If you’re worried you’ll never find relief for your chronic pain, it could be time to try manipulation under anesthesia (MUA). This innovative technique, also known as sedative stretching, can offer life-changing results for pain and mobility issues. It has few risks and also boasts a success rate of 80-90% — even when you haven’t found effective pain relief in the past.

At Johnson Medical Center, Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, DC, and our team use this noninvasive approach to manage several acute and chronic conditions, ranging from tension headaches and fibromyalgia to pain in the neck, back, and knees. 

MUA in action

While you may not be familiar with manipulation under anesthesia, i’s been around for 60 years. This treatment works to relieve pain and range-of-motion issues by breaking up adhesions and scar tissue that are limiting your movement and causing the problems. Most of the time, the areas causing the issues are around your nerve roots, muscles, and joints.

To perform MUA, we start by administering a mild medication to sedate you. Then, we use a variety of therapeutic methods to break up your restrictive tissue. These treatments may include a combination of passive stretching, manipulations, and other specialized movements for your joints and muscles. 

Because you’re relaxed by the sedative, we can more easily manipulate your joints and stretch your muscles. 

When to consider MUA

Approximately 90% of our patients come to us for manipulation under anesthesia. Some of the most common areas of focus with MUA include the shoulders and knees. However, we might recommend this therapy for other conditions that haven’t responded to more conservative treatments. 

We perform MUA for patients with acute and chronic issues such as:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Strains or sprains 
  • Pinched nerves
  • Neck or back pain
  • Disc conditions 
  • Failed back surgery syndrome

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and the technique can be used for almost any chronic musculoskeletal pain, especially with restricted range of motion

Manipulation under anesthesia can also offer pain relief from some chronic conditions such as migraines and fibromyalgia.

What you can expect from MUA treatment

Before having manipulation under anesthesia, you must undergo a full exam with one of our physicians to ensure you’re in good overall health and a viable candidate.

During your MUA appointment, our board-certified anesthesiologist administers a mild sedative. Then, our specially trained chiropractor, Dr. Johnson, and our team work to mobilize and manipulate your restricted areas. 

MUA treatments typically take 15-30 minutes, and we inject anti-inflammatory medication to reduce any tenderness you may have upon waking. In most cases, you can expect to experience some temporary muscle soreness, as if you just had a vigorous workout.

Based on your condition and response to MUA, Dr. Johnson might recommend a series of treatments to provide optimal results. You can typically expect to see dramatic results fairly quickly from MUA alone, but we could also use this technique in combination with a 2-4 week rehabilitation program. The complementary rehab therapies include exercise, gentle stretching, and physical therapy, all of which can offer long-term relief and prevent scar tissue from reforming.

For more information on MUA as a way to ease your pain, contact our office in Venice, Florida. Book an appointment online or over the phone at Johnson Medical Center today.

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