Manipulation under Anesthesia (MUA)

Manipulation under Anesthesia (MUA) is a noninvasive outpatient procedure offered for chronic, painful conditions of the neck, lower back, sacroiliac joints, shoulders, and hips. MUA is a viable alternative for patients who are not responding to traditional chiropractic, physical therapy, invasive procedures such as injection therapy, or even surgery. With the use of sedation, painful muscles and joints are completely relaxed allowing the patient’s involved areas of concern to be comfortably stretched and adjusted more effectively than in a standard office setting. The results are life changing for these patients.

How does MUA work?

The MUA procedure uses twilight sedation to relax restricted muscles, which allows the physician to gently stretch and adjust the spine or joints. The MUA provider is trained to recognize where and how much tension is needed for each patient. We will recommend post MUA exercises immediately after the procedure.

The proposed effects of the MUA include altering pain-producing scar tissue formations, stretching of chronically tight muscles, and eliminating pain by improving range of motion in the affected joints. Patients often undergo physical therapy, traditional chiropractic care, epidural injections, back surgery, and other treatments. However, these do not address fibrous adhesions. Some patients feel temporarily better with these treatments, but their pain often returns. Studies have proposed that it is the adhesions and scar tissue that have built up around spinal joints and muscles that cause chronic pain. To offer long term pain relief, the fibrous adhesions in the joint capsules, discs, and surrounding supportive tissues, must be treated.


Is MUA safe?

MUA is very safe. The side effects of the procedure are the same as those of regular chiropractic adjustments. The level of sedation is known as “IV conscious sedation” and is utilized for our MUA procedures.  That means the patient is breathing on their own and is aware of the MUA procedures. IV conscious sedation is extremely safe in an outpatient setting. The patient is not under “general anesthesia” so the risks are very low and negative outcomes are very rare.

The total procedure lasts about 15-20 minutes.  The patient can be in and out of the center and completely discharged within 60-90 minutes. Cases that are advanced and difficult may need multiple MUA adjustments.


Active Release Techniques with sedation

Performing Active Release Techniques on a patient while sedated helps break up scar tissue or adhesions in and around the muscles, discs, and connective tissues. These adhesions are commonly caused by multiple injuries, car accidents, sports injuries, poor posture, or even failed back surgeries. These adhesions are usually the reason why patients do not achieve full recovery from pain with standard chiropractic treatment or in an office setting.


Are you a candidate for MUA?

You would benefit from our procedure if you have:

  1. Been treated by multiple physicians and therapists with limited results

  2. Your range of motion is decreased and not improving

  3. You are not a candidate for surgery or on pain medication.


Why should you consider MUA?

  • To eliminate the need for ongoing and expensive in-office treatments that are not working

  • To avoid surgery

  • To avoid invasive, painful, non-surgical procedures such as injections (trigger point, epidural etc.)

  • To improve your quality of life by eliminating your pain and improving your activities of daily living

What do all these conditions have in common? They are painful conditions of the muscles, nerves, and joints. They are chronic in nature (long term, unresponsive to traditional treatments) and that have scar tissue associated with it. This is the reason why MUA can successfully treat these conditions and why the others fail.


MUA has been shown to be effective for the following conditions:

  • Neck, mid-back and lower back pain

  • Sacroiliac joint problems

  • Pelvis and hip pain

  • Herniated and bulging discs

  • Acute and chronic muscle spasms or pain

  • Decreased range of motion

  • Frozen shoulder

  • Nerve entrapments

  • Sciatica

  • Failed back surgery syndrome

  • Chronic tension headaches

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