Spinal Manipulative Therapy for acute lower back pain: Clinical benefit or harm?

New research has come to light analysing the association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT) with the clinical benefit and harm for acute low back pain. The study spans a systematic review and meta-analysis of data to come to conclusions appropriate for clinical application.

Pertinent Results:

Within the study, 40 of the articles studied were identified that as relevant to effectiveness in creating this specific issue, with an additional 8 articles relevant to being contrary to this, causing harm. In the final data synthesis, 26 Random Controlled Trials were collated and analysed, offering variation to the process

Clinical Application & Conclusions:

The main points to be taken from the study that can be applied to practices are:

  • For acute low back pain, SMT produced statistically significant advantages for both pain and function. The testing for this ran up to 6 weeks.
  • The benefit for acute low back pain was −9.95mm (on a 0-100mm scale), which is similar to the amount of benefit associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • The effect size for the improvement of function was −0.39, which is roughly equivalent to an improvement in the RMDQ score of between 1 and 2.5 points.

Taking this into account, it can be gathered that there is more benefit than harm to cases of low back pain from Spinal Manipulative Therapy; a claim that the results of this study support.

The Publication Information for this study is as follows:

JAMA 2017; 317(14): 1451-1460. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.3086

Pain in the lower back can be extremely restricting in everyday activities. It can be painful for prolonged periods or shooting pains for short periods; either way low back pain is an inconvenience and one that spinal treatment could help alleviate to some extent. If you are suffering from a similar muscular issue, our chiropractors are trained in exercises and massages that treat a variety of pains. Use our contact form to get in touch with us for any queries or appointments.

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