Spinal manipulation, also called spinal manipulative therapy or manual therapy, combines moving and jolting joints, massage, exercise, and physical therapy. 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.
In spinal manipulation, the physiotherapist uses their hands to apply a controlled, sudden force to a specific joint. Patients often hear popping noises, like when you crack your knuckles.
Spinal manipulation is used by physical therapists to: