Michigan Spine & Pain Solutions: MUA
What is MUA?
Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA) is a treatment option for people suffering from muscular, spinal and/or joint pain. This treatment is gaining popularity and may offer the opportunity to greatly reduce if not eliminate your pain. This treatment uses twilight sedation to relax muscles. Once relaxed, the patient is gently stretched and the fixations to the spine and/or other joints are released through gentle manipulations. This allows greater movement and flexibility which is free from pain. Many patients awake feeling better than ever.
Spinal manipulation under anesthesia is a procedure that originated with the osteopathic profession and has been utilized for the treatment of spinal pain since the late 1930’s. Documentation regarding the success and value of manipulation under anesthesia has been recorded in the osteopathic literature since 1948 when Clybourne reported in the Journal of American Osteopath Association a success rate of 80-90% which has been maintained to this day.
In the last two decades, the emphasis regarding the manipulation in osteopathic education has greatly decreased. Therefore, the osteopaths that have been adequately trained in manipulations are coming to the close of their careers or have retired. Because, of the need for continuance of this procedure, the focus for the performance of spinal manipulation under anesthesia has now shifted to chiropractors and their expertise in spinal manipulation skills.
How does MUA work?
MUA achieves results because it allows your caregivers to adjust the bones and muscles – the therapy of choice – without the usual resistance. Light sedation allows you to be responsive but not apprehensive.
Adjustments are completed gently, Fibrotic adhesions, which limit range of motion and contribute pain, are altered. Muscles are stretched.
Who can benefit from MUA?
MUA can be an effective procedure for people with chronic neck, back, and joint problems. It is also effective for people with conditions caused by long-term disabilities or accidents, and for injuries that have not been responsive to conventional treatment. Here are some of the conditions MUA helps:
- Fibroadhesion buildup
- Chronic disc problems
- Herniated disc without fragmentation
- Intractable pain from neuromusculoskeletal conditions
- Chronic re-injury
- Failed back surgery
- Frozen shoulder
How do I begin an MUA treatment plan?
Generally speaking, any chronic pain patient who has reached a plateau using traditional therapy should consider MUA. However, careful selection of qualified patients is a key to success. Your doctor will help determine if MUA is an option for you.
Once you are approved for MUA, you will need to complete a medical screening process so you can be cleared for light sedation. Your doctor will also decide whether you need one or more MUA procedures.
Medical tests usually include
- CBC blood studies
- SMA 6
- Chest X-ray and EKG or electrocardiogram, for patients 50 and older
- A pregnancy test for female MUA patients
Your doctor may also order additional tests, such as MRI, as needed. After medical clearance, your MUA procedure will be scheduled.
What are my responsibilities?
- You may not eat or drink anything including water for 8 hours prior to the MUA procedure
- You should not wear make-up, fingernail polish, or any jewelry. Comfortable clothing such as loose fitting shorts, sweats, t-shirts is recommended for the procedure.
- In order for the MUA procedure to be a success you MUST adhere to the schedule of in office, follow up care with physical therapy and further chiropractic care. This is extremely important to enhance and maintain the benefits gained through the MUA procedure.
Miscellaneous information about MUA.
- The MUA procedure is most commonly a 3 day procedure
- You will receive a call from ASC the day before the procedure for a pre-op call
- Although the medication used for the procedures is mild and out of your system within hours after being introduced in your system, you are not to drive within 24 hours of having the procedure done. Please make arrangements to have a driver.
Who will be performing the MUA?
Only certified MUA physicians are able to perform MUA in hospitals and/or surgery centers. The MUA procedure requires two skilled practitioners for patient and doctor safety.
Marvin Bleiberg, MD a certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician certified in Pain Medicine has been treating patients for years utilizing the physical therapy and manipulative techniques involved with MUA with great success. He has been certified through the American academy of Manual and Physical Medicine to add to his ever growing list of comprehensive treatment options for those suffering from chronic pain.
Michael Barrett, D.C., chiropractic physician, has been certified and has performed MUA since 1999, both through the National University of Health Sciences and the American Academy of Manual and Physical Medicine.
What results should I see from the procedure?
Most patients experience an almost immediate decrease in pain, improved flexibility and range of motion that usually improves with each day of the procedure and throughout the post-MUA therapy program.
Some patients even with improved flexibility and range of motion feel some muscular soreness as would be expected after not exercising for some time.
What happens after procedure?
Post-procedure care is one of the most important parts of the MUA procedure. Post-procedure care should begin soon after the MUA procedure(s) is complete.
Typically, you will visit your doctor’s office and move through a combination of stretching exercises, followed by cry-therapy and electrical stimulation. You then return home to rest.
Following your final MUA procedure (if more than one) you can maximize results by following a consistent post care therapy program for the next seven to ten days in the doctor’s office. You will be taken through the same stretches accomplished during the MUA procedure.
You will continue rehabilitation for the next four to six weeks with stretching, flexibility, and strengthening exercises, plus regular adjustments as suggested by your doctor.
A consistent program of post-MUA therapy will help you regain pre-injury strength and help prevent pain and disability in the future.