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Manipulation Under Anesthesia

For those patients who have exhausted available treatments with limited success, there is manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) – not a last resort, but a proven option.

Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA) is an extraordinary procedure offering a solution to patients who suffer from unresolved long-term musculoskeletal pain. If you are one of these patients, MUA may provide meaningful pain relief, allowing you to resume normal activities and even avoid more invasive healthcare procedures.

The MUA procedure uses refined and specialized manipulation, stretching and joint mobilization procedures to directly confront the cause of chronic joint and muscle pain. The goal is to restore joint motion, and improve function by reducing the painful limitations from adhesions (scar tissue). For many long term pain patients, these methods without anesthesia may not have been possible or effective because of guarding pain, restrictive motion, and spasm that developed over time.

Combining twilight sedation (from new advances in anesthesia), removes that guarding pain and restrictive spasm, allowing the clinically proven MUA to be performed. Procedures once used independently are now combined with reported excellent results. Together they can have a synergistic result of increased joint motion, improved function, and decreased pain.

The procedure involved in MUA bring together the benefits of pain management, osteopathy, medical, chiropractic and anesthesia specialists – all at the same time.

Is MUA the right option for you?

Selecting the proper patient is the first stem in successful treatment. Most patients have already undergone chiropractic care, physical therapy, medication options, pain management procedures, and even surgery with limited improvement.

Although there are many conditions, which MUA will benefit, the most common ones include:

  1. Painful, weak, and restricted joint motion that interferes with daily activities and the ability to enjoy life
  2. Chronic neck and back pain/weakness
  3. Chronic shoulder, hip, knee, pelvis and/or other extremity pain/weakness
  4. Adhesive capsulitis (e.g. frozen shoulder following injury, surgery, and/or mastectomy)
  5. Fibromyalgia
  6. Disc conditions
  7. Failed surgery
  8. Pain syndromes due to injuries or those, which have evolved over the course of time.

*Certain patients are not candidates for MUA due to conditions that are not conducive to manipulation. These include, but are not limited to: osteoporosis, cancer, uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes, previous stroke, and advanced age.

What to Expect with MUA

Once selected as a candidate for MUA, the treatment plan begins with a screening process for medical and anesthesia clearance.

Additional tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be ordered if needed. The patient is then scheduled at the facility where the MUA will be performed.

MUA is not an invasive surgery. The actual procedure is very gentle and usually lasts approximately 20 minutes. During sedation, the involved tissues are stretched and the restricted joints mobilized.

The patient is then monitored by qualified personnel until ready to be discharged. In many cases, the procedure is repeated over 2 or 3 days. A series of MUA’s has been clinically proven to be much more effective in the majority of cases as your doctor can ease into the painful problem area with each procedure.

Post-procedure care is a necessary and important part of the MUA procedure in order to make it truly effective.

Rehabilitation for the next three to six weeks includes specific stretching, therapy, flexibility and strengthening exercises, plus periodic manipulation as recommended by your doctor. This regimented post-MUA therapy can help move the patient toward pre-injury strength and prevent future pain and disability.

* Patients typically experience increased ranges of motion, decreased pain, and improved functional abilities immediately following their first MUA procedure. For many, results can truly be life changing.