Interestingly, manipulation of the spine is the main technique in today’s physical therapy. The concept of applying a precise adjustment to specific affected vertebrae is one of the physical therapy’s contributions to the field of manipulative therapies. While others include a broad range of methods directed at correcting the subluxation and/or just relieving musculoskeletal pain, some therapists adhere strictly to the use of only spinal manipulation in their adjustment.
Spinal manipulation is effective for the treatment of tension headaches, acute low back pain and some musculoskeletal issues, but not all studies support this conclusion. However, there is no objective controlled trial with definitive conclusions against physical therapist claims concerning other health benefits.
Physiotherpy perspectives that reflect a holistic approach to patient care:
- Recognizes the centrality of the nervous system and its intimate relationship with both the structural and regulatory capacities of the body
- Strives toward early intervention, emphasizing timely diagnosis and treatment of functional, reversible conditions
- Appreciates the multifactorial nature of influences (structural, chemical, and psychological) on the nervous system
- Prevents unnecessary barriers in the physiotherapist-patient encounter
- Balances the benefits against the risks of clinical interventions
- Recognizes dynamics between lifestyle, environment, and health
- Noninvasive, emphasizes patient’s inherent uncooperative abilities
- Emphasizes a patient-centered, hands-on approach intent on influencing function through structure
Most patients who visit a physical therapists have a symptom arising from musculoskeletal issues, especially on low back pain and neck pain. Physical therapists always emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles and do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery. While physical therapy for the neck, extremities, back and joint has become more accepted as an alternative, non-invasive health care practices.