Osteoarthritis (OA) can be a pain in the neck-literally. When OA creeps into the spine, the condition can play a pivotal role in limiting movement and everyday function. For those trying to find relief, many turn to the help of a chiropractor, osteopathic physician or practitioner of spinal manipulation therapy (SMT).While spinal adjustments can be a helpful pain-reduction tool in the right patient, its important to understand the reality of what SMT can provide and who may offer the best approach to relieving your pain, say Cleveland Clinic experts.When it comes to osteoarthritis, its important to first look at the whole body and find what triggers are aggravating the arthritis over time, states Andrew Bang, DC, a chiropractor with Cleveland Clinics Center for Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine. Finding the cause is the most important piece of alleviating pain through manipulation.Identifying parts of the spine that are out of balance is key to successful SMT, agrees Fredrick Wilson, DO, director of Cleveland Clinics Solon Center for Spine Health. The overall gain from manipulation in a patient with OA would be through reducing stiffness and easing joint movement that is restricted, he says. While you cannot restore lost cartilage caused by OA, you can affect the surrounding local muscles and help with some of the chemical factors causing the tenderness.