New Study Shows Majority of Patients Get More Relief from Low Back Pain

with Spinal Manipulation Therapy

A new study published in The SPINE Journal concludes spinal manipulation is most likely to reduce chronic low back pain and improve function when compared to other approaches. The research examines the safety and effectiveness of various manipulation and mobilization therapies for treatment of chronic low back pain. According to the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the value of chiropractic care, results show that both manipulation and mobilization are likely to reduce pain and improve function for patients with chronic low back pain, but that spinal manipulation – most often performed by a doctor of chiropractic – produces a larger effect than mobilization.

Key Findings:

  • Nearly six out of ten patients (57 percent) experienced a reduction in chronic low back pain and a reduction in disability (78 percent) utilizing manipulation or mobilization as compared to other therapies.
  • A majority (79 percent) reported that manipulation significantly reduced pain and disability, compared to other approaches such as physical therapy.
  • Both manipulation and mobilization therapies are considered beneficial and safe.

“Chiropractic care is proven to yield improved clinical outcomes, reduced costs and high levels of patient satisfaction,” said Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president, F4CP. “Given the increased interest in providing Americans with drug-free/non-pharmacologic pain management options, this study better positions doctors of chiropractic as front-line providers for spinal health and well-being, specifically as it relates to the management of chronic low back pain prior to the utilization of prescription opioids.” Nearly 94 percent of all spinal manipulations in the U.S. are performed by a doctor of chiropractic.

The prevalence of lower back pain in the U.S. may be as high as 84 percent. In approximately 23 percent of people suffering from lower back pain, the pain becomes chronic and disables nearly half of this population. Pain management approaches vary greatly. This study explored the evidence for treating chronic low back pain by spinal manipulation therapy (thrust applied to joints) – a common modality performed by doctors of chiropractic – and mobilization (a type of passive movement of a spinal section) and combined therapies.

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