Spinal Manipulation May Help Reduce Spinal Degenerative Joint Disease and Disability: PART I and II
SOURCE: Dynamic Chiropractic
By James Brantingham, DC, CCF , Randy Snyder, DC, CCFC, and
David Biedebach, DC, CCFC
Has the hypomobile manipulable joint lesion been demonstrated to exist? Historically the manipulable joint lesion has, from the beginning of the chiropractic profession, been described as a painful stiff joint. [1, 2] Joint stiffness, commonly called hypomobility (also known in the chiropractic profession as “fixation”) has become by consensus one of the most important aspects of the manipulable joint lesion in the professions of chiropractic, osteopathy, and manual medicine. [3, 4] Nearly 100 years of clinical agreement between three separate professions supports the existence of such a lesion although research now supports its existence.
Loss of full, or global, range of motion in the lumbar or cervical spines is an indirect proof that the segmental hypomobile manipulable vertebral joint lesion exists, because it is a fact that loss of full global range of motion occurs and such stiffness is considered an objective factor in chronic back pain.  therefore, even if this decreased range of motion is a mixture of hypermobile and hypomobile joints (i.e., a mixture of loose and stiff joints) there must be intervertebral hypomobility for global hypomobility to exist. Randomized controlled trials of manipulation documenting decreased global range of motion, and post-treatment global range of motion are growing. [6-12]
A meta-analysis of clinical trials of spinal manipulation performed by Anderson et al., clearly and strongly demonstrated that spinal manipulation is effective in restoring or increasing global, and therefore segmental lumbar mobility. Mead et al., documented post-manipulation treatment restored or increased lumbar mobility: data proving that the hypomobile manipulable joint lesion must have existed prior to treatment, and that manipulation restored to these hypomobile joints fuller mobility (Fig 1.).  Other studies have documented similar results. Nansel and his associates have demonstrated in three, multiply blinded, controlled studies, in which goniometer measurements confirmed cervical range of motion or global end range asymmetries or hypomobility, that after chiropractic high velocity low amplitude manipulation, statistically significant increased mobility was restored to the global and therefore segmental hypomobility areas: proof that global and therefore segmental hypomobility was returned to more normal mobility by manipulation. [14-16] (more…)