Spinal Manipulation Therapy Effectively Treats Low Back Pain

Maintenance spinal manipulation provides long-term relief from chronic low back pain

MONDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) is an effective treatment for patients with chronic, nonspecific low back pain (LBP), and maintenance SMT provides long-term pain relief, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of Spine.

Mohammed K. Senna, M.D., and Shereen A. Machaly, M.D., from Mansoura University in Egypt, examined the effectiveness of SMT for the management of chronic, nonspecific LBP, and of maintenance SMT in the long-term reduction of pain and disability levels associated with chronic low back conditions after initial treatment. A total of 60 patients with chronic, non-specific LBP lasting at least six months were divided into three groups and administered 12 treatments over a one-month period. The first group received sham SMT, the second received SMT but no treatment for the subsequent nine months, and the third group received SMT with "maintenance spinal manipulation" every two weeks over a nine-month period. Pain and disability scores, generic health status, and back-specific patient satisfaction were measured at baseline and at one-, four-, seven-, and 10-month intervals to identify any variances between therapies.

The investigators found significantly lower pain and disability scores at the end of the one-month period for patients in the second and third groups who had received SMT, compared to the first group. However, at a 10-month evaluation, only the third group who received maintenance SMT showed more improvement in pain and disability scores. The mean pain and disability scores reverted to their pre-treatment levels in the nonmaintenance SMT group.

"SMT is effective for the treatment of chronic nonspecific LBP. To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance spinal manipulation after the initial intensive manipulative therapy," the authors write.

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Physician’s Briefing Staff

Physician’s Briefing Staff

Published on August 15, 2011

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