Biomechanics in Spinal Manipulation – Musculoskeletal System Example

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"Biomechanics in Spinal Manipulation" is a worthy example of a paper on the musculoskeletal system. Biomechanics is an instrumental science in managing spinal musculoskeletal disorders. This mechanics usually deals with the motion of a living body due to the tissues' arrangement, such as ligaments, muscles, tendons, and bones (Colombi & Testa, 2019, p. 4). Besides, the concept of biomechanics is vital in body functioning that entails the movement of blood around the spine. Typically, four elements that help in understanding biomechanics processes involve spinal manipulation. The first element consists of studying the body organ when at equilibrium, while the second one requires an examination of a moving body with acceleration and low motion.

The third element describes the influence of acting forces on the tissue concerning the patterns of movement due to varying velocity in an angular and linear manner over a specific duration. Lastly, the fourth element needs a proper understanding of the forces that induce body motion, including moments at work (Gorrell et al. , 2016). Hence comprehending these factors makes applications of physical therapies effective in treating and preventing injuries.   Fundamentally, biomechanics' concepts require the application of physical impulses on the treatment points on the spine that occurs only for a short duration.

Typically this time is ranging between 100 and 200 milliseconds (Harwich, 2017, p. 5). These impulses help distribute the stress in the affected tissues and control the associated pain or discomfort. However, applying irrational forces that come with the notions may result in injury instead of relieving pain. Therefore, this essay focuses on the technique of delivering thrusts with a high velocity- low amplitude through the spine joints in restoring motions within the bones of the neck and back.

Thus understanding this concept is essential in preventing risks of developing pain and managing injuries around the neck and back. The first thing to note is that the aim of high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust delivery techniques is to achieve joint cavitation usually happens with a 'popping' or 'cracking' sound. According to Gorrell, et al. (2016), for effectiveness, it is necessary to know technical approaches of high-velocity, low-amplitude in spinal manipulation. Usually, the choice of a method appropriate in chiropractic techniques depends on its efficacy in relieving neck and low or mid back pain or even headaches.

On most occasions, three technologies that include; Gonstead adjustment, drop, and diversified, are applicable based on the kind of pain or the affected parts of the spine (p. 8). Firstly, Gonstead adjustment helps in locating the discomfort joint. This technique usually requires the use of specific tools such as cervical chairs and chest-knee tables to ensure proper placement of the patient while examining the problem. During this adjustment, the Gonstead method uses supports to cause joint movement.

Thus it builds resistance useful in enhancing motion. The Gonstead modification involved the use of pressure aimed at evaluating the origin of the problem. Therefore, with proper locomotion, the injuries that may result in spinal disorders are reduced. Secondly, the drop technique is performed by basically building up space and momentum. Typically, this method requires that a patient be laid on a table comprising specific sections (Jordon, et al. , 2017, p. 7). This kind of table is crucial in dropping the patient simultaneously over a short distance while being handled by the health provider.

The drop technique principle is that the table pieces' dropping facilitates the motion of the neck and back joints. Usually, a short drop in the process of applying the high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts enables the neck and back joints to operate freely, thus achieves the desired range of motion. Additionally, the drop technique is assists chiropractors in treating patients whose discomfort is well-defined. Hence leads to a gentle adjustment that is essential in tissue mobilization and contributing to relaxed muscles that prevent injuries of the spine. Lastly, the diversified technique is another form of high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust that involves manual adjustments.

With this method, a low-amplitude, high-velocity thrust is gradually applied over restricted joints to restore the joint's average level of motion. Usually, the patient's body is precisely placed to maximize the degree of spinal adjustment (Colombi & Testa, 2019, p. 3). This kind of patient placement requires that he or she stand while the chiropractor ensures that joints are in the right position for movement. Again, body shift is encouraged with a quick thrust to return the joint in the normal motion making it the most conventional technique in curing people suffering from chiropractic disorders.

With a focus on motion ranges, the diversified method tends to concentrate on the problematic joints for quite some time to enhance proper therapy for the injured tissues. In this way, the neck and back pains are relieved while the muscles remain relaxed to facilitate a range of motion. Generally, the use of high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust delivery is associated with some health benefits. According to Jordon, et al. (2017), the benefits of thrust delivery are; a quick and efficient treatment of disorders like headaches, back and neck pains, and migraines.

Additionally, the thrust techniques improve a temporary rise in the range of movement of the spine, and contraction, and relaxation of the muscles hence reduce the risk of injuries and inflammation of joints. However, the thrust techniques are limited in achieving joint motion in the anatomical end range. Additionally, the high-velocity low amplitude thrust delivery techniques are commonly used in treating spinal dysfunction (p. 6). Thus offer proper medication for spinal disorders. Further, the release of a cracking sound is essential in providing a fair indication of the joint fixation or locking.

Furthermore, the thrust techniques are vital in decreasing the stiffness associated with the spine. Also, the provision of pain relief in body parts of the spine, such as the low and mid-back, and neck is a health benefit of proper thrust delivery. This process of eliminating pain is facilitated by neurophysiological adjustments due to the relaxation of the spine muscles. Despite the reduction in injury and other health benefits achieved, the improper application of the high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts may pose some complications in patients.

Such problems are; risk of developing other diseases like stroke (Harwich, 2017, p. 7). Some studies reveal that chiropractic therapy, such as thrust delivery, increases the chances of suffering from stroke disorder. With high velocity in neck adjustment, muscle injuries are experienced, and increased risk factors of developing stroke sections (Jordon, et al. , 2017, p. 5). However, there are still many disputes and arguments arising from other scientists' studies that this is not possible because every treatment process is believed to have two chances to cure or fail.

Also, the use of mechanically-assisted manipulation of the spine may be more effective than a manual method; some complications may arise due to the machines' magnetic effect (Colombi & Testa, 2019, p 5). Therefore proper strategies should be put in place to avoid risks that may occur due to improper thrust delivery. However, the associated risks are low since the patients undergo thorough assessment and treatment procedures by appropriately trained officers. In conclusion, manipulative thrust delivery depends mainly on the anatomy of the spinal tissue's treatment location and mobility.

Therefore, it is essential to have a proper understanding of these organs and skills to locate the affected body parts in delivering appropriate treatments to the injured tissues. Also, necessary research should be conducted to ensure the risk factors associated with the high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts delivery is eliminated for improved fitness of the spine. Besides, if a person develops pains around the neck and back, one should first seek medical advice to ascertain the problem rather than receiving thrust therapy as a treatment option.


Colombi, A., & Testa, M. (2019). The effects induced by spinal manipulative therapy on the immune and endocrine systems. Medicine, 55(8), 448.

Gorrell, L. M., Engel, R. M., Brown, B., & Lystad, R. P. (2016). The reporting of adverse events following spinal manipulation in randomized clinical trials—a systematic review. The Spine Journal, 16(9), 1143-1151.

Harwich, A. S. (2017). Joint Manipulation: Toward a General Theory of High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude Thrust Techniques. Journal of chiropractic humanities, 24(1), 15-23.

Jordon, M. K., Beattie, P. F., D’Urso, S., & Scriven, S. (2017). Spinal manipulation does not affect pressure pain thresholds in the absence of neuromodulators: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, 25(4), 172-181.

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