Send to

Choose Destination
Spinal Cord. 1996 Aug;34(8):488-92.

Radiculomedullary complications of cervical spinal manipulation.

Author information

Institute of Neurology, Catholic University of Rome, Italy.


Spinal manipulation is commonly used by some therapists for the treatment of cervical pain. Flexion-extension of the cervical spine produces sliding movements of one vertebra over the one below it, which leads to physiological reduction in the antero-posterior diameter of the spinal canal. Spinal manipulation provokes movements that exceed the physiological limits of these articulations and thereby lead to a more significant reduction of the canal diameter. In patients with pre-existing stenosis of the canal or those with vertebral instability, these movements may cause (or aggravate) myelopathy. For this reason, a thorough neurological examination and cervical spine films should be considered mandatory in patients being considered for spinal manipulation. This report describes four patients with cervical myelopathy and/or radiculopathy caused or aggravated by spinal manipulation. In one patient, magnetic resonance scans before and after chiropractic treatment strongly suggests that the disc prolapse syndrome experienced by the patient was provoked by the spinal manipulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center