Can Manipulation Under Anesthesia Help Resolve Your Pain?

Dr-Salvatore-CavallaroIt is frustrating to have to go through multiple therapies for your back pain or joint pain and not have any positive results. Sometimes the pain may disappear with certain therapies but after a while, the pain may return. Also, therapies could get very costly — especially with the inclusion of injectable medications. It’s very critical to find the right type of treatment so that you don’t have to go through an exhaustive and stressful experience, aggravating your pain.


For many people who suffer from back pain, joint pain, neck pain, fibrous adhesions, muscle spasm, shortened muscles, and long-term pain syndromes, a possible treatment may be MUA. MUA, also known as manipulation under anesthesia, is a non-invasive manual type of procedure, which has actually been practiced by orthopedic surgeons and osteopathic physicians since the ‘40s and ‘50s. In the ‘90s, it was modified, by chiropractors mostly, with the introduction of safer anesthesia.


Today, this procedure is widely performed by licensed practitioners for a wide range of pain conditions that originate from the thoracic, cervical, and lumbar spines, and the pelvic and sacroiliac regions. Patients who are recommended for MUA treatment should have first gone through conservative care for six to eight weeks. If you have had such nonsurgical approach to your pain condition, and not experienced results, then you may be given MUA.


This treatment will, of course, be done in a hospital or where there are surgery facilities. Depending on your specialist’s findings, you may undergo MUA with mild sedation, under general anesthesia, or an injection of anesthetic to the particular spine tissue. Your licensed practitioner will then do a series of short-lever spinal manipulations, articular and postural kinesthetic maneuvers, and passive stretches.


All the manipulations and stretches are meant to soften and break up scar tissue as well as fibrous adhesions, while giving you relief from pain. But apart from pain relief, MUA has also been found to decrease chronic muscle spasm, conquer heightened sensitivity of injured areas, and increase range of motion.


So how effective is MUA? Varying studies indicate positive results for patients. One study found that 71 percent of 723 MUA patients have reported returning to normal activities and being symptom-free, while 25.3 percent reported fair results, with restored flexibility and range of motion. Another study found that 87 percent of patients who suffered from back pain for 10 years reported recovery after undergoing MUA.


The success rates of MUA for treating pain conditions vary. But for the most part, the non-invasive manual type of therapy has delivered positive results where conservative treatments have not. Will it help you with your specific pain? It couldn’t hurt to ask your specialist about MUA today.

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