Spinal Manipulation Under Anesthesia is a procedure that originated with the osteopathic profession the late 1930′s, primarily for the treatment of pain. Documentation regarding the success and value of MUA show a success rate of 80%-90%. MUA procedures are now covered by most major insurance plans.
What is MUA
The MUA consists of a non-invasive treatment offered for chronic conditions and chronic pain. It is considered safe and is utilized to treat pain arising from the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine; the sacroiliac, pelvic regions and joints; and shoulders, hips and knees with post surgical disorders. MUA uses a combination of specific short leer manipulations, passive stretches and specific articular and postural kinesthetic maneuvers in order to break up fibrous adhesions and scar tissue around joints, the spine and surrounding tissue.
How and Why?
Manipulation Under Anesthesia consists of treatment that is performed on an out patient basis over one to three days to ease into the problem area. The procedure includes a full staff of Medical and Chiropractic Professionals. Licensed physicians who have specialized training specifically for the procedure perform the treatment in a surgical center. A team approach is required to have a safe and successful outcome. The team includes a board certified anesthesiologist, two primary physicians who perform the manipulation, and the nursing staff who are specially trained in pre- and post-procedure protocols. The combination of manipulation and anesthesia is not new as this treatment has been part of the medical arena for more than 80 years.
A twilight sedation removes the painful guarding from debilitating chronic conditions and interrupts muscle spasm and pain cycles. It also offers other important functions including sedating the pain perceiving nerves that have been irritated due to the dysfunctional spine or joint. This sedation allows complete muscle relaxation so that the doctor can stretch shortened muscle groups and reduce adhesions caused by scar tissue.
The manipulation and stretching techniques of MUA, procedures once used independently, are now combined with excellent results. Together the two elements can result in increased joint motion, improved functional abilities and decreased pain. Following your MUA procedure will be a therapy program to prevent future pain.
What to Expect
After a patient is approved by their physician a typical MUA treatment plan begins with a medical screening process, clearing the patient for anesthesia. Medical tests usually will include:
- CBC blood studies
- SMA 6
- Chest x-ray and EKG for patients age 50 and older
- Pregnancy test for female MUA patients
- Recent MRI or primary area
- After receiving medical clearance, the patient is scheduled at the facility where the MUA will be performed.
On the day of the MUA, the patient must be accompanied by a friend or family member who can drive the patient home after the procedure. (Most offices also have transportation available upon request.) MUA is not an invasive surgery and the actual procedure is very gentle. A small amount of anesthesia is administered by a board certified anesthesiologist. After the patient has fallen asleep, a process of stretching the muscles takes place for about 20 minutes. Afterward the patient wakes up and is monitored by qualified personnel until discharge. Most MUAs take place over a period of 3 consecutive days.
After the last MUA procedure, the patient should follow an individualized 4-6 week program designed specifically for MUA patients by a specially trained team of medical and chiropractic physicians. Rehabilitation includes stretching, flexibility and strengthening exercises. This regimented post-MUA therapy will help the patient regain pre-injury strength and help prevent future pain and disability.
Who is Eligible for MUA
MUA can be a valuable procedure for those who suffer with pain caused by:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Lumbar/thoracic disc displacement
- Neuralgia, radiculitis
- Frozen shoulder
- Headache/migraine headache
- TMJ (Costen’s Syndrome)
- Curvature of the spine
- Joint calcification
- Capsulitis of hip
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Pelvic instability
- Gait abnormality/imbalace
- Post surgical knee
If you are experiencing any of these conditions, please make an appointment with your physician. After a thorough examination your doctor will determine if you are a candidate for MUA.