A perspective for considering the risks and benefits of spinal manipulation in patients with low back pain

John D. Childs, Timothy W. Flynn and Julie M. Fritz

The purpose of this study was to determine if patients who do not receive manipulation for their low back pain (LBP) are at an increased risk for worsening disability compared to patients receiving an exercise intervention without manipulation. One hundred and thirty-one consecutive patients with LBP were randomly assigned to receive manipulation and an exercise intervention or an exercise intervention without manipulation. The results show that patients who completed the exercise intervention without manipulation were eight times more likely to experience a worsening in disability than patients who received manipulation. The authors conclude that the results of this study offer an additional perspective for considering the risks and benefits of spinal manipulation and help to inform the integration of current evidence for spinal manipulation into healthcare policy.

Manual Therapy, Volume 11, Issue 4, November 2006, Pages 316-320

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