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Chiropractic Care Beats Sham Therapy for Spinal Pain

But treatment effects are not found clinically meaningful

Chiropractic Care Beats Sham Therapy for Spinal Pain

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term chiropractic therapy is more effective than a sham intervention for treating spinal pain, but the difference is not clinically meaningful, according to research published in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

Bruce F. Walker, D.C., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., of Murdoch University in Australia, and colleagues randomly assigned adults with spinal pain to two sessions of either chiropractic therapy (92 participants) or sham therapy (91 participants) and compared outcomes at two weeks.

The researchers found that participants receiving chiropractic care had greater improvements in pain and physical function compared with those receiving sham therapy. Compared with the sham group, significantly more participants in the chiropractic group experienced global improvement (48 versus 24 percent; P = 0.01) and treatment satisfaction (78 versus 56 percent; P < 0.01). No difference was observed between the groups in achievement of a minimally acceptable outcome (29 percent in the chiropractic group versus 34 percent in the sham group; P = 0.42).

"Short-term chiropractic treatment was superior to sham; however, treatment effects were not clinically important," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed receiving funds for consulting and developing educational presentations.

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