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What Is Cervical Spinal Manipulation?

Learn about cervical spinal manipulation, a chiropractic procedure, from Dr. Karen Erickson in this Howcast video.


Neck pain, or cervical pain, is commonly treated by chiropractors very successfully. There are many causes of neck pain and your chiropractor will examine you to determine which structures are causing the pain. There are seven cervical vertebrae in the cervical spine, and the joints can be a source of inflammation and pain. They can become restricted or out of alignment because they're very flexible. There's not a lot of stability in the cervical spine. There could also be enormous muscle spasm that can contribute to the restriction, pain, and inflammation.

Cervical manipulations can be done in several different positions. Often the patient is lying on their back, face up on the table and the doctor will sit at the top of your head and just gently move your neck and adjust it, may even do some distraction. Some of the cervical work is done while you're in a face-down position. Then again some of it can be done in a sitting position. The adjustments themselves are very specific and very precise and applied to a particular vertebrae. Most patients find that the adjustments aren't painful at all and that they feel a profound sense of relief after the adjustment. Your chiropractor may also incorporate other therapies with the spinal manipulation, including muscle work, heat or ice, or other therapies that are aimed at reducing pain, inflammation, and muscle spasm.

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