The authors conducted this study in order to compare the effects of thrust manipulation (TM) and non-TM (NTM) on a sample of older subjects with low back pain. They chose to use a secondary data analysis of a randomized control trial. Forty-nine subjects aged 55 to 88 years were recruited for the trial, who received either a TM or NTM on at least 2 occasions over the course of care, and were extracted from the larger data set. The treatment program included a standardized home exercise program for the first 2 sessions, which could be adjusted by the therapist after those 2 sessions. Numeric pain rating scale and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were the outcomes for this study. Multivariate analysis uncovered no significant between-group differences for treatment group (P = .99) without group × time interaction (P = .90). Substantial within-group changes were observed for both groups for ODI and numeric pain rating scale (P < .001); the average self-report of recovery was 78.0% (SD, 19.8%). Age stratification of the older subset revealed between-group differences in ODI change scores for the oldest subjects (>70 years) compared with 60 to 69 years (P = .02).
The authors concluded that their study had shown that outcomes for TM as well as NTM improved in older adults with low back pain.