Role for Endocannabinoids in Spinal Manipulative Therapy Analgesia?
Chronic pain is quite prevalent and causes significant disabilities and socioeconomic burdens. Spinal manipulative therapy and other manipulative therapies are used to manage chronic pain. There is a critical knowledge gap about mechanisms and sites of action in spinal manipulative therapy pain relief, especially the short-term analgesia that occurs following a treatment. Endocannabinoids are an activity-dependent neurotransmitter system that acts as a short-term synaptic circuit breaker. This review describes both clinical research and basic research evidence suggesting that endocannabinoids contribute to short-term manipulative therapy analgesia. Determining endocannabinoids involvement in spinal manipulative therapy will improve its clinical efficacy when results from basic science and clinical research are translated.