Neurophysiological Mechanisms of SMT for Spine Pain
- Dr. Shawn Thistle
Spinal manipulation (SMT) is an intervention commonly used for spinal pain. SMT is the application of a controlled force to a specific target, delivered as a high velocity, low amplitude thrust. During SMT, the preload and thrust phases can impact the paraspinal muscle responses and load the various spinal structures such as articular tissues, intervertebral discs, joint capsules and ligaments. It has been suggested that SMT results in peripheral and central neurophysiological effects, which may explain the clinical outcomes that are observed.
The exact neurophysiological mechanism of how SMT relieves pain is unclear, however. Therefore, the aim of this review is to discuss the mechanisms behind SMT for spine pain, in addition to providing an understanding of the challenges and future directions for research.
THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Neurophysiological Mechanisms of SMT for Spine Pain”
This paper was published in the European Journal of Pain (2021) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Spinal Manipulation - Mechanisms of Action and the 2021 Archive.
"Gaining a further understanding of the mechanisms of SMT can provide a better understanding of this treatment modality and help us as clinicians modulate treatment conditions that may result in improved clinical benefits and outcomes for our patients. This review suggests that SMT produces neurophysiological effects mainly via spinal cord mechanisms. These mechanisms include..."