The objective of this study was to investigtate the effects of manual therapy using joint mobilization and flexion-distraction techniques on chronic low back pain and disc heights. This study was conducted with 31 chronic low back pain patients who were divided into a manual therapy group (MTG; n=16) and a spinal decompression therapy group (SDTG; n=15). The MTG was treated using joint mobilization techniques and flexion-distraction techniques, and the SDTG was treated using spinal decompression therapeutic apparatuses. Conservative physical therapy was used in both groups, and the therapy was implemented three times per week for 6 weeks. The visual analog scale (VAS) was used to measure patient’s low back pain scores, and a picture archiving and communication system was used to measure disc height by comparing and analyzing the images. In comparisons of the VAS within each of the two groups, both the MTG and the SDTG exhibited significant decreases. In comparisons of disc height within each of the two groups, the MTG showed statistically significant increases.
Manual therapy using joint mobilization techniques and flexion-distraction techniques is thought to be an effective intervention for dealing with low back pain and disc heights in patients with chronic low back pain.