For patients that have pain in NYC, that has becomee particularly stubborn or has not responded to conservative treatment, Manipulation Under Anesthesia may be right for you. Patients who have chronically tight muscle spasms or advanced degeneration often respond positively to MUA. Researchers have speculated that one of the reasons a patient may not respond to traditional chiropractic or physical therapy but will respond to manipulation under anesthesia is due to excess scar tissue that has formed in or near joints from past injuries and/or surgeries. Also called fibrous adhesions, these scar tissues may cause chronic inflammation for nearby structures, such as nerves or muscles, and may make joints stiff and painful to move. Offering Manipulation Under Anesthesia is what sets our NYC chiropractors apart from the rest! 

If spinal joints are too painful to move for a chiropractor or other manual manipulation treatments, our New York chiropractor or physical therapist may recommend manipulation under anesthesia. With anesthesia, the natural guarding mechanisms of the muscles relax, which enables doctors to put the joints through ranges of motion that would otherwise not be achievable with the patient awake. These manipulations performed under anesthesia are intended to break up or stretch the excess scar tissues so that they cause less resistance and inflammation.

How Spinal MUA Is Performed

To stretch out the scar tissue (fibrous adhesions) around the spine and surrounding tissue, spinal MUA uses a combination of manipulations typically performed by chiropractors or osteopaths, including specific short-lever spinal manipulations, articular and postural maneuvers, and passive stretches. However, the specifics of the procedure can vary significantly from clinic to clinic because the industry has not yet established formal standards for the procedure.1,2

Spinal MUA is performed in a hospital or surgery center by licensed doctors with specialized training and certification for the procedure. A team approach with multiple doctors and assistants is required to have a safe and successful outcome.

The manipulation procedures can be offered under various types of anesthetics:

  • General anesthesia with the patient completely unconscious for the entire procedure
  • Mild sedation with the patient awake for the procedure but not feeling pain nor likely to remember the procedure
  • Local anesthetic with the injection going into and numbing one specific location, such as the one or two most painful joints, allowing the patient to remain alert for the procedure

Below is a great video explaining manipulation under anesthesia and even some clips from the procedure itself.

One session of spinal MUA generally takes less than an hour. Sometimes the procedure can be as short as 10 or 15 minutes but repeated on consecutive days in order to achieve a similar level of pain relief with less soreness from the procedure itself. It is important that a patient be cleared by a medical doctor to make sure that they are healthy to be put under anesthesia. After receiving a MUA treatment, a patient should follow up a rigorous rehabilitation protocol. This will help sustain the improvements gained by the procedure.

Post MUA Follow Up Care

After your New York chiropractor has decided to perform an MUA for your specific condition, typically, physical therapy is necessary to help stabilize and strengthen the area. After your New York chiropractor helps increase your range of motion and decreases your pain with a manipulation under anesthesia, physical therapy should be performed to maintain the desired results. Your New York physical therapist conveniently located onsite at  Empire Spine and Rehab and Intrinsic Wellness will help you get the best results. It is not uncommon to have need repeat procedures to get the desired results.

If you or your loved one is dealing with a condition that is not improving with medication, conservation treatment or even post-surgery a MUA may help you achieve the results you desire. Our New York chiropractors are ready and able to help you get out of pain and get you moving again. 

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