Institute of Sport Physio offers upper cervical spine manipulation or what is commonly called “neck manipulation”. This treatment is normally reserved for carefully selected musculoskeletal problems that regular massage, exercise, mobilisation, longitudinal traction or even ample recovery time can’t resolve. Only a highly trained physical therapist will be able to perform this type of manipulation safely.

Neck manipulation targets the cervical spine region and is often recommended for patients who suffer from pain in the neck, the upper back, the shoulders and arms. Those who also experience headaches may also benefit from this technique. The overall goal, however, is to reduce pain, improve motion and restore function to the head and neck area.

cervical spine manipulation

People who have lost mobility in the neck area due to binding or fixation of a vertebral joint and entrapment of synovial membrane or a cartilaginous fragment may also find relief with cervical spine manipulation. Research suggests that mobilisation and manipulation can provide short-term pain relief and enhance the range of motion for patients who have this problem.

Since cervical spine manipulation requires both precision and delicacy, a physio in Grafton or elsewhere needs to have extensive training. Head and neck rotation during manual manipulation should never exceed 45 or 50 degrees. Additionally, manipulation should not be too rapid or it might cause damage to arteries and loss of elasticity.  Passive mobilization moves a joint only through its normal range of motion.

Manual rotation of the cervical spine is not a treatment that is done frequently, nor is it used to alleviate pain that did not originate from the neck area. However, there are just some specific cases that would require neck manipulation. Patients should remember that it is not a viable option for everyone. For instance, elderly individuals who have structural or vascular abnormalities or people who take medications that increase the risk of bleeding will not be good candidates for manipulation.

Here at the Institute of Sport Physio, we only perform neck manipulation when there is neck pain or a loss of range of motion. We even have safety systems in place that we refer to as yellow and red flags that include taking a spine X-ray to ensure patient safety.

The Institute of Sport Physiotherapy was formed with the purpose of providing high quality and successful recovery from all injuries in Auckland. Director Graeme Hayhow established the foundations for our company in 1980 when he became a travelling physio for national sports teams. Since then, the Institute of Sport Physio has helped numerous patients live pain-free and happy lives.