically into treatment.
- Spinal mobilization dates back thousands of years, but recently the popularization of single modality traditionalist based chiropractors has begun to receive scrutiny in the medical and rehabilitation communities largely for creating dependency along with limited self-sufficient long term results of their patients.
- Let’s be clear, no one profession owns a specific technique. The use of spinal manipulation in the course of treatment and rehabilitation does NOT solely belong to chiropractors. Doctors such as Physical therapists, chiropractors, medical Physicians, osteopathic physicians all have not only the skill set, but the scope of practice to use thrust manipulations as an intervention technique.
- While a stand alone spinal mobilization are less than effective for long term results, the physiologic and neurologic benefit of spinal manipulation is magnified when used strategically as part of a holistic plan of care for patients presenting with pain and dysfunction.
- Spinal manipulation should be a tool, not the only tool in a practitioners toolbox. Quit wasting your time and money on pre-scheduled pre-determined spinal manipulations as a stand alone treatment. The body needs more than a thrust to change, and movement is usually the missing link
Spinal mobilization is one of the oldest interventions in medicine and has a rich, diverse, and often turbulent history. References to Spinal mobilization in the healing arts date back to over 4,000 years ago, with discussions found in Egyptian scrolls (Edwin Smith papyrus) and enshrined in ancient Thai sculpture. Hippocrates described the anatomy, Spinal mobilization, and the reduction of dislocation and fractures with manipulative techniques, which were canonized in writing of the Roman Physician, Galen (1).
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) states a spinal mobilization is defined as a high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) therapeutic movement within or at the end of the motion. The APTA states that spinal mobilization is not designated as being under the exclusive domain of any one specific profession or group of practitioners.
Scope of Practice
Doctors such as Physical therapists, chiropractors, medical Physicians, osteopathic physicians are all educated and trained to employ manipulation within the scope of their respective licenses and in a manner that protects the public’s health, safety and welfare. It is inappropriate for one profession to attempt to “own” a specific technique or dictate clinical practice through such legislation.
At the end of the day, spinal mobilization is an art and different professions will paint different pictures. The key is to add value and bring continuous results to our patients and athletes no matter what picture you paint.