Spinal manipulation for low back pain gives improves pain and function says review of the evidence

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back pain, spinal manipulation therapy, arthritis information, arthritis digest, arthritis magazinePeople with acute low back pain may experience modest improvements in pain and function after spinal manipulation therapy, says research in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Experts reviewed 26 studies about spinal manipulation (how well it works and whether it can be harmful) and compared it to other therapies for adults with acute low back pain. They found that:

– 15 trials (involving 1,711 people) showed that spinal manipulation therapy improves pain;

– 12 trials (involving 1,381 people) showed that spinal manipulation therapy improves function;

– No trials reported any serious adverse events.

– Minor adverse events such as increased pain, muscle stiffness, and headache were reported 50–67% of the time in large case series of people treated with spinal manipulation therapy.

The size of the benefit of spinal manipulation therapy for acute low back pain is about the same as the benefit from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, according to the Cochrane review on this topic.

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