Proposed Effects

Proposed manipulation under anesthesia effects include the following: 1, 2, 3

  • Breaking up scar tissue (adhesions) both in and around the spinal joints, commonly caused by multiple injuries or failed back surgery

  • Decreasing chronic muscle spasm

  • Overcoming super sensitivity of injured areas, making the patient unable to cooperate for effective treatment

  • Stretching persistent shortened muscles, ligaments and tendons

  • Relieving pain and radiating symptoms from damaged intervertebral discs. Some disc injuries are serious enough to require surgery, but these types of injuries are relatively infrequent.

Anesthesia Effects during Manipulation

Of course, when movement of the spine is extremely and intolerably painful to the patient, being unconscious is one obvious benefit of the anesthesia's effects.

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Additionally, other equally important functions are benefited by the effects of the anesthesia, including:

  • Shutting off the muscle spasm cycle to allow spinal movement

  • Sedating the pain-perceiving nerves that have been irritated due to the dysfunctional spine

  • Allowing complete muscle relaxation to allow the doctor to stretch shortened muscle groups and to break up adhesions caused by scar tissue.

While proposed manipulation under anesthesia effects offer much promise to some patients, other patients may not be suited for this procedure based on certain anesthesia risks and considerations.


  1. Chrisman et al: “A study of the results following manipulation in lumbar disc syndrome.” Journal of bone and Joint Surgery 46A, 1964.
  2. Saal et al: “The natural history of lumbar disc extrusions treated non-operatively.: Spine, Vol 15, 1990.
  3. Kohlbeck FJ, Haldeman S, “Medication-assisted spinal manipulation.” The Spine Journal, Volume 2 (4), 2002.
Written by Richard J. Reid, MD and Rosie Desimone, DC and Ben Eubank, DC