Manual treatment of spinal disorders is perhaps the most well-studied remedy for spine-related disorders. Clinical description and controlled studies provide only limited advances in knowledge because so little is known scientifically about manual treatment methods or the disorders to which they are directed. The common factor for all manual methods is that they apply an external load to the spine and its surrounding tissues. Merging of efforts by basic scientists, engineers and clinician-scientists can resolve some of the underlying scientific ambiguity surrounding these issues. This report reviews the seminal efforts in biomechanics that are emerging to describe and understand the treatment, the spinal disorder for which it is used and the physiological effects of the treatment.
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