Can manipulation fix or destabilize the spine ?

Can manipulation damage or fix your spine ?
Answer by Dr Robbie Goodrum UK registered physiotherapist and osteopath with 25 years experience.

I always use physiotherapy mobilization, & APBC soft approaches on all my patients first, then if symptoms persist, I may use more dynamic manipulative techniques especially on Disc problems using specific short-lever grade 5 manipulation.

What’s the function of the spinal ligaments ?
Ligaments job is to bind bone to bone, the more manipulation or grade 5 HVT we use, thus passing the paraphysiological barrier, the more instability will be inadvertently caused. Another reason to focus on soft tissue osteopathy & Physiotherapy mobilization to restore normal function.

Interestingly what chiropractors don’t understand is subluxation or joint misalignment or joint somatic dysfunction is caused by ligament damage or instability from micro or macro trauma.

What happens with spinal ligament injury ?
The body adapts by initiating the postural muscles to tighten, to control and stabilize the segmental spinal motor unit, where ligaments are damaged. The hypo-mobility, or stiffness we feel in a spinal segment is often hyper-mobility with compensatory muscle spasm. It tricks us.

How does manipulation help ?
In the manipulation process we are changing joint position, deactivating mechanor receptors, thus turning off nociceptors. Then the postural muscles turn off from being stabilizers for a short while, until weak larger ligaments and capsular structures complain of being damaged, then the postural muscles turn back on again to be primary stabilizers.

Then the grade 5 HVT is needed again.

Every time you use a HVT manipulation you do slightly damage the periarticular capsule. SO IS HVT INDICATED SO OFTEN – I say no.

Indications of HVT manipulation with Dr Goodrum’s APBC technique ?
I only use HVT for :

1/ Unresolved Discogenic pain. Dynamic techniques and rehab will be needed in the more difficult cases.

2/ Disc problems with neurogenic symptoms. Usually always HVT will be needed obeying the concave-convex rule of Disc manipulation + traction.

3/ SI J/Spinal adhesive capsular adhesions maintaining subluxation with pain. HVT can break down fibrous spinal capsular adhesions restoring joint motion.

I’ve seen Chiropractors over months and years destabilize the SI J & spine with repeated heavy manipulation. Ligaments Job is to stabilize the spine.

Studying massage, Physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic gave me the right tools to select for the right technique for the right pathology. This is the key to my APBC technique. All our professions are good, but all have strong & weak points too. Just sometimes a surgeon is needed to fix the gross mechanical problem.

What does APBC teach you ?
APBC technique teaches you the right technique for the right pathology.

What is APBC technique ?
APBC is Dr Robbie Goodrum’s unique specific manipulative technique developed over 25 years. APBC is modified from the best techniques from UK osteopathy, USA/Australian chiropractic, UK physiotherapy and 40% of Dr Robbie’s own safe manipulative techniques. Dr Robbie also adds a holistic naturopathic approach to tissue healing and fast recovery. APBC is a specific Grade 5/HVT manipulative technique using either HVT with the ‘classical click’ that we hear, or low amplitude HVT with a mobilisation-articulation, depending on the ligament stability of the periarticular joint structures.