therapy is highly effective for treating chronic low-back
pain - but that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't an even
better treatment out there. A recent study in the scientific
journal Spine provides further evidence of the power
of spinal manipulation for back pain.
In the study, approximately 50 patients with chronic low-back
pain who had been sick-listed for between eight weeks and
six months received either exercise therapy or manual therapy.
The patients, ages 20-60, were administered sixteen 45-minute
treatments over eight weeks; patient improvement was measured
before and after treatment and at four weeks, six months and
one year after treatment.
Patients in the manual-therapy group received mobilization
and high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation from trained
physiotherapists (a form of treatment chiropractors also utilize)
and performed general exercises for the trunk, spine and legs.
Exercise-group patients trained with a 35-minute focus on
the trunk and legs following 10 minutes of warm-up on an exercise
Both groups showed significant improvements; however, the
manual-therapy group experienced much greater improvements
than the exercise group in all areas of improvement (pain,
functional status, etc.) at every point in follow-up. For
example, average reduction in pain was doubled for manual-therapy
patients, compared to exercise patients. Also, immediately
following the treatment period, the manual-therapy group was
significantly more likely to have returned to work (67%, vs.
27% for the exercise group). One year later, exercise-therapy
patients were over three times more likely to still be sick-listed
than manual-therapy patients.
If you suffer from low-back pain, spinal manipulation may
be the best form of treatment. Talk to your local chiropractor
about the benefits of spinal adjustments. For more information
on back pain, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/backpain.html.
Reference: Aure OF, Nilsen JH, Vasseljen
O. Manual therapy and exercise therapy in patients with chronic
low back pain: A randomized, controlled trial with 1-year
follow-up. Spine 2003:28(6), pp. 525-532.