Spinal manipulation is used to relieve lower back pain and provide acute pain management. Although low-back pain is a common among many patient populations, some sufferers need medical treatment beyond the application of heat or the use of analgesic medications.
When practiced by a trained and licensed practitioner, spinal manipulation is generally regarded as a safe and effective treatment for lower back pain. Since 2008, both the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society have included spinal manipulation as a potential treatment when self-care fails.
For acute pain management, the side effects of spinal manipulation are relatively minor ones such as feeling tired. Cauda equina syndrome (CES), a significant narrowing of the spinal canal, is regarded by some as a rare but serious side effect of spinal manipulation; however, the data is still unclear.