Spinal Manipulation: The Right Choice For Relieving Low Back Pain

By |April 24, 2013|Chiropractic Care, Low Back Pain, Placebo, Randomized Controlled Trial, Spinal Manipulation|

Spinal Manipulation: The Right Choice for Relieving Low Back Pain

The Chiro.Org Blog


Spinal High-velocity Low Amplitude Manipulation in Acute Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Double-blinded Randomized Controlled Trial in Comparison With Diclofenac and Placebo

Spine 2013 (Apr 1); 38 (7): 540–548

von Heymann, Wolfgang J. Dr. Med; Schloemer, Patrick Dipl. Math; Timm, Juergen Dr. RER, NAT, PhD; Muehlbauer, Bernd Dr. Med

Competence Center for Clinical Studies; and †Institute for Biometrics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany


Thanks to Dynamic Chiropractic for access to these Key Findings from the study

  • “There was a clear difference between the treatment groups: the subjects [receiving] spinal manipulation showed a faster and quantitatively more distinct reduction in the RMS” (compared to subjects receiving diclofenac therapy).

  • “Subjects [also] noticed a faster and quantitatively more distinct reduction in [their] subjective estimation of pain after manipulation. … A similar observation was made when comparing the somatic part of the SF-12 inventory … indicating that the subjects experienced better quality of life after the spinal manipulation compared to diclofenac.”

  • “The rescue medication was calculated both for the mean cumulative dose (numbers of 500 mg paracetamol tablets) and for the number of days on which rescue medication was taken. … In the diclofenac arm, the patients on average took almost 3 times as many tablets and the number of days [taking the tablets] was almost twice as high” compared to patients in the manipulation arm. While the authors note that these results were not significant due to large between-individual variations (meaning a few patients could have taken many tablets, throwing off the overall totals), it still suggests that value of spinal manipulation vs. drug therapy (because even if both patient groups had taken the same amount of rescue medication for the same number of days, it wouldn’t discount the fact that patients in the manipulation group showed significant improvement on outcome variables compared to patients in the diclofenac group).

The Abstract (more…)