Supporting Studies

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Several manipulation under anesthesia research studies have detailed the effectiveness of this procedure for treating conditions that have not responded to conservative (nonsurgical) care. This section of the article reports some of those findings.

Manipulation under Anesthesia Research Findings

The medical literature demonstrates that for over 40 years chronic neuromuscular skeletal conditions that have failed the conservative protocol may respond well to manipulation under anesthesia.

  1. 83% of 600 patients with EMG-verified radiculopathies reported significant improvement following manipulation under anesthesia (Robert Mensor, MD).
  2. Patients that had back pain for a minimum of 10 years reported an 87% recovery rate after MUA (1987 with Ongly et al).
  3. 51% of patients with unrelieved symptoms after conservative care had been exhausted reported good to excellent results three years post MUA (Donald Chrisman, MD).
  4. 71% of 723 MUA patients had good results (return to normal activity relatively symptom free) and 25.3% had fair results (return to normal activity with slight residuals) after manipulation under anesthesia, which was also found able to restore flexibility, elasticity and range of motion (Bradford and Siehl).
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  1. 83% of 517 patients treated with MUA responded well (Paul Kuo, MD professor of Orthopedic Surgery).
  2. Krumhansi and Nowacek reported on an MUA study done on 171 patients who experienced constant, intractable pain for several months to 18 years. All of the patients of the study failed other conservative intervention. The results of the study showed that 25% of the patients had no pain, 50% were much improved with pain markedly decreased, 20% were better and could tolerate their pain but it interfered with work and recreation. Failures comprised 5% where there was minimal or no pain relief periods.

Manipulation under Anesthesia Efficacy for Specific Conditions

The overall effectiveness of spinal manipulation under anesthesia has been reported by researchers with success rates varying according to case selection criteria.

Diagnosis of herniated disc reported excellent to good results in:

  • 60% of studied cases (PC Colonna and ZB Friendenberg: 1949)
  • 64% of cases (Merrill C Mensor, MD: 1949)
  • 60% of cases (Donald Sielh, DC: 1963).

Diagnosis of myofibrositis reported excellent to good results in:

  • 96.3% of studied cases (Donald Siehl, OD: 1963
  • 75% of cases (BR Krumhansi and CJ Nowacek: 1988).

For more information on manipulation under anesthesia research, check out the following references.

Written by Richard J. Reid, MD and Rosie Desimone, DC and Ben Eubank, DC