Short-Term Effect of Spinal Manipulation on Pain Perception, Spinal Mobility, and Full Height Recovery in Male Subjects with Degenerative Disc Disease

The aim of this study was to investigate the short-term effect on spinal mobility, pain perception, neural mechanosensitivity, and full height recovery after high-velocity low-amplitude (HVLA) spinal manipulation (SM) in the lumbosacral joint (L5-S1) A randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial with evaluations at baseline and after intervention was used. Forty male subjects (N=40) (mean age± SD; 38 ± 9.14 years) diagnosed with degenerative lumbar disease at L5-S1 were randomly separated into two groups: the treatment group (TG) (n = 20) (39 ± 9.12 years) and control group (CG) (n = 20) (37 ± 9.31 years). All participants completed the intervention and follow-up evaluations. A single L5-S1 SM technique (pull-move) was performed in the TG, whereas the CG received a single placebo intervention. Measures included assessing the subject’s height using a stadiometer. The secondary outcome measures included perceived low back pain, evaluated using a visual analogue scale; neural mechanosensitivity, as assessed using the passive straight leg raise test (SLR); and amount of spinal mobility in flexion, as measured using the finger to floor distance test (FFD). The intra-group comparison suggested a significant improvement in all variables in the TG (p<.001). There were no changes in the CG, except for the FFD (p=.008). In the between-group comparison of the mean differences from pre- to post-intervention, there was statistical significance for all cases (p<.001)

The study found that an HVLA SM in the lumbosacral joint administered to male subjects with degenerative disc disease immediately improves self-perceived pain, spinal mobility in flexion, hip flexion during the passive SLR, and subject's full height. Future studies should include female subjects and should investigate the long-term results.