Spinal Manipulation Shows Modest Improvements For Low Back Pain

lower back pain
lower back pain
A review and meta-analysis indicates that spinal manipulative therapy is linked to modest improvements in low back pain.

HealthDay News — Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is associated with modest improvements in pain and function among patients with acute low back pain, according to a review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Paul Shekelle, MD, PhD, chief of general internal medicine at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and colleagues analyzed 26 trials that tested SMT in patients with acute back pain.

Out of 26 trials, the researchers found that 15 reported moderate-quality evidence that SMT was associated with modest pain relief over 6 weeks. In 12 trials, there was moderate-quality evidence that SMT has a statistically significant association with improvements in function. 

Minor transient adverse events such as increased pain, muscle stiffness, and headache were reported 50% to 67% of the time in over half of patients in the large case series.

“It appears that SMT is a reasonable treatment option for some patients with low back pain,” writes the author of an accompanying editorial. “Further research will better identify which patients are most likely to benefit, and what manipulation techniques are most effective.”

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Paige NM, Miake-Lye IM, Booth MS, et al. Association of spinal manipulatice therapy with clinical benefit and harm for acute low back pain:systemic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2017 Apr 11;317(14):1451-1460. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.3086

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