Manipulation Under Anesthesia – Chiropractic Procedure

Manipulation Under Anesthesia, otherwise known as MUA, is a non-invasive procedure offered for acute and chronic conditions, including: neck, back, and joint pain, muscle spasms, tight muscles, fibrous adhesions and long term pain syndromes.

Manipulation of the spine with the patient sedated is one of the most gentle and effective methods of helping patients control their pain. MUA provides manipulation and adjustments of the spine and surrounding tissue in an atmosphere where the patient is more responsive and less apprehensive, therefore eliminating resistance from contracted and spastic muscles.

For those patients with chronic pain and joint, muscle, ligament disorders who are not finding relief through more conventional treatments including physical therapy, narcotic pain medications, chiropractic manipulation without anesthesia, or other invasive procedures such as epidural injections and surgery, MUA combined with simple post-procedure treatment, exercise and therapy has been proven to eliminate or greatly reduce pain and restore or greatly improve range of motion.


MUA can be a valuable, effective procedure for those people who have conditions that have not responded to conventional treatment. These conditions include:

* Neck, mid-back and low back pain

* Chronic Muscle pain and inflammation

* Acute and chronic muscle spasm

* Decreased spinal and joint range of motion

* Fibromyalgia

* Frozen shoulder

* Disc pathology – Disc protrusions, bulging discs, or herniations less than 3 mm in the cervical spine & less than 5 mm in the lumbar spine, spontaneous or traumatic origin, documented by CT Scan, MRI or Myelography.

* Chronic occipital or tension headaches

* Sciatica where disc bulges are contained less than 5 mm

* Hip joint motion restrictions

* Failed back surgery

* Conditions where narcotic pain relievers are of little benefit

* Traumatic torticollis


* Chronic fibrositis

* Myofascial Pain Syndrome

* Nerve entrapment

* Pseudo-sciatica


Since the main reason for MUA is the persistence of a stubbornly dysfunctional and disabling spine or joint, the absence of joint/spine dysfunction is an obvious reason not to undergo MUA. There are also specific conditions that would be contraindications for MUA such as:

* Osteoporosis or other bone weakening disorder

* Serious heart disease

* Uncontrolled hypertension

* Advanced age

* Particular circulatory diseases

* Uncontrolled diabetes and/or related complications

* Acute arthritis

* Acute gout

* Acute fractures

* Previous stroke

* Syphilitic articular or periarticular lesions

* Gonorrheal spinal arthritis

* Tuberculosis of the bone

* Evidence of cord or caudal compression by tumor, ankylosis and malacia bone disease

* History of allergy to the anesthesia


Patients for MUA are chosen by their physicians by standards established by the National Academy of MUA Physicians. The treatment plan begins with a medical screening process starting with a complete history and physical, documentation of all medications (including over-the-counter), any known allergies to anything, diagnostic testing (depending on the patient’s history) that can include CBC blood studies, blood chemistry, chest X-ray and electrocardiogram, pregnancy test for females of child bearing age (unless documentation indicates otherwise). Additional diagnostic testing that supports the need for the procedure includes a Magnet Resonance Imaging (MRI), CAT scan, and musculoskeletal X-rays. A thorough pain assessment is also done to eliminate questions of psychosocial factors that can influence pain responses. After medical clearance, the patient is scheduled at the facility where the MUA will be performed.

Manipulation Under Anesthesia is a viable alternative for those patients that have chronic pain and are not a surgical candidate. Talk to you chiropractor and get all the information you can for this procedure.