Zenith Performance Physical Therapy

Spinal Manipulation in Long Beach

Find Relief Through Spinal Manipulation in Long Beach

If you’re an athlete, former athlete, or just an active individual struggling with back pain, neck stiffness, headaches, or want to regain mobility after an injury, spinal manipulation at Zenith Performance Physical Therapy in Long Beach may help.

Also known as targeted joint unlocking, spinal manipulation involves a controlled, precise mobilizing thrust to specific joints in the spine performed by our experienced physical therapists. The goal: gently restore alignment and movement in the spine to reduce pain, ease muscle tension, alleviate nerve irritation, and get you moving better.

Think of your spine as the highway for nerve signals traveling to and from the brain to coordinate mobility. When crashes occur in the form of joint restrictions, misalignments, sudden impacts, or whiplash, this information superhighway can become blocked, leading to noticeable dysfunction and discomfort.

Spinal manipulation helps clear the traffic, easing congestion around compressed nerves, and enabling signals to flow freely so you can get back to moving and feeling your best whether you’re returning to sport, work, or just everyday life. While a temporary popping sound may occur with successful spinal adjustments, the technique requires no cracking or twisting. Our licensed physical therapists have advanced training to apply manipulation gently, safely, and precisely to improve spinal joint mobility.

Who Can Benefit from Spinal Manipulation?

If you’re currently experiencing back pain, neck pain, headaches, or limited mobility from athletic injury or strain, spinal manipulation may help get you back on track.
Ideal candidates for this treatment include:

  • Athletes or Former Athletes
  • Men and Women Ages 18-55
  • Those with Chronic Back Pain or Stiffness
  • People Suffering from Headaches or Migraines
  • Anyone with Limited Mobility After Injury
  • Those Wanting to Improve Spinal Health

Clinical studies suggest spinal manipulation can benefit patients struggling with:

  • Herniated Discs
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Whiplash
  • Sciatica

So whether you threw out your back lifting weights, have lingering neck tightness after a car accident, or just move a little slower since your glory days on the field, spinal manipulation could provide the relief you’ve been missing.

Benefits of Spinal Manipulation for Pain and Mobility

Research indicates spinal manipulation offers possible short and long-term benefits like:

1. Reduced Pain and Improved Mobility
The core goal of spinal manipulation involves gently unlocking restricted joints in the spine to take pressure off compressed nerves, ease muscle tension, and restore range of motion.

Like draining a clogged sink, removing blockages can relieve back and neck pain while also enhancing mobility. Studies confirm spinal manipulation’s effectiveness for reducing chronic low back and neck pain in particular.

The technique may also alleviate pain and stiffness associated with headaches or sports injuries like whiplash. Opening joints and taking pressure off nerves means fewer pain signals making their way to the brain.

2. Improved Nerve Communication Between Brain and Body
Joints in your cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine protect the nerve fibers transmitting motor control signals from the brain to coordinate mobility throughout the body.

When sudden pressure from strain or impact forces vertebrae out of position, these nerves can become impinged, slowing critical communication channels to muscles and tissues.

Spinal manipulation helps re-align joint spaces around nerves, taking pressure off irritated fibers, and restoring conduction velocity for faster information flow up and down the spine.

Faster signal transmission means less disruption relaying messages from the brain to muscles for smoother, pain-free mobility.

3. Enhanced Range of Motion and Flexibility
Restoring better alignment in the spine translates directly to improved flexibility and mobility.
Removing restrictions in the neck alleviates stiffness, making it easier to turn your head while driving.

Enhanced thoracic motion means greater arm rotation for activities like golf, swimming, or even putting on a shirt. Reduced lower back tightening helps alleviate stiffness bending over or transitional movements in sports.

Spinal manipulation can directly target limited range of motion issues affecting athletic performance, daily function, or quality of life as we age.

By specifically addressing joint restrictions, physical therapists can improve flexibility for better function during both competition and everyday activities.

4. Potential Secondary Effects Like Reduced Stress and Improved Sleep
While spinal manipulation focuses on structural change, some studies suggest it may also impact the nervous system in ways that enhance overall well-being.
Following treatment, patients often report feeling looser, more energetic, and less stressed. Experts theorize gentle stimulation of joint mechanoreceptors during thrust manipulation may beneficially alter signaling to the brain in ways that encourage relaxation.

Additional research also preliminarily links spinal adjustments to improved sleep quality as the body potentially resets to less pain and tension. So while further study is still needed, patients frequently cite spinal manipulation’s relaxing qualities alongside the primary structural benefits.

What is Spinal Manipulation and How Does it Work?

Spinal manipulation involves a precise, controlled, and gentle thrust applied by a licensed specialist to a targeted, misaligned spinal joint using the hands or a special instrument.

This activating force helps mobilize the joint space, ease localized muscle spasms, take direct pressure off nearby nerves, and improve range of motion.

Skilled therapists are trained to identify restricted vertebral segments based on touch, motion assessment, and even advanced imaging like videofluoroscopy. Once the ideal point of contact is identified, a precise thrust is delivered with the goal of unlocking restricted movement between specific vertebrae. This unlocking effect decreases nerve compression, alleviates achiness, and restores better alignment in the spinal column. While a minor popping sound may occur with successful joint cavitation, no cracking, twisting, or intense force is necessary – just an expert delivery of targeted momentum.

Dr. Hayden Almeida, our lead therapist has over a licensed physical therpist experience performing gentle, effective spinal manipulation using both direct manual contact and a specialized pivot-point instrument to mobilize joints. Based on a thorough assessment of your condition, we will determine the optimal course of spinal manipulation therapy, combined with at-home mobility stretches and exercises as needed. Dr. Hayden Almeida also utilizes real-time video fluoroscopy imaging to guide ultra-precise joint adjustment when needed. This advanced visualization confirms ideal vertebral positioning in real-time while manipulation occurs, enabling pinpoint accuracy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Spinal Manipulation:

Can spinal manipulation cause further damage if performed incorrectly?
When delivered improperly without precision and control, manipulation does risk injury or aggravation of existing issues. That’s why it’s vital to seek an expert.
Here at Zenith Performance Physical Therapy our physical therapists complete advanced coursework and supervised clinical training focused on appropriate spinal manipulation techniques before practicing independently. Proper patient positioning, precision contact point identification, controlled speed and angle of thrust, and the correct level of force applied all factor into safe, effective treatment. We also determine if manipulation is contraindicated based on risk factors through a thorough health assessment beforehand.

Is spinal manipulation painful? What does it feel like?
Skilled spinal manipulation should not be intensely painful. Patients may experience some minor muscular soreness afterward, similar to a massage.

During the procedure, you’ll feel controlled pressure building as the vertebral segment is mobilized, followed by a sudden but gentle release. This quick thrust may produce a temporary popping sensation and local relaxation indicating successful joint cavitation. Our therapists avoid any twisting, cracking, or high-velocity techniques during manipulation. Precision and control are key for both safety and optimal outcomes.

What are the potential side effects?
When performed properly, serious side effects are very rare. As with any healthcare therapy, a slight risk exists like muscle soreness, temporary dizziness, or fatigue. This is why our specialists evaluate your medical history first, to identify any pre-existing spinal issues or health conditions requiring special precautions.

Patients may also experience some mild localized stiffness for a day or two after initial treatments as the body adjusts. This often resolves quickly allowing for progression to restored flexibility and mobility. To minimize risk, we also design integrated treatment plans beyond just manipulation including stabilizing exercises plus postural and ergonomic advice to help sustain improvements long-term.

Start Feeling Better Now through Targeted Spinal Adjustment

If chronic neck, back, or spinal health issues are interfering with performance, mobility, or your quality of life, don’t settle for just masking painful symptoms. Get to the root cause and pave the way for lasting relief through gentle but precise spinal manipulation performed by experienced physical therapists here at Zenith Performance Physical Therapy.

We recognize no two patients or conditions are exactly alike. Following a comprehensive assessment, we’ll customize a plan addressing your unique mobility restrictions, muscular dysfunction, and pain triggers through hands-on joint mobilization, restoration movement patterns, and self-care strategies.

Call Zenith Performance Physical Therapy in Long Beach now at 562-502-1767 or schedule an appointment online to uncover the remarkable benefits targeted spinal manipulation offers. We look forward to helping you feel looser, stronger, and back to unrestricted motion safely with an expert integrated approach. The first step starts with a simple phone call today.

About The Author

Dr. Hayden Almeida is a licensed Physical Therapist with years of experience in the field, Dr. Hayden Almeida has dedicated their career to helping patients achieve their maximum physical potential and improve their quality of life. Currently practicing at Zenith Performance Physical Therapy in Long Beach, Dr. Hayden Almeida employs a patient-centered approach, combining cutting-edge techniques and personalized care plans to address a wide range of physical conditions.

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Brittany Mosley

Dr. Hayden is an absolute badass rockstar of a PT and I will be shouting their name from the rooftop for anyone who needs services in Long Beach. Dr. Hayden is the only PT who moved me from beyond hands on work to now the longest period I have had without back pain so far. They are an amazing coach, person, cheerleader, and advocate and I am so grateful to have met Dr. Hayden. I honestly would rather go to Dr. Hayden to address a functional pain issue before any other doctor. Before you go down the surgery, specialist, etc path, you must start with Dr. Hayden. Give your body a chance to heal itself!!

Christina Hong

I cannot recommend Hayden at Zenith Performance PT enough!! If I could rate higher than 5 stars, I would! I came to Zenith with severe sciatic pain that extended from my lower back to my toes from an old CrossFit injury. There were days when I could not sit/drive for more than 1 hour w/o severe pain and numbness. I was so anxious that I would live in chronic pain for the rest of my life. On Day 1, Hayden immediately diagnosed the problem. Over the course of the next 6 months I saw concrete progression, moving away from pain to increased mobility and strength. Today, I am back at CrossFit working out 4-5x a week and even able to travel for business every quarter to Kenya. None of this would have been possible without Hayden and Zenith Performance. I have been so happy with my progress that now my husband and son are clients with Zenith working on their lower back and wrist mobility issues. If you have any mobility issues, book an appointment with Hayden today!

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