MUA Expectations

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What Can I Expect From a MUA Procedure?

What Does the MUA Procedure Involve?

1.  The evening before each procedure, the patient may not consume any food or liquids after midnight.

2. On the day of the MUA, the patient must be accompanied by a friend or family member to drive the patient home afterwards.

3. “Twighlight Sedation” is utilized for MUA procedures.  An intravenous catheter is inserted in the patient’s arm and a small amount of anesthesia is administered by a qualified anesthesiologist.

4. The procedure usually takes 10-30 minutes.

5. After the patient has fallen asleep, the team of physicians completes a series of manipulations and stretches on the muscles affecting joint function.

6. The patient wakes up quickly after the procedure has ended and is monitored by qualified personnel and usually eats before the patient is ready to be discharged.

7. Most MUA treatments are performed over three consecutive days, though sometimes only 2 days of procedures are necessary.

8. Due to the stretching of the muscles and soft tissues and breaking up of the adhesions, you may experience more discomfort after the treatments. This discomfort is like exercise soreness and will begin to diminish over the next few days.

Why is anesthesia necessary?

When movement is extremely and intolerably uncomfortable, the doctor would not be able to “persuade” your joints to move outside your comfort zone, so using anesthesia will gently sedate you, relax your body and permit the doctor to manipulate your joints in order to restore ranges of motion and reduce your discomfort without causing stress. Anesthesia performs other important functions, such as:

• Slows down the muscle spasm cycle to all for free movement
• Sedates the nerves that have been irritated due to the dysfunctional joint.
• Allow complete muscle relaxation to permit the doctor to stretch shortened muscle groups to alter adhesions caused by scar tissue.

What happens immediately after the procedure?

Immediately after a MUA procedure:

  •   The anesthesiologist awakens you and you are taken to recovery, where you will be monitored by the nursing staff (recovery time is usually about 15 to 20 minutes).
  •   Once you recover, you will be given fluids and a light snack.
  •   Our medical staff will remain with you until you are discharged to rest until you can begin post-procedure therapies, which typically begins a few days following the last day of the procedure.

What is the post-MUA recovery process like?  

The post-MUA recovery process is an important part of MUA therapy. Most patients receiving MUA will benefit from an comprehensive and intensive therapy program which lasts from 4 to 8 weeks after the procedure. Visits with your physician during this time help preserve and solidify the health gains you made during your MUA sessions. Visits with your  physician during the 4 to 8 week recovery period will involve:


  • Stretching and flexibility activities
  • Stabilization and strengthening exercises
  • Relevant adjustments (Chiropractor or Osteopath)

Maintaining a consistent post-MUA therapy and exercise program will help you regain strength, prevent future pain and disability and help you maintain the affects of the MUA procedure.

Schedule a free consultation with the team to get more information about MUA and how it can help treat the specific underlying cause of your low back pain.