What is an MUA?

This is What You Need to Know About Manipulation Under Anesthesia

What is an MUA?

MUA stands for manipulation under anesthesia. The easiest way to think of it is moving joints and muscles in a similar way that a chiropractor would - but while under medical anesthesia. It is a non-invasive procedure that is commonly used to treat chronic pain and dysfunction of joints including the spine, shoulders, hips, etc.

What conditions can be treated by it?

There are several different conditions that are treated with MUAs. Hip contractures, frozen shoulders, shoulder pain, disc bulges and herniations in the neck and low back, and fixated spinal segments that will not adjust due to muscle spasms - are among the most common conditions that people are treated for with manipulations under anesthesia.

Why do MUA instead of a regular adjustment or physical therapy session?

For starters – many patients cannot tolerate the myofascial (muscle) work or chiropractic adjustments that need to be done while they are awake, so they guard against any movement that causes pain or tension – making it very difficult to get any benefit out of an adjustment. The benefit of being under anesthesia is that the physician can move, turn, twist, adjust, manipulate, and perform several different therapies on the patient with relative ease and restore full range of motion to those pesky injuries that are bothering you.

Is my whole body adjusted?

Not typically. In order to provide quality care to an area that is fixated it takes time, sometimes it takes 15 to 20 minutes just to move a shoulder above the head because of the fibrous adhesions and scar tissue that needs to be broken up. Typically one or two body parts such as a shoulder and a neck are performed on.

Is it dangerous?

It’s no more dangerous than a typical chiropractic adjustment, or session with a physical therapist. Please make sure that you are being treated by a trained professional that does manipulations under anesthesia regularly, and is certified to perform them.

Am I put under? For how long?

Yes, most people consider it a “twilight” sedation where they wake up and don’t remember anything that happens, but they are most definitely asleep for somewhere between 5 and 25 minutes depending on how long it takes for the physician to get the work done.

Will I be sore afterward?

It is very common that people will wake up sore in the areas that are worked on, but not always. Most patients wake up noting mild to moderate soreness. Just remember – as with any myofascial treatment or chiropractic adjustment; it can be sore due to moving something that hasn’t “moved” in a LONG time.

Who will be in the room?

A few people are in the room during a manipulation under anesthesia. The lead physician (typically a chiropractor), and an assisting physician will be there to help. The anesthesiologist will be there to monitor vitals and keep the patient comfortable during the procedure and administer propofol. A medical assistant and usually a nurse are in the room as precautionary measures to help the patient wake up comfortably and

So I got an MUA – what now?

Rehab and mobilization are crucially important after an MUA! Once scar tissue has been released, it really likes to go back to how it was before. So the best thing you can do is MOVE. If you don’t – it is very likely that you will lose the range of motion that was just restored.

Who should NOT get an MUA?

Patients with osteoporosis, diabetes that is uncontrolled, high blood pressure that is not managed, an active infection, fracture, and certain cancers.

Where do I get an MUA?

Dr Ron Morris at back to action chiropractic and rehab is a certified MUA clinician who has been doing Manipulations under anesthesia for years. MUA’s are typically performed in a clean, and stable environment such as a surgical, or pain management facility. Ask your local friendly chiropractor where to start, and see if you should consider it on your track to getting back to what you love!

Contact the professionals at Back to Action Chiropractic and Rehab today to schedule an appointment, or to learn more about our use of manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) in Chandler, AZ.

Additional resources regarding MUA’s